Van v. Language Line Services, Inc.

Trial court erred in awarding nearly $8000 in contempt sanctions against plaintiff/deponent for failure to appear at her deposition, since court had not actually ordered plaintiff to appear at the deposition. The trial court erred in assessing $7,713 in contempt sanctions against plaintiff for failing to show up at her duly noticed deposition.  Contempt sanctions are permissible only based on a clear, intentional violation of a specific, narrowly drawn order.  Here, the only order relating to the deposition was the court’s order denying plaintiff’s ex parte application to stay the originally scheduled deposition.  The order did not direct plaintiff to appear for the deposition, so she violated no court order by failing to appear, and thus contempt sanctions could not properly be awarded against her.

California Court of Appeal, Sixth District (Rushing, P.J.); January 24, 2017 (published February 1, 2017); 2017 WL 345139


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