What's "good cause" in discovery?

 Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo

We’ve requested for production of documents which are in the possession of the defendants. We don't think that there'll be any dispute that the documents are relevant to the case, since they were, in fact, mentioned in the defendants' answer, although not attached as annexes.

However, 2 days ago, we got an opposition that says we have not given good cause in the motion. The opposition cites Security Bank vs. CA (25 January 2001) where it was ruled that “good cause” in a motion for production does not relate to the substance in the documents, but to the reason for producing relevant  or material matters.

In our view, what the decision meant was that a reason has to be given so that the court will feel obliged to grant the motion. Such reason cannot, of course, refer to the contents of the documents. After all, we were still trying to discover what it contained, which, quite obviously meant that we don’t know what the contents are. It would have sounded foolish for us to request for documents we already know the contents of.

It was obvious that the opposition itself did not understand what the decision meant because it only said that we should have alleged more aside from showing that the documents are material and relevant. Plus, the opposition must have intentionally overlooked the fact that we already said in the motion that the documents were in the possession, custody and control of defendants. In our view, that’s a reason that can come under the rule in the Security Bank case. Because we do not have access to the documents, and their being relevant and material to the case are a given, the only way for the documents to surface is through discovery.