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W. Pico Furniture Co. v. Superior Court

Supreme Court of California

August 3, 1961

L. A. No. 26171

Opinion

 [*413]  [**297]  [***121]    This is a proceeding in mandate seeking to compel respondent court to set aside its order sustaining objections to certain interrogatories propounded by petitioner to Pacific Finance Loans, the real party in interest (hereafter referred to as "Pacific"). The order was made in a pending action brought by petitioner against Pacific alleging that certain transactions between the parties in the form of sales were in reality loans to petitioner at usurious rates of interest. Pacific denied and cross-complained, alleging that, by reason [****2]  of default by the vendees on a large number of conditional sales contracts purchased by it from petitioner, a substantial sum of money was owed to it. Petitioner counterclaimed, alleging a violation by Pacific of the Personal Property Brokers Law ( Fin. Code, § 22000 et seq.). Pacific answered some of the interrogatories, and filed objections to the balance. On the hearing, the respondent court overruled a portion of the objections and sustained the objections to interrogatories 4, 6a through 6g, inclusive, 6j, 6k, and 7. The portion of the order sustaining the objections is here under attack. Before considering petitioner's attack on the order, consideration should first be given to certain arguments advanced by Pacific in support of the order.

Pacific first contends that, when an order made under the provisions of section 2030 of the Code of Civil Procedure comes before an appellate court for review, the party who filed and relied on objections in the trial court may urge new and additional objections not urged below. 1 CA(1)(1)  This contention is based on the general rule that ] an order or judgment of a trial court will be sustained, without regard to the reasons  [*414]  given [****3]  by that court, if adequate grounds existed for the making of that order or judgment. This is undoubtedly sound law. But to invoke that rule the grounds relied on must have existed at the time the order was made in the trial court. CA(2)(2)  This condition precedent does not here exist. This is so because section 2030 provides that a party upon whom interrogatories have been served must serve and file answers under oath within 15 days after service unless he has, within 10 days after such service, filed written objections thereto together with a notice of hearing. n1a There is no provision for the subsequent filing of objections. When Pacific filed its objections and noticed the same for hearing, and 10 days from the date of original service had elapsed, it could not, in the absence of a showing of good cause for relief from default, file further objections. It follows that the only grounds that existed at  [**298]   [***122]  the time the trial court made its order, and on which it could then predicate the same, were the grounds stated in Pacific's objections as originally filed. CA(3)(3)  This court may not consider the objections to the several interrogatories which Pacific has raised for [****4]  the first time in this proceeding. 2

 [****5]   CA(4)(4)  The second general contention made by Pacific is that petitioner has failed to show that the trial court abused its discretion, and therefore is not entitled to relief.  Undoubtedly, as pointed out in the Greyhound case, supra, ] the trial court  [*415]  has considerable discretion in matters pertaining to discovery. It is equally true that such discretion will not be set aside in the absence of abuse. CA(5)(5)  The proper rule was stated in Ryan v. Superior Court, 186 Cal.App.2d 813, 816-817 [9 Cal.Rptr. 147], as follows:

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56 Cal. 2d 407 *; 364 P.2d 295 **; 15 Cal. Rptr. 119 ***; 1961 Cal. LEXIS 304 ****

WEST PICO FURNITURE COMPANY OF LOS ANGELES, Petitioner, v. SUPERIOR COURT OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Respondent; PACIFIC FINANCE LOANS, Real Party in Interest

Subsequent History:  [****1]  The Petition of the Real Party in Interest for a Rehearing was Denied August 30, 1961. McComb, J., did not Participate Therein.

Prior History: PROCEEDING in mandamus to compel the Superior Court of Los Angeles County to set aside an order sustaining objections to interrogatories.

Disposition: Writ granted.

CORE TERMS

interrogatory, trial court, discovery, inspection, oppression, transactions, grounds, documents, answers, parties, depositions, subdivision, employees, conditional sales contract, subject matter, questions, default, records, toto

Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, General Overview, Methods of Discovery, Interrogatories, Abuse of Discretion, Discovery & Disclosure, Criminal Law & Procedure, Abuse of Discretion, Depositions, Oral Depositions, Written Depositions, Discovery, Undue Burdens in Discovery, Inspection & Production Requests