What is a Subpoena?

In civil litigation, subpoenas are often used to compel discovery from nonparties to a suit such as individuals or corporations. In a California proceeding, a deposition subpoena is the only method by which to obtain discovery from a non-party in civil litigation. “A deposition subpoena must be served to compel that witness’s attendance, testimony, or production of documents and things pursuant to Chapter 6, ‘Nonparty Discovery,’ of the CDA.” (CCP §§ 2020.010-2020.510. See, e.g., California ex rel Lockyer v. Super. Ct., 122 Cal. App. 4th 1060, 1076-78 (2004).)

The California Civil Code allows an oral deposition, written deposition, or a deposition for production of business records and other things coming within the scope of Article 4 or 5. (CCP § 2020.010.) The process by which a nonparty is required to provide discovery is a deposition subpoena. (Id.) However, subpoenas are still subject to the rules regulating discovery between parties of a suit.

Any party is entitled to discovery proceedings up until the 30th day before the date initially set for the trial of the action and a continuance of the trial date does not operate to reopen discovery proceedings. (CCP § 2024.020.)

There are four types of deposition subpoenas: a subpoena for an oral deposition, a subpoena for business records deposition commanding only the production of business records for copying, a subpoena for business records deposition commanding the productions of records and testimony, and finally, a subpoena for a written deposition. (CCP §§ 2020.310, 2025.010, 2020.410, 2020.510, 2028.010.6.)

If the subpoena is for the production of business records, discovery will be considered complete on the date of production. (CCP § 2020.010.) However, if the subpoena is seeking personal records under CCP § 1985.3 then there needs to be at least 20 days’ notice. (CCP § 1985.3; see Unzipped Apparel v. Bader, 156 Cal.App.4th 123, 127 (2007).)

The Court is authorized under CCP § 1987.1 to order a subpoena quashed entirely, modified, or directed to comply with terms and conditions the Court declares, including protective orders. (CCP § 1987.1.) Under this section the court is also authorized to make any order as may be appropriate to protect the person from unreasonable or oppressive demands, including unreasonable violations of the right of privacy of the person. (Id.)

“If a deponent fails to answer any question or to produce any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing under the deponent’s control that is specified in the deposition notice or a deposition subpoena, the party seeking discovery may move the court for an order compelling that answer or production.” (CCP § 2025.480, subd. (a).) The court can order the disobeying party to comply within 60 days after completion of the deposition record. (Id.) Objections or other responses to a business records subpoena are the "deposition record" for purposes of measuring the 60-day period for a motion to compel. (See Unzipped Apparel, 156 Cal.App.4th at 132-133.)

Useful Rulings on Subpoena

Recent Rulings on Subpoena

FALISHA PORTER VS PHARMAVITE, LLC

As to the subpoena to Optum Health, by claiming emotional distress damages and inability to work for a period of time, plaintiff has waived the right to privacy with respect to records concerning her medical condition or diagnoses which prevented her from working and as to her emotional distress damages from this case. However, the court will discuss whether records showing medical time off from other jobs is relevant or protected by privacy.

  • Hearing

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

MARTIN BALMACEDA VS ZHICHENG LIU ET AL

Moreover, it is not clear that Plaintiff’s counsel actually sought to serve Liu with a deposition subpoena, as the deposition subpoena is not listed among the documents to be served on Liu.

  • Hearing

CHRISTIAN SEYMOUR VS WINGSTOP RESTAURANTS,INC., ET AL.

.: 19STCV32185 Hearing Date: December 2, 2020 [TENTATIVE] order RE: Motion TO ENFORCE SUBPOENA Defendant LMMJ Enterprise (“Defendant”) moves to enforce a subpoena served on Deponent Ivan Coe. Motions to compel third-parties require personal service or an agreement to accept service by mail. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1346.) Defendant served the subpoena by mail and proffers no evidence that Mr. Coe agreed to service in this manner. Therefore, the motion is denied without prejudice.

  • Hearing

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

BRIAN SCOTT BARNETT V. VANCOUVER WAX LLC, ET AL.

Nature of Proceedings: Motion Compel Third Party Trackstreet, Inc. with Deposition Subpoena fo Production of Business Records Tentative

  • Hearing

RE: MOTION TO COMPEL LINDA COLVIS' COMPLIANCE W/DEPO SUBPOENA

FILED ON 02/13/20 BY LOUISA V BINSWANGER PROBATE EXAMINER NOTES-SUBJECT TO REVISION AFTER REVIEW BY THE JUDGE Need appearances to report status Note: Per 7-21-2020 minute order, court ordered Atty. Verriere to file a status report by 10-6- 2020, with replies to be filed by 10-13-2020, if any. None has been filed. PROBATE EXAMINER NO...

  • Hearing

  • Judge

    George

  • County

    Contra Costa County, CA

FENGXIA HUAI VS CALIFORNIA INVESTMENT REGIONAL CENTER, LLC, ET AL.

