If you are currently involved in a California civil case, you might have received some interrogatories from the other party in the case. Maybe these are form interrogatories published by the Judicial Council or special interrogatories that are unique to your case. Nevertheless, you might be wondering how long do you have to respond to these interrogatories?

The answer is found in Code of Civil Procedure Section 2030.260 which states:

within 30 days after service of interrogatories, the
party to whom the interrogatories are propounded shall serve the
original of the response to them on the propounding party, unless on
motion of the propounding party the court has shortened the time for
response, or unless on motion of the responding party the court has
extended the time for response.

So typically you have 30 days to respond. If you were served by mail, then you would have an extra 5 days to respond. It is important to keep in mind that time to respond is calculated from the date that the other party mailed you the interrogatories, not from the date that you received them. You would take a look at the proof of service included with the interrogatories that you received to find out when they were mailed by the other party. If the deadline for your response falls on a weekend or court holiday, then you have until the next business day to respond.

When I said typically you have 30 days to respond, this standard time for response can depend on the type of case. For example, in an unlawful detainer(eviction) case you usually only have 5 days to respond to interrogatories. Eviction cases move a lot faster than the usual civil case.

With that said, discovery rules can get very complicated. If you are trying to handle a civil case your own, it usually is a good idea to have help from an experienced attorney. After all, missing an important deadline to respond could result in significant harm to your case.

If you need help with a California civil case, feel free to give me a call at (510) 343-6299.

Good Luck,

Leon H. Rountree III
Attorney at law