California’s Civil Discovery Act applies to California Public Records Act proceedings, but trial courts should manage discovery tightly in those proceedings. The Civil Discovery Act applies to all civil actions and to all special proceedings of a civil nature unless otherwise specified by statute. This decision holds that under that general rule, the Discovery Act applies to proceedings under the California Public Records Act. However, trial courts retain discretion to manage discovery and should do so in CPRA actions in light of federal cases which limit discovery in FOIA actions. Under the federal cases, if the agency provides a detailed factual basis in support of its decision to withhold documents, discovery is allowed only if the plaintiff makes a sufficient showing of bad faith or provides tangible evidence that records have been withheld improperly.
California Court of Appeal , Second District, Division 7 (Zelon, Acting P.J.); March 2, 2017; 2017 WL 818366