We are the defendants in a suit and representing ourselves. So far, through a whole series of hearings the plaintiffs have sent either their attorney or a stand in attorney but have not appeared personally. This is in Palm Springs court and they live in Orange county.
We are in discovery and after having to get an order to compel them to answer questions they are still not fully answering. I've just filed a motion for termination sanctions figuring 8 months is enough time.
If we go to trial I would like them to have to personally appear so I can ask them questions. I suppose I have to subpoena them - must they be personally served in Orange county or can I serve their local attorney ?
You will need to subpoena them to testify and ask their lawyers in advance if the lawyers will accept service. If you are not having them testify, and I do not know what facts you need from the plaintiffs, then there is no reason to subpoena them.
You will get testimony if you ask for depositions
More information is needed. But generally, defendants do have to appear at trial or else a negative inference can be drawn by the trier of fact.
There may be more to the story, but it seems you think if the plaintiffs personally appear you can just put them on the stand and drilll them with questions and force them into submission. That's not quite how it works and why you need an attorney. Apparently, the plaintiffs were not required to personally appear. Otherwise, the judge would have already addressed the issue.The case would probably have already dismissed. I doubt you will be awarded sanctions.
There are discovery techniques that may be utilized to assist you (e.g. depositions.)
Robert D. Kane, Jr. Esq.
Licensed in CALIFORNIA (based in Orange County;) and
MINNESOTA (based in Dakota County.)
State and Federal Courts.
That is one if the reasons people hire attorneys--so they don't have to make an appearance.
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If you are in discovery and trying to get them to answer questions, then a deposition may be in order. Sounds like you need representation and would be well-served to retain an attorney. Going pro per against plaintiffs that are represented is probably not going to end well for you.
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