1. What is the time limit to respond to interrogatories in California?
30 days to respond.
However, there are exceptions. In unlawful detainer actions, the response time is 5 days. The court can order responses in shorter time. You can move to extend the 30 day response time. If you need more time, you can always call the party who served interrogatories for an extension of time to respond.
2. What are the ways you can respond to interrogatories in California?
You can respond with sworn answers or you can move for a protective order. Either response is due within 3o days.
3. What are the consequences for not responding to interrogatories on time?
You waive your right to object and you can no longer produce writings in lieu of written responses.
CHECKLIST FOR FORMATTING ANSWERS TO INTERROGATORIES
If you have no basis to move for a protective order and no grounds for objection, then follow the checklist below for preparing your answer:
Step One: Answer in writing
Step Two: Identify who the responding party is.
Step Three: Identify who the propounding party is. (Propounding means the party that sent you the questions).
Step Four: Identify which set number of interrogatories you are responding to.
Step Five: Answer each interrogatory separately. Identify using the same number or letter which interrogatory you are responding to. The text of the interrogatory does not need to be repeated; however, I feel that it is courteous to do so.
Step Six: Verify your answer.
This checklist is based upon the California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 2030.210-2030.310. For information on preparing interrogatories, please see my earlier blog post here.
by Attorney Judith Elaine Hoover on 08/06/12
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