Is Discovery Closes After a Motion to Strike Is Filed ?
Generally, discovery is closed once a special motion to strike under Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16 has been filed. ( 425.16, subd. (g).)
However, the trial court may allow discovery limited to the issues raised by the special motion to strike upon "a timely and proper showing in response to the motion to strike . . . ." (Lafayette Morehouse, Inc. v. Chronicle Publishing Co. (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 855, 868 (Lafayette Morehouse).)
The "proper showing" includes "good cause" for the requested discovery. ( 425.16, subd. (g).)
"We review for abuse of discretion the trial court's decision as to whether a plaintiff has complied with the requirements of section 425.16, subdivision (g) to merit discovery prior to a hearing on the motion to strike. " (Tuchscher Development Enterprises, Inc. v. San Diego Unified Port Dist. (2003) 106 Cal.App.4th 1219, 1247 (Tuchscher Development Enterprises).)
As the Lafayette Morehouse court noted, liberality of leave to conduct limited discovery should be granted when the information sought by a request for limited discovery is within the particular knowledge of the defendant, its agents or employees. (Lafayette Morehouse, supra, 37 Cal.App.4th at p. 868.)
Similarly, in evaluating whether good cause exists for the discovery request, the court in The Garment Workers Center v. Superior Court (2004) 117 Cal.App.4th 1156 agreed that in assessing the need for the discovery requested, the trial court should consider to what extent the information sought is within the knowledge of the defendant, and also the degree of need for the discovery to meet the issues raised by the pending special motion to strike. (Id. at p. 1162; see also Metabolife Int'l., Inc. v. Wornick (S.D.Cal. 1999) 72 F. Supp. 2d 1160, affd. in part & revd. in part (9th Cir. 2001) 264 F.3d 832.)