I know all the usual caveats about asking for legal-type advice here, but I just need a little help in sorting out what’s considered “evidence” for a court trial in order to respond to a “Request for Statement of Witnesses and Evidence”
Simply put - Is the discovery considered as evidence? The Rules of the Court are pretty murky and not friendly to humans. There’s not an attorney to ask as my friend is handling this “in pro per” - without a lawyer.
If he can avoid having to type out a long list itemizing things like “Plaintiff’s Response to Defendant’s Second Set of Specially Prepared Interrogatories” and “[Proposed] Motion Denying Tomato Soup in Cans” (and providing copies of same!) he’d be quite happy, especially since it can be reasonably assumed that the other side still has the documents that were served previously.
Evidence, as defined by Black’s, is “any species of proof, or probative matter, legally presented at the trial of an issue, by the act of the parties ad through the medium of witnesses, records, documents, exhibits, concrete objects, etc. for the purpose of inducing belief in the minds of the court or the jury as to their contention.” Or, simply put, the things that you offer as proof of your position.
Is discovery evidence? Sort of, the whole point of taking discovery is to gather evidence, so, hopefully, some of what you gather can/will be used as evidence.
Each state and the federal courts have rules regarding what kind of evidence may and may not be presented (e.g. “best” evidence, hearsay, etc.), but that’s not what you seem to be asking. In fact, in the context of your post, your question doesn’t make sense. You seem to be asking whether your friend has to respond to discovery, which has nothing to do with whether or not “discovery is evidence.” Discovery (the process) in California is most likely governed by California’s version of the rules of civil procedure or practice – which will dictate how discovery can be taken. If your friend has a basis to object to discovery, it will come from here. The bottom line: When you’re so far in over your head in a legal proceeding that you cannot properly express your predicament, you need a lawyer. You know what they say about pro se parties, they have a fool for a lawyer (or something like that).
No, discovery is done, and there are no issues with it.
He’s got a small mountain of discovery requests that he sent out, and opposing party’s responses. Does this stuff need to be itemized as evidence?
The stuff that’s not related to the discovery is pretty obvious - things like a phone book listing a person’s name and address, and a vehicle title report will be listed as they were not involved in discovery.
I’m just trying to see if he really needs to list twenty or so pieces of discovery as evidence. My neighbor is an attorney, and even he wasn’t sure, oddly enough. In his defense, he’s not a trial attorney, so he’s very rarely inside a court and isn’t involved with evidence on a daily basis.