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Respond to Discovery Using the Same Method of Service?

Cerritos, CA |

I was personally served with discovery. I know that I have 30 days to respond back, but do I have to serve my discovery responses using personal service as well or can I mail them on the last day?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Since you were personally served with the discovery, you are required to serve your responses through personal service as well.


  2. I respectfully disagree with my colleague. I assume this is a regular civil matter filed in a Superior Court of CA and there are no court orders to the contrary. If so, you may serve discovery responses in any manner permitted by law, including regular U.S. mail. Service by personal delivery merely requires that you respond within 30 days of personal service (by any manner permitted) as opposed to being given a longer period of time to respond because service was by another method. One caveat: a party cannot serve the documents or sign a proof of service.

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  3. I agree with Mr. Daymude. You may serve by any legally valid method, regardless of how you were served with discovery. You have 30 days to respond, unless you call and get an agreement to extend the date, if you need more time. However, they do not have to grant the request. If you mail your discovery requests, the other side will have 35 days to respond.

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact dependent, so to get a thorough analysis of your situation, you will need to consult face to face with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the incident took place. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case. No attorney-client relationship shall be created through the use reading of this response on Avvo. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information in this response.


  4. Regardless of the method you use to respond to discovery (mail, personal service, etc.), always make sure that you can prove when you served it. With mail, this means spending an extra $4 and having it mailed certified mail + return receipt requested. Then, you'll get the little green card back that will prove that you mailed it and when it was received.

    Also remember that if you have any objections, you have to state them within 30 days unless an extension is agreed to, else your objections are waived. If you get an extension, make sure that it is in writing, and that it is an extension as to both answers and objections.

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