Discovery Statutes Violations Consequences In California

In Laguna Auto Body v. Farmers Ins. Exchange (1991) 231 Cal. App. 3d 481 [282 Cal. Rptr. 530] (disapproved on other grounds in Garcia v. McCutchen (1997) 16 Cal. 4th 469, 478, fn. 4 [66 Cal. Rptr. 2d 319, 940 P.2d 906]), the trial court dismissed plaintiffs' action as a sanction for failing to comply with a discovery order and for violating various discovery statutes. The trial court ordered plaintiffs to answer interrogatories and provide requested documents, which they failed to do. (Laguna, supra, 231 Cal. App. 3d at pp. 484-485, 488.) Defendants extended the deadline for the responses and the production, but plaintiffs failed to comply. Defendants filed, inter alia, a motion to dismiss, which the trial court granted. (Id. at pp. 484-486.) The court observed: "In this case it was continued wilful violations of the discovery statutes embodied in the Code of Civil Procedure which prompted the court's order dismissing the action." (Id. at p. 490.) Furthermore, the court stated, "The issue in this case is whether the trial court abused its discretion in dismissing the action . . . . Substantial evidence supports the trial court's conclusion that appellants wilfully obstructed discovery, failed to honor their stipulation with counsel that they would comply with discovery, and defied the court's order to answer all interrogatories and produce all documents by September 29. There was no abuse of discretion in dismissing the action." (Id. at p. 491.)