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California Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act

California has a number of formal acts in statute. Code of Civil Procedure Part 4, Title 4, Chapter 12, Article 1 provides the Interstate and International Depositions and Discovery Act, which is contained in Sections 2029.10 to 2029.900. Article 1 was added in 2008 by Chapter 231. Section 2029.100 names this Act.

Section 2029.200 provides definitions for the following terms: “foreign jurisdiction”; “foreign subpoena”; “person”; “state”; and, “subpoena.”

Section 2029.300 provides that, in order to request issuance of a subpoena under this section, a party is required to submit the original or a true and correct copy of a foreign subpoena to the clerk of the superior court in the county in which discovery is sought to be conducted in this state. A request for the issuance of a subpoena under this section does not constitute making an appearance in the courts of this state.

When a party submits a foreign subpoena to the clerk of the superior court, tthe clerk must promptly issue a subpoena for service upon the person to which the foreign subpoena is directed. And, a subpoena issued under this section must satisfy all of the five conditions.

Section 2029.350 provides that, if a party to a proceeding pending in a foreign jurisdiction retains an attorney licensed to practice in this state, who is an active member of the State Bar, and that attorney receives the original or a true and correct copy of a foreign subpoena, the attorney may issue a subpoena under this article. In addition, a subpoena issued under this section shall satisfy all of the five specified conditions.

Section 2029.390 requires the Judicial Council to prepare an application form to be used and to prepare one or more new subpoena forms that include clear instructions for use in issuance of a subpoena.

Section 2029.400 requires that a subpoena issued under this article must be personally served in compliance with the law of this state. Section 2029.500 provides that laws or court rules of this state governing a deposition, a production of documents or other tangible items, or an inspection of premises, including any law or court rule governing payment of court costs or sanctions, apply to discovery under this article.

Section 2029.600 specifies that, if a dispute arises relating to discovery under this article, any request for a protective order or to enforce, quash, or modify a subpoena, or for other relief may be filed in the superior court in the county in which discovery is to be conducted and, if so filed, shall comply with the applicable rules or statutes of this state.

Section 2029.610 requires a petitioner who is a part to the out-of-state processing, upon filing a petition, must pay a first appearance fee as specified.

Section 2029.620 provides that, if a petition has been filed and another dispute later arises relating to discovery being conducted in the same county for purposes of the same out-of-state proceeding, the deponent or other disputant may file a petition for appropriate relief in the same superior court as the previous petition.

Section 2029.630 specifies that a petition is subject to the requirements of existing law related to notice and to filing and service of papers. Section 2029.640 provides that, if a party to a proceeding pending in a foreign jurisdiction seeks discovery from a witness in this state by properly issued notice or by agreement, it is not necessary for that party to obtain a subpoena under this article to be able to seek relief.

Section 2029.650 provides that, if a superior court issues an order granting, denying, or otherwise resolving a petition, a person aggrieved by the order may petition the appropriate court of appeal for an extraordinary writ. No order or other action of a court under this article is appealable in this state.

Section 2029.700 provides that these sections may be referred to as the “California version of the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act.” In applying and construing this uniform act, consideration is to be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among the states that enact it.

Section 2029.800 specifies that this article applies to requests for discovery in cases pending on or after the operative date of this section. Section 2029.900 provides that this article is operative on January 1, 2010.

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