Citing a Witness

| by Heather Duncan, Esq.

Under the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) Section 2025.480, if a deponent fails to answer any questions or to produce any document or tangible thing under the deponent’s control, the party seeking discovery may seek a court order to compel. 

Notice of the motion may be given by written notice after receipt of the transcript or orally at the deposition. If orally at the deposition, the procedure under CCP 2025.480 is as follows:

  1. The attorney will put his or her notice of motion on the record directing the deponent to attend a session of the court at a specified date, time and place.

  2. The court reporter will direct the deponent to attend the session of court at the time specified in the notice. This is known as “citing the witness” and may be done with a very simple statement to the witness, e.g.

    “Mr. Jones, at the request of__________, you are required to attend the court session on _____, at____ a.m., in department/division__ of the _______Court located at ___________, to answer the following questions:”

Keep in mind that the witness may be cited by the reporter only after the notice of motion has been made on the record.

The moving party must lodge a certified copy of the relevant portions of the transcript of the deposition not less than five days prior to the hearing on the motion. Therefore, it is important to set the hearing date far enough in advance that the transcript will be prepared, or to request that the transcript be expedited.

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