Judge: Salvatore Sirna, Case: 22PSCV00304, Date: 2023-02-23 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 22PSCV00304    Hearing Date: February 23, 2023    Dept: G

Plaintiff Calyx Peak, Inc.’s Motion to Compel Further Verified Responses to Plaintiff’s First Requests for Production of Documents

Respondent: Defendant Rukli, Inc.


Plaintiff Calyx Peak, Inc.’s Motion to Compel Further Verified Responses to Plaintiff’s First Requests for Production of Documents is DENIED. Plaintiff’s Request for Sanctions is DENIED.

Defendant’s Request for Sanctions is GRANTED and sanctions are awarded in the amount of $500, payable within 30 days of the issuance of this order.


This is a breach of contract action arising from a cannabis distribution agreement. On December 9, 2020, Plaintiff Calyx Peak, Inc. entered into a written agreement with Rukli, Inc. (Defendant) and Gregory Klibanov (Klibanov) in which Defendant agreed to provide distribution services to Plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges Defendant breached the agreement by failing to make payments.

On March 29, 2022, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendant, Klibanov, and Does 1-50, alleging breach of contract and three common counts.

On May 16, 2022, Defendant filed a cross-complaint against Plaintiff, Erin Carachillo (Carachillo), and Roes 1-10, alleging the following causes of action: (1) promissory estoppel, (2) negligent misrepresentation, and (3) goods and services rendered.

On June 16, 2022, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (FAC) against same defendants alleging breach of contract, five common counts, breach of implied-in-fact contract, and conversion.

On September 7, 2022, Plaintiff dismissed Klibanov from the present action. On September 15, Defendant dismissed Carachillo from the cross-complaint.

On November 30, 2022, Plaintiff filed the present motion. A hearing on the motion is set for February 23, 2023, with a post-mediation status conference on December 5, a final status conference on July 2, 2024, and a jury trial on July 16, 2024.


Plaintiff moves to compel Defendant to provide additional responses to Plaintiff’s requests for production of documents numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.

Legal Standard

A party may file a motion compelling further production if it deems the responses are inadequate, incomplete, or evasive, or an objection in the responses is without merit or too general. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.310.) The motion shall be accompanied with a meet and confer declaration. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.310, subd. (b).) To prevail, the moving party must first offer specific facts demonstrating “good cause justifying the discovery sought by the demand.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.310, subd. (b)(1).) This burden “is met simply by a fact-specific showing of relevance.” (TBG Ins. Services Corp. v. Superior Court (2002) 96 Cal.App.4th 443, 448.) If “good cause” is shown by the moving party, the burden shifts to the responding party to justify any objections made to document disclosure. (Kirkland v. Superior Court (2002) 95 Cal.App.4th 92, 98.)

The court must impose sanctions on a party who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel further unless the party acted with substantial justification or other circumstances make imposing a sanction unjust. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.310, subd. (h).) However, “absent exceptional circumstances, the court shall not impose sanctions on a party or any attorney of a party for failure to provide electronically stored information that has been lost, damaged, altered, or overwritten as the result of the routine, good faith operation of an electronic information system.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.310, subd. (j)(1).)


In this case, parties do not dispute whether Defendant provided the requested documents but rather dispute the manner in which the documents were provided. On September 15, 2022, Defendant served responses to Plaintiff’s request for production of documents, and Plaintiff’s counsel alleges it failed to comply with the Code of Civil Procedure as no documents had been attached to the response. (Wasserman Decl., ¶ 9.) Sometime in October 2022, Defendant provided the requested documents in email attachments and Dropbox links. (Russo Decl., ¶ 4.) In response on October 5, Plaintiff’s counsel sent an email to Defendant’s counsel acknowledging receipt of the Dropbox links and claiming the attached documents were provided in a “haphazard manner” without identifying the requests to which the production was responsive.  (Wasserman Decl., Ex. C.) Plaintiff’s counsel demanded hard copies or a PDF with all the documents attached. (Wasserman Decl., Ex. C.)

In an October 27, 2022 email, Defendant’s counsel stated the Dropbox link identified the document categories and was duplicative of the email attachment. (Wasserman Decl., Ex. C.) Defendant’s counsel also declined to categorize every email attachment. (Wasserman Decl., Ex. C.) While Plaintiff’s motion claims Plaintiff’s counsel was unable to fully access the documents in the Dropbox link (Motion, p. 4:6-8.), neither the emails nor the sworn declaration by Plaintiff’s counsel support this assertion.

Code of Civil Procedure section 2031.280, subdivision (a) requires that “[a]ny documents or category of documents produced in response to a demand for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling shall be identified with the specific request number to which the documents respond.” In an email on October 5 and October 25, Plaintiff’s counsel claims the email attachments and Dropbox link did not identify the request to which they were responsive. (Wasserman Decl., Ex. C.)

However, Plaintiff’s counsel did not provide to the court any copies of the Dropbox links, or emails with attached documents. Furthermore, the declaration of Plaintiff’s counsel provides no further detail and does not detail whether documents were provided via email attachment or Dropbox link. (Wasserman Decl.) On the other hand, the declaration of Defendant’s counsel explicitly states, “We sent the responsive documents in several DropBox links and categorized them by request reasonably as we could.” (Russo Decl., ¶ 4.)

Because Plaintiff’s counsel’s declaration does not contradict the statement in Defendant’s counsel’s declaration confirming that the documents were provided in categories by request, Plaintiff has failed to establish Defendant’s response was not in compliance Code of Civil Procedure section 2031.280. While Plaintiff wants Defendant to provide the documents in PDF or print format, Plaintiff’s discovery request did not request that as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 2031.280, subdivision (d)(1). (Wasserman Decl., Ex. A.) Accordingly, Plaintiff’s motion to compel further is DENIED.

Plaintiff requests sanctions in the amount of $7,060 while Defendant requests sanctions in the amount of $2,625. Because Plaintiff’s motion was unsuccessful, Plaintiff’s request for sanctions is DENIED.


Defendant’s request for sanctions is GRANTED.  The court finds that Defendant successfully opposed Plaintiff’s discovery motion. Therefore, utilizing a lodestar approach and in view of the totality of the circumstances, the court awards Defendant reasonable attorney fees and costs in the total reduced amount of $500 ($500 for 2.0 hours for drafting the motion and .5 hours for attending the hearing, at a rate of $200/hr.)

Sanctions are due and payable to Defendant in thirty (30) days.