Sanctions for cost of proof in California

Sanctions for cost of proof in California are the topic of this blog post.

In order to recover sanctions for cost of proof in California you must file and serve a motion under the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.420(a) which authorizes cost of proof sanctions when one party denies the truth of certain matters specified in requests for admission without any reasonable basis and the opposing party proves the truth of said matters at trial.

Filing a motion requesting sanctions for cost of proof in the right situations can result in the moving party, even if they did not prevail at the trial, recovering at least some of the attorney’s fees and costs that they have expended in proving the truth of certain matters that were specified in requests for admission.

The certain matters specified in the requests for admission should be of such substantial importance that the trial would have been expedited or shortened if they had been admitted.

In order to avoid having sanctions for the cost of proof awarded against them the opposing party must show that they had reasonable grounds to believe that they would prevail on the matter specified in the request for admission.  Thus the court must grant the motion unless the court finds that one of the specified statutory exceptions applies.

Code of Civil Procedure § 2033.420 states that,

“(a) If a party fails to admit the genuineness of any document or the truth of any matter when requested to do so under this chapter, and if the party requesting that admission thereafter proves the genuineness of that document or the truth of that matter, the party requesting the admission may move the court for an order requiring the party to whom the request was directed to pay the reasonable expenses incurred in making that proof, including reasonable attorney’s fees.

(b) The court shall make this order unless it finds any of the following:

(1) An objection to the request was sustained or a response to it was waived under Section 2033.290.

(2) The admission sought was of no substantial importance.

(3) The party failing to make the admission had reasonable ground to believe that that party would prevail on the matter.

(4) There was other good reason for the failure to admit.”

A California Court of Appeal recently stated in a published case that, “Requests for admissions are primarily aimed at setting at rest a triable issue so that it will not have to be tried.”

Attorney or parties in California that would like to view a portion of a sample 12 page motion for cost of proof sanctions in California containing brief instructions, a memorandum of points and authorities, sample declaration and proof of service by mail sold by the author can use the link shown below.

Sample Motion for Cost of Proof Sanctions in California by Stan Burman on Scribd


The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995.  For licensed attorneys and law firms that need assistance with any California or Federal litigation matters, Mr.  Burman is available on a freelance basis. Mr. Burman may be contacted by e-mail at for more information. He accepts payments through PayPal which means that you can pay using most credit or debit cards.

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Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.