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Discovery: Requests for Production of Documents or Things

Requests for Production of Documents or Things

Requests for Production may be used to inspect and copy documents or tangible items held by the other party. Generally, a request for production asks the responding party to make available the original documents, but a requesting party may permit photocopies of the requested documents be sent instead, if inspection of the original document is not necessary. Requests for inspection can also be used to test, measure, photograph, etc., physical evidence in the other party's possession or control.

California law places strict limits on the number of discovery requests a party can make. In a limited civil case (cases less than $25,000) you may ask each party only 35 questions total, whether they are form interrogatories, special interrogatories, requests for admission, or requests for production of documents. Keep this limit in mind when writing your requests, to ensure that you are able to obtain all the information you'll need for your case. If you ask the other party to produce 35 types of documents, you will not be able to serve any interrogatories or request any admissions. If you determine that you cannot obtain all the necessary information in 35 requests, you must file a motion with the court asking for permission to propound more discovery requests (California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) § 95), or may even request that the court remove the case from the discovery restrictions of a limited civil case altogether (CCP § 91). See the sources listed at the end of this Guide for more information.

In an unlimited civil case (cases for more than $25,000), each party may make an unlimited number of requests for production. These requests, like the requests in a limited civil case, must all be reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of relevant, admissible evidence. If the number of demands made by the requesting party are abusive, the responding party may file a motion requesting a protective order (CCP § 2031.060).


There is no Judicial Council form for this procedure. Instead, the relevant document must be typed on 28-line pleading paper. A customizable template may be downloaded from this link:

Click below to download a step-by-step guide with sample forms and instructions:

 Discovery: Request for Production of Documents or Things, Step by Step