On September 17, 2020, CIRC’s counsel Jing Wang (“Wang”) sent a letter to Yang, stating therein as follows: “I am in receipt of your letter of September 14, 2020, in which you offered to resolve the pending motion to quash deposition subpoena the Bank of America deposition subpoena by having the bank records produced under ‘ATTORNEY EYES ONLY’. . . I am willing to accept your offer of having the bank records produced to my office so that I might review them with my client.” (Id., ¶10, Exh. 8.)

  • Hearing

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

EVOLET ALEJANDRA PEREZ CASTILLO, ET AL. VS EBONI MONIQUE JONES

.: 18STCV06159 [TENTATIVE] (1) ORDER TAKING PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WITH SUBPOENA OFF-CALENDAR; (2) ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL Dept. 31 8:30 a.m. December 1, 2020 1. Motion to Enforce Subpoena Issued to Third-Party Plaintiffs, Evolet Alejandra Perez Castillo and Alejandra Sophia Perez Castillo filed this action against Defendant, Eboni Monique Jones for damages arising out of an automobile vs. pedestrian accident.

  • Hearing

ALMA JARAMILLO VS FARDAD FOROUZANPOUR, ET AL.

.: 19STCV17651 Hearing Date: December 1, 2020 [TENTATIVE] order RE: defendant’S Motion to compel compliance with subpoena Background Plaintiff Alma Jaramillo (“Plaintiff”) filed this medical malpractice case against Defendant Fardad Forouzanpour, D.O. (“Defendant”) following a medical procedure. Now, Defendant moves to compel Peak California Restaurant Group, LLC (“Deponent”), Plaintiff’s employer, to comply with a deposition subpoena. The unopposed motion is granted.

  • Hearing

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Medical Malpractice

JENNIFER LITTLE VS JONATHAN LOPEZ ET AL

As Defendant explains, the charge of $127.00 was for the service of a deposition subpoena for the deposition of Saul Martinez, a witness to the events related to the subject of this lawsuit. Both parties agree that Code of Civ. Proc. § 1033.5(a)(4) allows service of process as an allowable cost. The issue in dispute is whether service of a deposition subpoena is reasonable and necessary. (Balfour, Guthrie & Co. v. Gourmet Farms (1980) 108 Cal.App.3d 181, 191-192.)

  • Hearing

MARGARET KEYES VS LISA ZEDER, ET AL.

However, Defendant did not waive objections like Plaintiff contends. “...a party or witness may wait until the deposition and raise objections at that time to the form or content of the subpoena, or to demands for production of privileged documents, etc.” (Monarch Healthcare v. Superior Court (2000) 78 Cal.App.4th 1282, 1290, quoting Weil & Brown, Cal.Prac.Guide: Civ. Pro. Before Trial.)

  • Hearing

  • Type

    Business

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

FORTIS CAPITAL LENDING, INC. V. TITAN MUTUAL LENDING, INC.

Motion No. 2: Based on Defendant’s (Victor Loo) Notice of Withdrawal of Motion to Quash Subpoena of Goldome Warehouse Lending and Motion to Quash Subpoena of Nexbank (filed on 7-10-20 under ROA No. 101), Defendant’s Motion to Quash or Modify Subpoena (filed on 6-1-20 under ROA No. 93, and scheduled for hearing on 11-24-20) is off calendar.

  • Hearing

STOLLER V. GENERAL MOTORS LLC

Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.480, states, in part, “(a) If a deponent fails to answer any question or to produce any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing under the deponent’s control that is specified in the deposition notice or a deposition subpoena, the party seeking discovery may move the court for an order compelling that answer or production. [¶] (b) This motion shall be made no later than 60 days after the completion of the record of the deposition, and shall be accompanied

  • Hearing

CITY NATIONAL BANK, A NATIONAL BANKING ASSOCIATION VS ALINA YALANSKA, IN HER CAPACITY AS EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF BARRY K. ROTHMAN, ET AL.

Finally, Yalanski’s subpoena to Bank did not cover the dates when the Note, Security Agreement, and UCC-1 weree executed. Id. While Bank erred in accelerating the Note upon Rothman’s death, no prejudice appears to have resulted because other defaults occurred. b. Duty to Pay Claims on Priority Basis Finally, Yalanksi argues that she cannot give Bank a priority over other creditors under the Probate Code. Opp. at 2.

  • Hearing

ALFRED SOLORIA VS RICHARD J ROSIAK ET AL

MOTION AS TO THE GREENBERG SDT California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1987.1(a) states that if a subpoena requires the attendance of a witness or the production of books, documents, electronically stored information, or other things before a court, or at the trial of an issue therein, or at the taking of a deposition, the court, upon motion reasonably made may make an order quashing the subpoena entirely, or modifying it.

