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Deadlines for Motions to Compel

thinkstockphotos-471597236The timing of a motion to compel depends largely on whether responses have been served. Here’s a review of the timing in common situations and a handy chart with the time limits.

  • If no responses served. If the responding party fails to serve any responses at all, there’s no time limit on when the propounding party may file a motion to compel responses. See, e.g., CCP §2030.290(b)–(c).
  • When responses inadequate. When inadequate responses have been served, a motion to compel further responses must be filed and served within 45 days of service of the responses or any supplemental responses, or on or before any date to which the parties agree in writing. Failure to do so waives the party’s ability to move for further responses. See, e.g., CCP §2030.300(c).
  • When deponent serves objections to business record subpoena. If the deponent serves objections to a subpoena to produce business records, the 60-day period during which a motion to compel must be filed begins to run when the deponent serves objections on the party that issued the subpoena. Rutledge v Hewlett-Packard Co. (2015) 238 CA4th 1164, 1192.
  • When deponent fails to appear or produce documents. If a deponent fails to appear or proceed with a deposition or produce things described in the deposition notice, there’s no time limit on when the party noticing the deposition may move to compel. CCP §2025.450(a).
  • When deponent fails to answer questions. A motion to compel answers at a deposition must be made within 60 days after the completion of the record of the deposition. CCP §2025.480(b).
  • When party refuses to submit to physical or mental examination. There’s no time limit on when a party may bring a motion to compel compliance with a demand for a physical or mental examination. CCP §2032.410.

And here’s a handy chart of time limits to use as a reference:

CCP Section

Type of Motion

Time Limits

§2025.480(b)

Motion to compel answers or production of documents at deposition

Motion must be made no later than 60 days after the completion of the record of the deposition.

§2025.450

Motion to compel attendance at deposition (party fails to appear)

No time limit.

§2031.300

Motion to compel response to inspection demand (no response served)

No time limit.

§2031.310

Motion to compel further response to inspection demand

Motion must be made within 45 days of the service of the response, or any supplemental response, unless the parties agree in writing to a specific later date.

§2032.410

Motion to compel party to submit to physical and mental examination

No time limit.

§2033.280

Failure to timely respond to request for admission (no response served)

No time limit.

§2033.290(c)

Motion to compel further response to request for admission

Motion must be made within 45 days of the service of the verified response, or any verified supplemental response, unless the parties agree in writing to a specific later date.

Keep in mind that all discovery motions must be heard at least 15 days before the date initially set for trial. CCP §2024.020(a).

For everything you need to know about discovery motion practice, turn to CEB’s California Civil Discovery Practice, chap 15. And get step-by-step guidance on making discovery motions in CEB’s Handling Motions To Compel and Other Discovery Motions (Action Guide). Also check out CEB’s program Strategic Tips for Compelling Discovery Responses, available On Demand.

Related CEBblog™ posts:

© The Regents of the University of California, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

3 Responses

  1. Another superb post, Julie! Thank you so much! Love these notes.

  2. […] Deadlines for Motions to Compel […]

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