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I'm a party to a lawsuit in California, but relocating to Connecticut. Can I be forced to come to California for my deposition?

San Francisco, CA |

In a boundary dispute over a neighbor claiming adverse possession. Filed my cross complaint answer and the neighbor's homeowner's insurance has hired a new attorney who wants to depose me. The neighbor's other attorneys have already sent their interrogatories, but the new attorney wants to depose me as well as demanding that I answer to 12 additional questions. Is this even allowed?

Thank you for your helpful insight. The problem is that the attorneys knew we were relocating, but they sent the order just a few days before our departure and before their own extended vacation. I did send them a letter stating that if they are around I would be available, but none of them are. Everything they have done has been in bad faith because the lawsuit is frivolous and has no merit. The Judge has already expunged the lis pendens and awarded attorney fees to us.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

I am not a CA attorney. However, as a general proposition, a party can be made to appear in state court proceedings (including depositions) regardless of where they presently live. You may wish to schedule your deposition for before you move out of state. There are alternatives to a personal appearance - such as telephonic and video depositions.

I am not a CA attorney, laws vary from state to state, therefore you should always consult a local attorney.

If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for the response, but what are the ways I can avoid being deposed in California and can the answers be given in writing? I've a chronic illness and in the process of setting up my business on the East coast.

Michael T Millar

Michael T Millar

Posted

It is my understanding that if you are a party and were served in CA, then you can be deposed in CA. You can see if the other parties will permit you to be deposed instead by telephone or video. But. they likely have the right to compel your appearance in CA.

Asker

Posted

True, but the opposing counsel has been aware of our relocation instead they waited until last minute to send the deposition. Since their request is filed in bad faith, can we protest their request?

Michael T Millar

Michael T Millar

Posted

If the deposition notice was served within the time permitted by the rules of court it is not in "bad faith". You can protest - but as I suggested I would work to get them to consent to the deposition by telephone or video.

Posted

See Code of Civil Procedure Section 2025.250 - deposition needs to be within 150 miles of your residence. If a deposition notice is served prior to relocating to the East Coast, you will probably be required to attend deposition in California since it is valid at time of service. Also, additional interrogatories after the intial set are permissible; a party can serve multiple sets of interrogatories.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for the comment. The attorneys knew we were relocating and waited until we started packing then they sent us the deposition. We have no doubt this was done in bad faith. Do I have to return to California for the deposition date or can I fight it?

Michael Loren Renberg

Michael Loren Renberg

Posted

You can fight it, but need to take proper procedural steps To fight it you need to serve an objection to the deposition on the ground the notice is invalid because you don't reside within the mileage limits. See CCP 2025.410. Other party will likely file motion to compel, but will need to engage in a meet and confer prior to filing the motion. When responding to the meet and confer offer to have depo taken by video conference. Ultimately, the judge may grant the motion to compel and impose monetary sanctions against you reimbure the attorneys fees incurred in compelling the deposition. Since you have some risk you should see about working out an earlier date for deposition before you leave California.

Posted

Everything you describe is proper. As for the deposition, you could be compelled to come back to California.
You might be able to work with the attorney to arrange a video-conference deposition. But if you can't work it out, he will get an order compelling you to appear.
If you have legitimate reasons for not appearing for a deposition, then you can file a motion for protective order. I don't know if you have any reason that would qualify for a protective order.
Contact a local civil attorney for a consultation - a real estate attorney would be best.

Posted

As long as neither the numerical limit nor the time restrictions on interrogatories have been passed, the new attorney may file additional interrogatories. Whether you can be deposed in California will depend on when you received the notice of deposition. If a deposition notice is served prior to relocating to the East Coast, you will probably be required to attend deposition in California since it is valid at time of service.