The trial court erred in compelling the deposition of the head of the Contractors’ State License Board.  Generally, heads of state agencies may not be deposed unless the party seeking the deposition shows that the head of the agency (1) has direct personal factual information pertaining to material issues in the action, which (2) is not available through any other source.  Here, the party seeking the deposition satisfied neither of these two requirements.  The head of the board had no personal knowledge.  The complaint had sought a declaratory judgment addressing an issue of statutory interpretation as to which factual knowledge was irrelevant.  Insofar as the deposing party sought information about the board’s prior interpretations of the statute, it could obtain the information from sources other than the agency’s head.

California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 1 (per curiam); April 26, 2018 (published May 9, 2018); 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 424