Taking Notice

| by Heather Duncan, Esq.

In response to questions from our readers, this month we will review the basic rules for noticing a deposition in California State Court.

Deposition notices for cases filed in California State Courts are governed by the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) Sections 2025.010-2025.290.

In general, the defendant may notice a deposition without leave of court at any time after that defendant has either been served or has appeared in the action. The plaintiff may notice a deposition without leave of court 20 days after the service of summons or appearance by any defendant. On motion the court may grant plaintiff leave to notice a deposition on an earlier date. CCP §2025.210

The notice of deposition must be in writing and include the following:  

  • Location, date and time
  • Name of deponent and address/phone number if a non-party
  • Any materials to be produced
  • Intention to record by audio or video technology, or transcribe by stenographic method through instant visual display
  • Intention to reserve the right to use a video recording of a physician or any type of expert witness in lieu of live testimony
  • A statement disclosing the existence of a contract between the noticing party, or a third party who is financing all or part of the action.  CCP §2025.220

If the deponent is not a natural person, CCP §2025.320 requires that the notice must also include a description of all matters upon which examination will be requested.

Unless there is a stipulation or court order, the location of the deposition of a natural person must occur within 75 miles of the deponent’s residence, or within the county where the action is pending and within 150 miles of the deponent’s residence.

The location of the deposition of an organization that is a party to the action must occur either within 75 miles of the organizations’ principal executive or business office in California or within the county where the action is pending and within 150 miles of that office.  CCP §2025.250

The deposition must be scheduled at least 10 days after service of a deposition notice and if the deponent is served by subpoena, 20 days after issuance of the subpoena.

A deposition is the only discovery method in a civil case that may be used with a nonparty to the action. A deposition may be taken of any person, including any party to the action, a nonparty, a natural person, an organization such as a private or public corporation, an association, or a governmental agency.  CCP §2020.010.

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