Judge: Randy Rhodes, Case: 22CHCV00840, Date: 2023-03-02 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 22CHCV00840¿    Hearing Date: March 2, 2023    Dept: F51

Dept. F-51¿¿ 

Date: 3/2/23¿ 

Case #22CHCV00840¿ 

 

¿¿ MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY RESPONSES 

(Special Interrogatories, Set One) 

 

Motion Filed: 1/17/23

 

MOVING PARTY: Defendant Town Ridge Homes Association (“Defendant”)¿ 

RESPONDING PARTY: Plaintiff Aric Cho, in pro per (“Plaintiff”)¿ 

NOTICE: OK¿ 

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RELIEF REQUESTED: An order compelling Plaintiff to serve responses to Defendant’s Special Interrogatories, Set One. Defendant further requests that the Court order monetary sanctions against Plaintiff in the amount of $760.00.

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TENTATIVE RULING: The motion is granted. Plaintiff is ordered to serve responses to Defendant’s Special Interrogatories, Set One within 20 days. The Court imposes sanctions against Plaintiff in the amount of $100.00

 

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BACKGROUND¿ 

Plaintiff alleges that he was injured as a result of a dangerous condition on property associated with Defendant, a homeowners association. 

On 10/11/22, Plaintiff filed his complaint, alleging against Defendant the sole cause of action for dangerous condition on property. 

On 11/16/22, Defendant served Plaintiff with its Special Interrogatories, Set One. No responses have been served by Plaintiff to date. On 1/17/23, Defendant filed the instant motion to compel Plaintiff’s responses to Defendant’s Special Interrogatories, Set One. On 2/17/23, Plaintiff filed his opposition.[1] On 2/21/23, Defendant filed its reply.

 

ANALYSIS 

Legal Standard 

Defendant seeks to compel Plaintiff’s responses to its special interrogatories, asserting that Plaintiff failed to respond the discovery requests as required by statute. “The party to whom interrogatories have been propounded shall respond in writing under oath separately to each interrogatory by any of the following: (1) An answer containing the information sought to be discovered; (2) An exercise of the party’s option to produce writings; or (3) An objection to the particular interrogatory.” (Code Civ Proc. § 2030.210, subd. (a).) “In the first paragraph of the response immediately below the title of the case, there shall appear the identity of the responding party, the set number, and the identity of the propounding party.” (Id., subd. (b).) “Each answer, exercise of option, or objection in the response shall bear the same identifying number or letter and be in the same sequence as the corresponding interrogatory.” (Id., subd. (c).) 

A propounding party may move for an order compelling a response to interrogatories if the responding party fails to serve a timely response within 30 days. (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 2030.290, subd. (b); 2030.260, subd. (a).) Furthermore, the responding party who fails to serve a timely response “waives any right to exercise the option to produce writings under Section 2030.230, as well as any objection to the interrogatories, including one based on privilege or on the protection for work product” unless the Court grants it relief upon motion. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2030.290, subd. (a).) 

As Defendant served its interrogatories on Plaintiff by mail and email on 11/16/22, the deadline for Plaintiff to respond was 12/21/22. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2030.260, subd. (a).) To date, Plaintiff has failed to serve any responses. (Decl. of Adam Byrne,  ¶ 5.)  

On 12/25/22, Plaintiff indicated to Defendant, via email, that he would not respond to the interrogatories. (Ex. B to Byrne Decl.) Therefore, as Plaintiff has failed to timely serve any responses to Defendant’s interrogatories, Plaintiff has consequently waived any objections thereto. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2030.290, subd. (a).) 

Based on the foregoing, the Court grants Defendant’s motion to compel Plaintiff’s responses to Defendant’s Special Interrogatories, Set One.

 

Sanctions 

“The court shall impose a monetary sanction … against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel a response to interrogatories, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 2030.290, subd. (c).) Additionally, “the court may impose a monetary sanction ordering that one engaging in the misuse of the discovery process, or any attorney advising that conduct, or both pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that conduct.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 2023.030, subd. (a).) 

Here, Defendant requests monetary sanctions in the total amount of $760.00 to be imposed on Plaintiff. This amount includes 4 hours of Defendant’s attorney’s time spent working on this motion, at his hourly billing rate of $175.00 per hour, and a filing fee of $60.00. (Byrne Decl., ¶ 6.) 

In granting the instant motion, the Court finds it reasonable to award Defendant sanctions against Plaintiff, a self-represented litigant, in the amount of $100.00. If Plaintiff fails to obey this order compelling his response to Defendant’s Special Interrogatories, Set One, the Court may make any additional orders that are just, including the imposition of a monetary, issue, evidence, or terminating sanction. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2030.290, subd. (c).) 

 

CONCLUSION 

The motion is granted. Plaintiff is ordered to serve responses to Defendant’s Special Interrogatories, Set One within 20 days. The Court imposes sanctions against Plaintiff in the amount of $100.00



[1] The Court notes that Plaintiff’s opposition was untimely filed. (Code Civ. Proc. § 1005, subd. (b).)