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Local Rules of Court San Francisco Superior Court Rule 10

Rule 10 – Discovery and Civil Miscellaneous

10.0 Discovery and Other Hearings by Commissioners.

Call (415) 551-4000 (press 1, 3, 1) for the complete Discovery Guidelines.
A. The following matters are heard in the Discovery Departments:
1. Discovery Matters. Discovery matters in limited and unlimited
jurisdiction cases (except cases assigned to a judge for all purposes and
cases assigned to a department for trial, unless the assigned judge
determines otherwise) are presided over by commissioners sitting as
temporary judges or by any other judicial officer assigned by the Presiding
Judge. Discovery matters include the following:
a. all matters arising under or related to the Civil Discovery Act
(CCP §§ 2016 et seq.) except civil contempt by a nonparty. In the
case of civil contempt by a nonparty, the order to show cause is
obtained and the hearing is set in the Law and Motion Department;
b. matters relating to the production and preservation of evidence
arising under the production of evidence provisions (CCP §§ 1985
et seq.);
c. matters relating to discovery arising under judicial arbitration
provisions (CCP § 1141.24) including the cutoff and reopening of
d. motions for the discovery of information relating to punitive
damages pursuant to Civil Code § 3295(c);
e. matters relating to the appointment of a referee for the conduct of
discovery proceedings (CCP §§ 638 et seq.);
f. post-judgment discovery motions.
2. Pretrial Motions.
a. Writs of Attachment. All matters, including temporary restraining
orders, claims of exemption and third party claims arising under or
relating to the attachment provisions (CCP §§ 481.010 et seq.)
b. Claim and Delivery of Personal Property (CCP §§ 511.010 et seq.)
3. Post Trial Motions. All matters, other than contempt proceedings,
relating to or arising under the Enforcement of Money Judgments
provisions (CCP §§ 695.010 et seq.). Such matters include homeowners
exemptions, claims of exemption and third party claims.
4. Additional motions assigned by the Presiding Judge.
B. Assignment by Case Number to a Department.
1. Except as provided in subsection B(2) and B(3) below, all odd-numbered
cases are assigned to Department 612, and all even-numbered cases are
assigned to Department 610. However, if the Presiding Judge has
determined that a case is related to another case or cases, all such related
cases will be assigned to the discovery department to which the earliest-
filed case has been assigned, or as the Presiding Judge may direct.
Consolidated cases are heard in the discovery department to which the
lowest-numbered case is assigned. The commissioner sitting in the
department to which a case is assigned under this rule is referred to as the
"assigned commissioner" and acts as a temporary judge.
Local Rules of Court San Francisco Superior Court Rule 10

2. If a party in good faith believes that a particular motion should be heard

within a certain time, and the assigned commissioner is unavailable to hear
the motion within such time, the party may set the matter to be heard by
another commissioner, submitting a declaration stating the reasons that the
motion should be heard within that time frame by another commissioner.
The commissioner may either hear the motion or, upon finding that the
matter should properly be heard by the assigned commissioner, order that
the hearing take place before the assigned commissioner on another date.
3. In cases assigned to a single judge, the judge may order that all discovery
motions, or designated discovery motions, be heard by a commissioner
rather than by the judge.
C. Calendaring.
1. Noticed motions. All noticed motions to be heard in the discovery
department, and ex parte applications for writs of attachment, writs of
possession, and protective orders, must be calendared with the clerk in the
Discovery Department between the hours of 9 a.m. and 12 Noon, Monday
through Friday, by calling (415) 551-4000 (press 1, 3, 3). Hearings will be
scheduled at either 9:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday.
Current calendaring information and commissioner assignments are
available in the San Francisco legal newspapers.
2. Ex parte applications. Ex parte applications (except ex parte applications
for writs of attachment, writs of possession and protective orders) are
heard at 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. The moving party should
appear in Room 633 with proof that notice has been given in conformity
with CRC rule 379, a file-endorsed copy of the application and supporting
papers, and a separate proposed order. The moving party must attempt to
obtain a stipulation from opposing counsel regarding the relief requested.
D. Stipulation to Commissioners.
1. A party is deemed to stipulate that all matters heard in the Discovery
Department may be heard and disposed of by a Commissioner, acting as a
temporary judge, by failing to file an objection in writing within thirty
(30) days after the first pleading is filed in the action by that party, or at
the first hearing on a motion heard in the Discovery Department, if heard
before the expiration of the thirty (30) days.
2. A party refusing to stipulate to a hearing before a commissioner acting as
a temporary judge may:
a. submit the motion on the papers without oral argument, or
b. present oral argument before the commissioner. Without further
briefing or oral argument, the law and motion judge, or another
judge assigned to hear the matter, must make a determination on
the motion and issue an order.
E. Court Reporters. Departments 610 and 612 do not provide the services of a
certified Court reporter. To obtain a reporter or a recording of the proceedings to
provide an official verbatim transcript, the party desiring a recording or official
verbatim transcript must obtain the services of a certified reporter to attend and
report the hearing as set forth in CRC §2.956.

Local Rules of Court San Francisco Superior Court Rule 10

F. Informal Resolution of Discovery Disputes. If during the course of a deposition

or other discovery a dispute arises that cannot be resolved after good faith efforts
by the parties, a party may initiate a conference call to the assigned commissioner.
If the assigned commissioner is available, an informal telephonic conference may
be held in an attempt to resolve the dispute. If the assigned commissioner is not
available and all parties present at the deposition so agree, the parties may initiate
a conference call to the other commissioner in the Discovery Department in an
attempt to resolve the dispute.
G. Identification of Papers. The word “DISCOVERY’ must be typed in capital
letters on the title page of all papers relating to motions heard in Departments 610
and 612. Such papers should not be combined with papers relating to motions to
be heard in other departments.

10.1 Interpreters.
A. Notice. A party desiring to use an interpreter must give notice to the Court and all
other parties. That party must make arrangements for the presence and the
payment of the interpreter.
B. Qualifications. Unless the interpreter is an Official Court Interpreter, the
interpreter's name and qualifications must be provided to the Court and opposing
counsel five (5) Court days prior to the date of the interpreter's appearance.
Otherwise no prior disclosure is required.

10.2 Custody of Papers; Removal of Exhibits. No papers, documents or exhibits on file in

the office of the clerk of this Court may be taken from the custody of the clerk except as
set forth here. A judicial officer may order any exhibit be returned to the witness or party
by whom it was produced, after the substitution of a photostat copy therefore. The order
may dispense with such substitution (1) in the case of an original record, paper or object
taken from the custody of a public officer which is being returned to that officer, or (2) in
the case of an exhibit used only against a party whose default has been entered, or (3)
when a photostat copy is impracticable, in which case a receipt must be given, or (4) by
stipulation. The application for such an order must be supported by a declaration stating
all the pertinent facts, except where it is made on stipulation.

Rule 10 amended effective July 1, 2006; adopted July 1, 1998; amended effective July 1,
2001; amended effective January 1, 2003.