Circuit Court Probate Division Rules Table of Contents
Any Party may serve, by mail or delivery by hand, upon any other Party written interrogatories relating to any matters which may be inquired into under Rule 44.
Any Party propounding interrogatories shall provide the opponent with notice, substantially as set forth in the following form, of the obligation to answer said interrogatories within thirty days. The notice shall be at the top of the first page and printed in capital, typewritten letters or in ten-point, bold-face print. The form of the notice in substance shall be as follows:
These interrogatories are propounded in accordance with Probate Court Rule 36. You must answer each question separately and fully in writing and under oath. You must return the original and one copy of your answers within thirty (30) days of the date you received them to the Party or Attorney who served them upon you. If you object to any question, you must note your objection and state the reason therefor. If you fail to return your answers within thirty (30) days, the party who served them upon you may inform the Court, and the Court shall make such orders as justice requires, including the entry of a conditional default against you.
Interrogatories may be served at any time after service of the action.
The Party serving the interrogatories shall furnish the answering Party with an original and two copies of the interrogatories. The interrogatories will be so arranged that after each separate question shall appear a blank space reasonably calculated to enable the answering Party to have his or her answer typed in. The parties may agree to transmit interrogatories electronically or by computer disk, enabling the answering party to provide answers directly after each separate question using the party's available word processing technology. In the event of such an agreement, the requirement of providing space between each question sufficient to manually insert answers is obviated.
Interrogatories shall be answered in writing under oath by the Party upon whom served, if an individual, or, if a public or private corporation, a partnership or association, by an officer or agent who shall furnish all information available to the Party.
Each question shall be answered separately, fully and responsively in the space following the question, or, if insufficient, on additional pages or retyped pages repeating each interrogatory in full following by the answer, in such manner that the final document shall have each interrogatory immediately succeeded by the separate answer.
If, in any interrogatory, a copy of a paper or document is requested, the copy shall be annexed to the answer. If the copy is a report of an expert witness or a treating physician, it shall be the exact copy of the entire report or reports rendered by him or her, and the answering Party shall certify that the existence of other reports of that expert, either written or oral, are unknown to him or her and, if such become later known or available, he or she shall serve them promptly on the propounding Party but in any case not later than ten (10) days prior to pre-trial settlement conference.
The Party, who is served with interrogatories, shall serve his or her answers thereto, by mail or delivery in hand, upon the Party propounding them within thirty (30) days after service of such interrogatories, or within thirty (30) days after the return day, whichever date is later. The Parties may extend such time by written agreement.
The answers shall be served, together with the original and one (1) copy of the interrogatories upon the propounding Party. If copies of papers are annexed to answers, they need be annexed to only one set.
If a Party, upon whom interrogatories are served, objects to any questions propounded therein, he or she may either answer the question by stating it is improper, or he or she may, within twenty (20) days after the service of interrogatories upon him or her, move to strike any question, setting out the specific grounds of objection. He or she shall make timely answer, however, to all questions to which he or she does not object. Interrogatories, which are not stricken, shall be answered within such unexpired period of the thirty (30) days above provided as remained when the Motion was filed or within such time as the Court directs. The propounder of a question answered by a statement that it is improper may, within twenty (20) days after service of the answers upon him or her, move to compel an answer to the question, and, if the Motion is granted, the question shall be answered within such time as the Court directs.
If a Party, who is served with interrogatories requesting copies of papers, objects to the furnishing thereof, he or she shall, in lieu of complying with the request, either state with specificity the reasons for his or her noncompliance or invite the propounder to inspect and copy the papers at a designated time and place. The propounder of a request for a copy of a paper, which is not complied with, may, within twenty (20) days after the service of the answers upon him or her, file a Motion seeking compliance with the request or for other appropriate relief.
Motions to strike interrogatories or to compel more specific answers thereto shall include a statement summarizing the nature of the action and shall have annexed thereto the text of the questions and answers, if any, objected to.
If the Court finds that a Motion, which is made pursuant to this Rule, was made frivolously or for the purpose of delay or was necessitated by action of the adverse Party that was frivolous or taken for the purpose of delay, the Court may order the offending Party to pay the amount of reasonable expenses, including Attorney's fees, incurred by the other Party in making or resisting the Motion.
A Party may file more than one (1) set of interrogatories to an adverse Party, but the total number of interrogatories shall not exceed fifty (50), unless the Court otherwise orders for good cause shown after the proposed additional interrogatories have been filed. In determining what constitutes an interrogatory for the purpose of applying this limitation in number, it is intended that each question be counted separately, whether or not it is subsidiary or incidental to or dependent upon or included in another question, and however the questions may be grouped, combined or arranged.
The adverse Party shall have the same privileges in answering written interrogatories as the deponent in the taking of a deposition.
If a Party, who has furnished answers to interrogatories, thereafter obtains information which renders such answers incomplete or inaccurate, amended answers shall be served in accordance with Rule 35E.
Interrogatories and answers may be used at the trial to the same extent as depositions. If less than all of the interrogatories and answers thereto are marked or read into evidence by a Party, an adverse Party may read into evidence any other of the interrogatories and answers or parts thereof necessary for a fair understanding of the parts read into evidence.
Neither the interrogatories nor the answers need be filed with the Register unless the Court so directs at the pretrial settlement conference or at trial.
If the Party, upon whom interrogatories have been served, shall fail to answer said interrogatories within thirty (30) days, or any enlarged period, unless written objection to the answering of said interrogatories is filed within that period, said failure shall result in a conditional default being entered by the Register upon Motion being filed indicating such failure to answer. The Party failing to answer shall receive notice of the conditional default. The conditional default shall be vacated if the defaulted Party answers the interrogatories within ten (10) days of receiving notice thereof and moves to strike the conditional default. If the defaulted Party fails to move to strike the conditional default within ten (10) days of receiving notice thereof, the adverse Party may move to have a default judgment entered and damages assessed in connection therewith. Unless the claim is fully liquidated and not subject to dispute as to amount or remedy, the Court shall have a hearing on damages.
Circuit Court Probate Division Rules Table of Contents