The trust accounting had been filed with the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Central Judicial District, but I had many questions concerning the entries on the accounting. What to do?
Under California law, all of the common discovery tools available in civil litigation (depositions, interrogatories, request for production of documents) are available in litigation before the probate court, including trust litigation ( California Probate Code §1000). While sometimes more expensive, a deposition is usually the quickest way to get answers to questions. For those who don’t know, a deposition has the witness (deponent) swear an oath just as if they were testifying in court under penalty of perjury (California Code of Civil Procedure §2025.330). Another discovery technique (less expensive but not as quick) is to serve written questions that also have to be answered under oath (called interrogatories; California Code of Civil Procedure §2030.010) and await the response. In this case, I started out with interrogatories.
Once I received the responses to the interrogatories, it was clear to both sides that my client would prevail at hearing. More in my next post.