  • Hearing

ANGELA R. THOMAS V. BRIAN GILPIN, ET AL.

PAUL requests judicial notice of Plaintiff’s complaint, her proposed first amended complaint (PFAC), the Declaration of Suzanne Foley in Support of Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file her PFAC, the subpoena issued to Plaintiff for PAUL’s preliminary hearing, the transcript of said preliminary hearing, an article from the Vacaville Police Department’s website, and an article from The Daily Republic newspaper.

  • Hearing

MATTHEW BODIFORD VS. BETTY LEWIS,

Motion to Compel Compliance with Deposition Records Subpoena to Liberty Executive Admin., Inc. TENTATIVE RULING Plaintiff’s’ Motion to Compel Liberty Executive Admin., Inc. to Comply with The Deposition Records Subpoena previously served upon it is denied.

  • Hearing

BARBARA DARWISH VS. DENNIS P RILEY

(“API”) should not be held in contempt for its failure to comply with the Court’s January 3, 2020 Order compelling API’s compliance with Defendants’ deposition subpoena for production of business records and request for sanctions against API in the amount of $3,060. The motion is unopposed. DISCUSSION Defendants provide that API was notified of the Court’s January 3, 2020 order requiring API to comply with the deposition subpoena and produce documents responsive to request nos. 1, 2, and 5.

  • Hearing

STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY VS MARK ALAN SOBAY

A judge may make an order quashing, modifying, or directing compliance with a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum, on a motion reasonably made by a party, the witness, or the judge, on the terms and conditions the judge declares, including protective orders. (Code Civ.

  • Hearing

NANCY RAUEN, AN INDIVIDUAL VS K&K FOODS, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, ET AL.

Sanctions – The Court will award sanctions to Defendants in the amount of $2,835.00. --- Standard of Review – Quash – CCP § 1987.1 grants the trial court authority to quash a subpoena when necessary.

  • Hearing

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES VS HON. ALEX VILLANUEVA, ET AL.

Issue No.1: The Nature of the Subpoena Respondent contends that the Subpoena was a PMK subpoena and did not require his personal attendance at the Commission meeting on May 21, 2020. The Subpoena is attached as Exhibit A to the declaration of Max Huntsman in support of the Petition.

  • Hearing

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

ALEXANDER ROSTECK VS SANDY ALPRECHT

However, the scope of RFP 6 and the subpoena differs in that the subpoena also seeks “accounting” and “business” records, in addition to communications. Nevertheless, the Court notes that the date indicated on the Notice to Consumer of subpoena is February 12, 2020. The proof of service attached to the subpoena is devoid of dates. In a Notice of Errata filed March 30, 2020, counsel for Plaintiff asserts that the Notice to Consumer was erroneously dated “2/23/2020” and not “3/23/2020.”

  • Hearing

JAMES, ET AL. V. SOVELLA, ET AL.

Legal Standard If a deponent fails to answer a deposition question or produce documents or things designated in the deposition notice or subpoena, the examiner may either complete the examination on other matters or adjourn the deposition. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2025.460, subd. (e); 2025.480, subd. (a).) The motion to compel must be accompanied by a declaration stating facts showing “a reasonable and good faith attempt at an informal resolution of each issue presented by the motion.” (Code Civ.

  • Hearing

JACQUELINE PEREZ VS MARIA ANGELICA CANEDO

MOTION TO QUASH DEPOSITION SUBPOENA Plaintiff moves to quash 3 deposition subpoenas for her medical and billing records issued on: (1) Kaiser Permanent/Southern California: “Complete documents, from 08/27/2007 to the present, including but not limited to any records/documents that may be stored digitally and/or electronically: All forms/questionnaires completed by, or on behalf of, the patient, documents, correspondence, correspondence from the patient or patient's attorney, intake forms, medical reports,

  • Hearing

  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

ARTHUR AMBARACHYAN VS GEORGE PLAVJIAN, ET AL.

The deposition subpoena documents do not state who the bank account no. 157500565542 belongs to. At this point, the Court will assume based on the preponderance of the evidence before it, that the account belongs to KSR, the suspended corporation. Plavjian has failed to provide any information showing the he is the owner of the account or that it contains his private transactions. The Court will allow the production of documents pursuant to the deposition subpoena.

  • Hearing

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

LISA POTTER, AN INDIVIDUAL, ET AL. VS KEVIN WONG, AN INDIVIDUAL

LEGAL STANDARD California Code of Civil Procedure section 1987.1, subdivision (a) states, “[i]f a subpoena requires the attendance of a witness or the production of books, documents, or other things before a court, or at the trial of an issue therein, or at the taking of a deposition, the court, upon motion reasonably made by any person described in subdivision (b), or upon the court’s own motion after giving counsel notice and an opportunity to be heard, may make an order quashing the subpoena entirely, modifying

  • Hearing

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