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How much time do I have to file a motion to compel for not complying to a subpoena for documents or filing an objection.

Los Angeles, CA |

I am in pro per because I can't afford and attorney. I used a legal service to serve a subpoena on a third party who have not complied nor filed an objection. I sent them a meet and confer letter and received to response. What are my next steps and how much time do I have? Can I request sanctions?
Thank you

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Your question does not say whether this is state or federal court. That is an important distinction. Assuming it is state court, you must file your motion to compel within 60 days of the deposition record being completed. The rule applies to subpoenas for production of documents at a deposition and also to business records subpoenas. The objections or other responses to a business records subpoena are the “deposition record” for purposes of measuring the 60–day period for a motion to compel. A nonparty opposing such motion without substantial justification is subject to sanctions. [CCP §§ 1987.2(a), 2020.030, 2025.480]. You also have the option of initiating contempt proceedings or even filing a civil action under the correct circumstances. The latter two options are far too complicated to discuss on a public forum such as this. I wish you the best of luck.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyze this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


  2. If they are consumer records, I hope you followed proper procedures re notice to the consumer. If consumer records see CCP 1985.3 (g) re motion to compel. pro pers cant get atty fees as sanctions, only the filing fees/costs.


  3. You can request sanctions, of course, but the amount you can recover will likely be limited to your out-of-pocket costs in connection with the motion. This would include the filing fees and photocopy costs. Since you are not using an attorney, you would not be entitled to recover anything for attorney's fees.

    If you have served a subpoena on a third party, the proper remedy may be a motion for contempt, pursuant to CCP Section 2020.240.

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