I am assuming your case is filed in unlimited jurisdiction court. If not, please say so because different rules apply concerning the amount of written discovery you can serve. With this in mind....
You do not have to wait for the first case management conference to be complete prior to serving discovery. It is up to you as to how soon you should begin sending written discovery but I would begin sooner rather than later. As for the order of the written discovery...there is no order. You can serve the interrogatories, RFA's and POD's in whatever order you want. Most of the time, I send them out concurrently (although that might not make sense for your case...it's entirely up to you though).
While the Discovery Act limits the number of RFA's and SR's you can send, you do not have to get a court order to send out additional ones. You simply need to provide a declaration of necessity that complies with CCP sections 2030.040(a) and 2030.050 and explains why additional interrogatories are necessary. The declaration must show one of the following grounds: 1) the complexity or quantity of the existing issues justify the additional discovery; 2) the financial burden to obtain the information via deposition is too much for you to afford; and 3) that it will be more expedient to let the other side conduct an inquiry, investigate or search its files to answer your question. That being said, I don't recommend you continue to proceed without an attorney. The rules of civil procedure the rules of court are very complex and you will end up at a significant disadvantage if you go up against the defendant in this case without counsel. I wish you luck!
The order of discovery is completely up to you. In addition, there would be no reason to wait until the CMC to commence discovery. You do not get 35 interrogatories per cause of action. It is per lawsuit. The same is true with admissions. However, assuming this case is in unlimited jurisdiction, declarations regarding the need for additional discovery would increase what you can propound. Hope that helps.
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You do not have to wait until CMC to commence discovery. The ordering of discovery is up to you. Many parties begin with form interrogatories. Others propound form interrogatories, special interrogatories and request for production of documents concurrently. You are limited to 35 special interrogatories and 35 requests for admission per lawsuit not per cause of action. You may propound more than 35 if justified by the complexity of the case and you serve a declaration attesting as to the need fof additional discovery. The other party can contest your claim of the need for additional discovery. You can propound more than 35 requests for production of documents as a matter of right.
This response is for information purpose only and does not constitute a legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship.