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Sophia Cardona v. County of San Joaquin et al

September 14, 2012

SOPHIA CARDONA, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLANT,
v.
COUNTY OF SAN JOAQUIN ET AL., DEFENDANTS AND RESPONDENTS.



(Super. Ct. No. CV035151)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Butz , J.

Cardon v. County of San Joaquin

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Based on plaintiff Sophia Cardona's failure to obey a discovery order to produce documents at her deposition, the trial court imposed a terminating sanction and dismissed her action. Finding no abuse of discretion on the trial court's part, we shall affirm the judgment of dismissal. We will proceed straight to our discussion, setting forth the factual background there.

DISCUSSION

On appeal, Cardona contends the trial court abused its discretion in imposing a terminating sanction because the documents not produced were privileged, and such a sanction cannot be imposed as a punishment for past violations.

A. Background

Cardona sued defendant San Joaquin County (and related officials; collectively, the County) for wrongful termination and sexual harassment, after the County terminated her in March 2007 from a probationary position as a correctional officer trainee with the County's Sheriff's Department. The County alleges Cardona cheated on an employment examination. Cardona claims that allegation is pretextual. Cardona is on her third amended complaint.

The County sent Cardona a deposition notice, with an attached request to produce documents, for August 17, 2010. Prior to the deposition, Cardona, in a written objection, set forth the same eight boilerplate objections to every document requested.

At the August 17 deposition, Cardona produced not a single document, and admitted she had not even reviewed the document request or conducted any document search.

After Cardona's counsel failed to respond to the County's meet-and-confer letter regarding the document production, the County moved successfully on November 30, 2010, for a document production order (at a continued deposition) and for monetary sanctions of over $2,700 against Cardona and her counsel (to be paid within 30 days). The trial court's November 30 order stated as pertinent: "[Cardona] is ordered to produce all documents and tangible things in her possession, custody or control that are responsive to [the County's] deposition notice and attached demand for documents, without objection." (Italics added.)

Cardona petitioned this court on December 21, 2010, for a writ of mandate or prohibition regarding the ordered document production, again claiming privilege. We ...


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