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Circuit Court District Division Rules Table of Contents

RULES OF THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE -- DISTRICT DIVISION

GENERAL RULES

Rule 1.9. Depositions and use of video tape depositions.

    
    A. No notice to the adverse party of the taking of depositions shall be deemed reasonable unless served at least three days, exclusive of the day of service and the day of caption, before the day on which they are to be taken. Provided, however, that twenty days' notice shall be deemed reasonable in all cases, unless otherwise ordered by the Court. No deposition shall be taken within twenty days after service of the writ or bill, except by agreement or by leave of Court for good cause shown.

    B. Depositions may not be taken within thirty days of scheduled trial date.

    C. The petition of a party seeking to take a deposition within the State shall contain the name of the stenographer proposed to record the testimony. Failure to object in writing to the stenographer within five days of the filing of the petition for depositions shall be deemed agreement to the use of the stenographer proposed in the petition.

    D. Where the statute requires notice of the taking of depositions to be given to the adverse party, it may be served on such party, or served in hand on the attorney of record of such party. In cases where the action is in the name of a nominal party, and the writ or docket discloses the real party in interest, service shall be made on the party in interest, or in hand on the attorney of record of such party. If a subpoena duces tecum is to be served on the deponent, the notice to the adverse party must be served before service of the subpoena, and the materials designated for production, as set out in the subpoena, must be listed in the notice or in an attachment.

    E. The interrogatories shall be put by the attorneys and the interrogatories and answers shall be taken in shorthand or other form of verbatim reporting approved by the Court and transcribed by a competent stenographer agreed upon by the parties or their attorneys present at the deposition. In the absence of such agreement, the stenographer shall be designated by the Court.
    
    No deposition, as transcribed, shall be changed or altered, but any alleged errors may be set forth in a separate document attached to the original and copies.
    
    The magistrate shall cause to be noted any objection to any interrogatory or answer without deciding its competency. If complaint is made of interference with any witness, the magistrate shall cause such complaint to be noted, and shall certify the correctness or incorrectness thereof in the caption.
    
    Upon motion, the Court may order the filing of depositions, and, upon failure to comply with such order, the Court may take such action as justice may require.

    F. In civil actions, the signature of a person outside the State, acting as an officer legally empowered to take depositions or affidavits, with a seal affixed, where one is required, to the certificate of an oath administered in the taking of affidavits or depositions, will be prima facie evidence of authority to act.

    G. The deponent, on deposition or on written interrogatory, shall ordinarily be required to answer all questions not subject to privilege or excused by the statute relating to depositions, and it is not grounds for refusal to answer a particular question that the testimony would be inadmissible at the trial if the testimony sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence and does not violate any privilege.
    
    If any deponent refuses to answer any question propounded on deposition, or any party fails or refuses to answer any written interrogatory authorized by these rules, or fails to comply within twenty days after written request to make discovery or permit inspection, the party propounding the question or making the request may, upon notice to all persons affected thereby, apply by motion to the Court for an order compelling an answer, discovery or inspection. If the motion is granted, and if the Court finds that the refusal was without substantial justification or was frivolous or unreasonable, the Court may, and ordinarily will, require the refusing party or deponent and the party or attorney advising the refusal, or either of them, to pay the examining or requesting party the reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining the order, including reasonable counsel fees.
    
    If the motion is denied and if the Court finds that the motion was made without substantial justification or was frivolous or unreasonable, the Court may, and ordinarily will, require the examining or requesting party or the attorney advising the motion, or both of them, to pay to the refusing party or witness the reasonable expenses incurred in opposing the motion, including reasonable counsel fees.

    H. The Court, within its discretion, with the agreement of all counsel participating in the trial, may allow the use of video tape depositions. At the commencement of the video tape deposition, counsel representing the deponent should state whose deposition it is, what case it is being taken for, where it is being taken, who the lawyers are that will be asking the questions, and the date and the time of the deposition. Care should be taken to have the witnesses speak slowly and distinctly and that papers be readily available for reference without undue delay and unnecessary noise. Counsel and witnesses shall conduct themselves at all times as if they were actually in the courtroom.
    
    If any problem arises as to the admissibility or inadmissibility of evidence, this should be handled in the same manner as written depositions.

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