Phone company records are difficult to obtain.  I say difficult, not impossible.  Even with a validly issued civil subpoena, the phone company will not comply without a notarized written consent from the consumer who “owns” the phone number.  You need a signed and notarized form such as this: Sprint Consent to Release Information

Pub. Util. Code, § 2891 provides:

(a) No telephone or telegraph corporation shall make available to any other person or corporation, without first obtaining the residential subscriber’s consent, in writing, any of the following information:

Code Civ. Proc., § 1985.3

(f) A subpoena duces tecum for personal records maintained by a telephone corporation which is a public utility, as defined in Section 216 of the Public Utilities Code, shall not be valid or effective unless it includes a consent to release, signed by the consumer whose records are requested, as required by Section 2891 of the Public Utilities Code.


The Courts may exclude  evidence as a sanction as part of its  inherent power to exclude evidence to cure violation of invasion of privacy and harassment (see Continental Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 94, 107-108)  This is based upon the concept that litigation abuse shall not be tolerated.  This case was about unethical ex parte communications with a current employee of a represented party (Rule 2-100). Continue Reading Evidence Exclusion as punishment for invasion of privacy, ethical violations or pretty much anything

timewarpUsually clients do not  understand or want to respond to discovery.  Same with lawyers, but be careful with pre-signed verification forms.  At trial it does not look good when the client testifies he never saw the discovery before.  In Drociak v State Bar (1991) 52 Cal. 3d 1085, a lawyer had obtained several pre-signed verifications from his client. After attempting to locate her without success, and with discovery due, he attached a pre-signed verification as an accommodation to his client to interrogatories he created from information in the client’s file. Drociak was disciplined and suspended for 30 days when it was subsequently learned that his client had died. ‘The use of pre-signed verification in discovery proceedings without first consulting with the client to assure that any assertions of fact are true is a clear and serious violation of the statutes and rules.'”

Photo credit of  the cool clock graphic: Kevin Trotman

discoveryCCP §1170.8 states that motions to compel may be filed with only 5 day (plus service) notice.  Also oppositions and replies may be made verbally at the time of the hearing.

Rule 3.1347. Discovery motions in summary proceeding involving possession of real property

  • (a) Notice  In an unlawful detainer action or other action brought under chapter 4 of title 3 of part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure (commencing with section 1159), notice of a discovery motion must be given in compliance with Code of Civil Procedure sections 1010.6 or 1013 and 1170.8.(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2016.)
  • (b) Opposition and reply at hearing  Any opposition to the motion and any reply to an opposition may be made orally at the time of hearing or in writing as set forth in (c).
  • (c) Written opposition in advance of hearing  If a party seeks to have a written opposition considered in advance of the hearing, the written opposition must be served and filed on or before the court day before the hearing. Service must be by personal delivery, electronic service, fax transmission, express mail, or other means consistent with Code of Civil Procedure sections 1010, 1010.6, 1011, 1012, and 1013, and reasonably calculated to ensure delivery to the other party or parties no later than the close of business on the court day before the hearing. The court, in its discretion, may consider written opposition filed later.(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2016.)

Cal Rules of Court, Rule 3.1347

Unlawful detainer actions allow the parties to litigate as if this were a million dollar case.  Discovery in Unlawful detainer actions are exempt form the Economic Litigation Act


Do-Something-Save-Paper-logoUsually discovery is served in groups, e.g. Form interrogatories, Request for Admissions, Request for Documents.  If no response is provided I file a combined motion to compel these initial discovery responses.  I did this after several judges told me why not combine them and save filing fees and paper.  Once a judge told me not to do a combined motion only as a warning, not a denial of the motion.  Nothing in the Rules of Court that I found say you cannot combine discovery motions.  Here is my statutory analysis of this issue: Continue Reading Combined Discovery Motion to Compel Initial Response (Saves money and paper!)