I know that in general, objections shouldn't be made to form interrogatories. however, from my understanding, there is an exception when the form interrogatory is not relevant to the issues at dispute and not likely to lead to evidence. In that case, can I object citing ccp 2017? I have read one time that even though the form interrogatories were created by judicial council, answering them should not violate statute such as ccp 2017 which allows discovery only if relevant. Any feedback?
There is no prohibition against objecting to form interrogatories. That said, it is somewhat unusual. If providing the information would be harmless, think twice about objecting. A litigant needs to pick his discovery battles, and if the litigant picks pick a pointless one now, the court may look with skepticism on more legitimate ones later.
Greg May handles civil appeals, writs, and law & motion matters throughout California in both state and federal courts. This response does not create any attorney-client relationship, and its content is offered solely for information and commentary on California state law (or, if specifically cited, federal law). This response should not be construed as nor acted upon as legal advice.
Form Interrogatories are set by the Judicial Counsel and generally are not objectionable. You can object if it is absolutely irrelevant, but as stated you want to be careful as you may end up doing even more work responding to a Motion to Compel.
Personally I would not object based on relevancy alone unless the request is not REASONABLY calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence at trial. Courts frown upon relevancy objections in the discovery process for that very reason. For example, an exception to this general rule in my view, would be when you are asked to respond to a form interrogatory regarding any alleged personal injury, when the lawsuit in question is in reality based on breach of contract.
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There are many different grounds for for objecting to form interrogs, depending on the specific question, and the issues in the case. For example, there is a question seeking info about drivers license etc. I have recd that question in a trip and fall case that had nothing to do with my client driving. That was irrelevant. However, if I was claiming that as a result of the injury, my client couldn't drive for 3 months, I suppose the defense could say it was entitled to know if my client was licensed to drive. As mentioned by others, sometimes the info is harmless, and it isn't worth the battle.
You CAN, but the real question is should you?
First, "relevance" is not a valid discovery objection. Discovery can be had of anything "reasonably calculated to lead to discovery of admissible evidence" which is a much broader concept. if something is not "reasonably calculated etc etc" then that can be a valid objection.
Second, form interrogatories are indeed drafted by the judicial council and therefore objects as the form and wording are probably not going to be well taken. But, if one is using a form interrogatory to ask an off-topic question that is "not reasonably calculated to lead to discovery of admissible evidence" then that objection is appropriate.
Hope this helps.
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