O'Brien v. Superior Court for Alameda County

Decision Date02 April 1965
Citation43 Cal.Rptr. 815,233 Cal.App.2d 388
CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
PartiesJack Michael O'BRIEN, Petitioner, v. The SUPERIOR COURT of the State of California FOR the COUNTY OF ALAMEDA, Respondent, Benny TROEDEL, Real Party in Interest. Civ. 22457.

Cresswell & Davis, Oakland, for petitioner.

No appearance for respondent or real party in interest.

SIMS, Justice.

This matter is before the court upon a petition for writ of prohibition in which petitioner seeks relief from an order of respondent court granting the motion of the real party in interest to compel petitioner to give further answers to certain interrogatories. An alternative writ of prohibition issued but no return was made thereto by the real party in interest of anyone else, and the only appearance at the hearing was on behalf of petitioner.

The facts reflect that this matter arises out of an action filed by Benny Troedel, the real party in interest, to recover damages for personal injuries allegedly incurred in a three-vehicle accident, in which petitioner and others are named as defendants. On September 17, 1964, plaintiff mailed interrogatories directed to petitioner to the latter's attorney pursuant to the provisions of section 2030 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The original interrogatories were filed with the court on September 21, 1964. On October 8, 1964 petitionre's answers to the foregoing interrogatories were mailed to plaintiff, and the originals thereof were filed with the court on October 9, 1964. 1

On October 27, 1964, more than fifteen days after service of the answers, the plaintiff mailed his notice of motion and motion to compel further answers to interrogatories. This instrument which failed to fix a date of hearing was filed with respondent court on October 28, 1964. Thereafter, on October 29 plaintiff mailed, and filed the following day, an amended instrument setting the motion for hearing on November 6, 1964. At that time petitioner among other objections, raised the provisions of section 2030 of the Code of Civil Procedure reading as follows: 'If the party who has submitted the interrogatories deems that further response is required, he may move the court for an order requiring further response. Such motion must be upon on notice given within fifteen (15) days from date of service of the answers or objections. Otherwise, the party submitting the interrogatories shall be deemed to have waived the right to compel answer pursuant to this section.' Despite the fact that no showing to justify or show good cause for failure to comply with the foregoing provisions was produced by real party in interest, the respondent court overruled petitioner's objections and made the order which he seeks to have vacated.

The statutory language appears to be mandatory. In the absence of any showing to the contrary it is unnecessary to decide whether or not a party may be relieved of failure to make a timely motion, or under what circumstances such relief might be granted. The conclusion that failure to move for further answers within the statutory time forecloses further relief is supported by the rule which requires a party to make his objections to the interrogatories within the statutory time, or be thereafter precluded from asserting them. (Coy v. Superior Court (1962) 58 Cal.2d 210, 216, 23 Cal.Rptr. 393, 373 P.2d 457; West Pico Furniture Co. v. Superior Court (1961) 56 Cal.2d 407, 414, 15 Cal.Rptr. 119, 364 P.2d 295; and Durst v. Superior Court (1963) 218 Cal.App.2d 460, 467, 32 Cal.Rptr. 627.)

Authority exists for the use of the prerogative writs to review interim orders in discovery cases. Mandamus is generally resorted to where the trial court has abused its discretion in denying or restraining discovery. (Coy v. Superior Court, supra, 58 Cal.2d 210, 216, 23 Cal.Rptr. 393, 373 P.2d 547; West Pico Furniture Co. v. Superior Court, supra, 56 Cal.2d 407, 415, 15 Cal.Rptr. 119, 364 P.2d 295; Durst v. Superior Court, supra, 218 Cal.App.2d 460, 464, 32 Cal.Rptr. 627; and see Carlson v. Superior Court (1961) 56 Cal.2d 431, 435-436, 15 Cal.Rptr. 132, 364 P.2d 308; Singer v. Superior Court (1960) 54 Cal.2d 318, 327, 5 Cal.Rptr. 697, 353 P.2d 305; and Dowell v. Superior Court (1956) 47 Cal.2d 483, 486-487, 304 P.2d 1009.) Prohibition has been sought where it is alleged that the lower court has abused its discretion in permitting or ordering further discovery. (Oceanside Union School Dist. v. Superior Court (1962) 58 Cal.2d 180, 185, 23 Cal.Rptr. 375, 373 P.2d 439; Greyhound Corp. v. Superior Court (1961) 56 Cal.2d 355, 368, fn. 1, 15 Cal.Rptr. 90, 364 P.2d 266; Twin Lock, Inc. v. Superior Court (1959) 52 Cal.2d 754, 758, 344 P.2d 788; and Gene Compton's Corp. v. Superior Court (1962) 205 Cal.App.2d 365, 381, 23 Cal.Rptr. 250.) Here, as in Twin Lock supra, petitioner's failure to comply with the order of the court may subject him to the sanctions imposed by section 2034 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and a review of the order on appeal from final judgment in the case will be of no utility. He is entitled to a peremptory writ of prohibition restraining respondent court from any further proceedings on the abortive notices of...

To continue reading

Request your trial
8 cases
  • Deyo v. Kilbourne
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • June 21, 1978
    ...a timely motion to compel further answers. (See Code of Civil Procedure, Sections 2030(a), and 2034(a). See O'Brien v. Superior Court, 233 Cal.App.2d 388, 43 Cal.Rptr. 815 (1965).) Where no answers or objections are on file when the motion is made, the court may entertain the motion for san......
  • Pacific Tel. & Tel. Co. v. Superior Court
    • United States
    • California Supreme Court
    • March 13, 1970
    ...of the propriety of that order.'; Poeschl v. Superior Court (1964) 229 Cal.App.2d 383, 40 Cal.Rptr. 697; O'Brien v. Superior Court (1965) 233 Cal.App.2d 388, 390, 43 Cal.Rptr. 815.) We realize, of course, that this practice rests primarily on a legitimate concern with the inadequacies of a ......
  • Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft v. Superior Court
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • September 23, 1981
    ...Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft v. Superior Court (1973) 33 Cal.App.3d 503, 508, 109 Cal.Rptr. 219; O'Brien v. Superior Court (1965) 233 Cal.App.2d 388, 391-392, 43 Cal.Rptr. 815; cf. also Witkin, Cal. Evidence (2d ed. 1966) §§ 1050-1051, pp. 958-961; Annot. (1964) 95 A.L.R.2d 1229, 1232-......
  • Karz v. Karl
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • November 22, 1982
    ...thus established is mandatory and if it is not met the court's order is "in excess of its jurisdiction." (O'Brien v. Superior Court (1965) 233 Cal.App.2d 388, 391-392, 43 Cal.Rptr. 815; Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978) 84 Cal.App.3d 771, 788, 149 Cal.Rptr. Karz' answers to defendants' interrogatori......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT