Sanctions Available If a Party Disobeys an Order Compelling Production of Documents
If a party disobeys a court order compelling production of documents, the party that propounded the discovery can make a motion seeking further sanctions.
Code of Civ. Proc. ? ?2023.030(b), (c), and (d), 2030.300(e), and 2031.310(e) collectively provide that a court can impose issue, evidence, or terminating sanctions where a party violates a discovery order. "If further responses are ordered and the responding party fails to obey (i.e., fails to agree to produce documents demanded, etc.), additional sanctions may then be imposed: i.e., an 'issue sanction, 'evidence sanction', or even a 'terminating sanction...plus additional monetary sanctions". Weil & Brown, California Practice Guide, Civil Procedure Before Trial, ?8:1499.
Sanctions Available If a Party Disobeys an Order Compelling Answers to Interrogatories
If a party disobeys a court order compelling answers to interrogatories, the party that propounded the interrogatories can make a motion seeking further sanctions.
"If a party fails to obey an order compelling answers or further answers to interrogatories, the court may impose whatever sanctions are just including: Issue sanction--ordering that designated facts be 'taken as established'...Evidence sanction--prohibiting the party guilty of discovery misuse from introducing designated matters in evidence...[and] "Terminating ('doomsday') sanction--striking pleadings in whole or in part..." Id. at ?8:1205.
The Court Can Terminate an Action If Its Discovery Orders Are Disobeyed
Nnumerous cases have affirmed the imposition of terminating sanctions. See, e.g. Collisson & Kaplan v. Hartounian (1994) 21 Cal.App.4th at 1611, 1613-1615[terminating sanction after defendants failed to comply with a single court order to produce documents]; Cornwall v. Santa Monica Dairy Company (1977) 66 Cal.App.3d 250, 253 [terminating sanction after plaintiff failed to answer interrogatories within 30 days after being ordered to do so]; Williams v. Travelers Insurance Company (1975) 49 Cal.App.3d 805, 810-11 [terminating sanction after plaintiff twice failed to provide appropriate answers to interrogatories, and failed to pay sanctions]; Laguna Autobody v. Farmers Ins. Exchange (1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 481, 490 [terminating sanction after plaintiffs violated court orders requiring them to answer interrogatories and produce documents].
If the other side disobeys any court order regrading discovery, a motion should be promptly brought in which additional sanctions are sought. The court has the power to impose severe sanctions, including terminating the action in favor of the propounding party.
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