California Family Law Attorney

THURMAN'S DIVORCE DISCOVERY TIPS

CA Code of Civil Procedure Section 2031.010

Using "Demands for Production" In Family Law Cases

Production requests are an essential tool for obtaining critical documentary and written evidence from the other spouse in marital dissolutions and legal separations, but this device is available to parties in any kind of family law (or other civil) proceeding. About ten years ago the California Discovery Act was rewritten to renumber all of the discovery code sections to separate out the various rules applicable to production demands, but they all begin with the numerals 2031 followed by a decimal, and then three more numbers. I don't reproduce them all here, and while I add as many statutes that are useful to family law litigants regularly, it takes ... well, a lot of time. I've tried to prioritize getting the critical codes and statutes up before sweeping back through to add ones of lesser immediate importance. For now, please let me introduce you to Code of Civil Procedure section 2031.010,which is the first in the 2031 series.

In contrast to interrogatories and requests for admission, which are limited to 35 questions as a "matter of right", there is no limit on demands for production. However, it is never wise to overwhelm the other party with dozens of requests in one sitting. I prefer to send these out in stages because this is likely to improve the quality and thoroughness of the other side's production (i.e., 2 sets of 20 questions rather than 1 set of 40 or more which seems oppressive and leads to objections).

For a detailed article on my Enlightened Divorce Blog™ outlining rules that relate production requests, how to draft them, and what you might want to ask for - especially for where spousal support, child support or partner support are issues in a marital or domestic partnership dissolution - please see "What Should A Production Demand Request for Spousal Support Purposes?" You can obtain some good ideas for the types of information that might assist you if a family business needs to be valued. It should also give someone in any State helpful ideas for what to ask for even if the code sections and procedural rules themselves are different.

We have shared exemplars and templates in our form library for production requests - click here!

For articles about demands for inspection and demands for production, visit us here!


CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

INSPECTION AND PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS,

TANGIBLE THINGS, LAND, AND OTHER PROPERTY

C.C.P. Section 2031.010

(a) Any party may obtain discovery within the scope delimited by Chapters 2 (commencing with Section 2017.010) and 3 (commencing with Section 2017.710), and subject to the restrictions set forth in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 2019.010), by inspecting, copying, testing, or sampling documents, tangible things, land or other property, and electronically stored information in the possession, custody, or control of any other party to the action.

(b) A party may demand that any other party produce and permit the party making the demand, or someone acting on that party's behalf, to inspect and to copy a document that is in the possession, custody, or control of the party on whom the demand is made.

(c) A party may demand that any other party produce and permit the party making the demand, or someone acting on that party's behalf, to inspect and to photograph, test, or sample any tangible things that are in the possession, custody, or control of the party on whom the demand is made.

(d) A party may demand that any other party allow the party making the demand, or someone acting on that party's behalf, to enter on any land or other property that is in the possession, custody, or control of the party on whom the demand is made, and to inspect and to measure, survey, photograph, test, or sample the land or other property, or any designated object or operation on it.

(e) A party may demand that any other party produce and permit the party making the demand, or someone acting on that party's behalf, to inspect, copy, test, or sample electronically stored information in the possession, custody, or control of the party on whom demand is made.