Request for Production of Documents, RPOD, CCP 2031.280

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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Starting from January 1, 2020, civil litigants in California are subjected to more rigorous requirements when responding to request for production of documents. The revised California Code of Civil Procedure mandates that “any documents or categories of documents furnished in compliance with a request for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling must be tagged with the precise request number they correspond to” as per Cal. Civ. Pro. § 2031.280(a). This represents a significant shift from the previous regulation, where it was acceptable to produce documents in the manner they are usually stored in the course of business. The updated rule is applicable to all ongoing cases in California, even those that were initiated before the effective date of the amendment, January 1, 2020.

CCP § 2031.280

(a) Any documents or category of documents produced in response to a demand for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling shall be identified with the specific request number to which the documents respond.

(b) The documents shall be produced on the date specified in the demand pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 2031.030, unless an objection has been made to that date. If the date for inspection has been extended pursuant to Section 2031.270, the documents shall be produced on the date agreed to pursuant to that section.

(c) If a party responding to a demand for production of electronically stored information objects to a specified form for producing the information, or if no form is specified in the demand, the responding party shall state in its response the form in which it intends to produce each type of information.

(d) Unless the parties otherwise agree or the court otherwise orders, the following shall apply:

(1) If a demand for production does not specify a form or forms for producing a type of electronically stored information, the responding party shall produce the information in the form or forms in which it is ordinarily maintained or in a form that is reasonably usable.

(2) A party need not produce the same electronically stored information in more than one form.

(e) If necessary, the responding party at the reasonable expense of the demanding party shall, through detection devices, translate any data compilations included in the demand into reasonably usable form.

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