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

CIVIL RULES APPLICABLE TO CASES FILED ON OR AFTER THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ELECTRONIC FILING

 

V. Discovery

 

Rule 3.21. General Provisions

(a) Discovery Methods.  Parties may obtain discovery by one or more of the following methods:  depositions upon oral examination or written questions; written interrogatories; production of documents or things or permission to enter upon land or other property, for inspection and other purposes; physical or mental examinations; and requests for admission.

(b) Scope of Discovery.  Unless otherwise limited by order of the court in accordance with these rules, parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action, whether it relates to the claim or defense of the party seeking discovery or to the claim or defense of any other party, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition and location of any books, documents, electronically stored information, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of any discoverable matter.  It is not ground for objection that the information sought will be inadmissible at the trial if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

(c) Privilege Log.  When a party withholds materials or information otherwise discoverable under this rule by claiming that the same is privileged, the party shall promptly and expressly notify the opposing party of the privilege claim and, without revealing the contents or substance of the materials or information at issue, shall describe its general character with sufficient specificity as to enable other parties to assess the applicability of the privilege claim.  Failure to comply with this requirement shall be deemed a waiver of any and all privileges.

(d) Discovery Abuse; Sanction.

(1)  The court may impose appropriate sanctions against a party or counsel for engaging in discovery abuse.  Upon a finding that discovery abuse has occurred, the court should normally impose sanctions unless the offending party or counsel can demonstrate substantial justification for the conduct at issue or other circumstances that would make the imposition of sanctions unfair.  Discovery abuse includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(A)  employing a discovery method in a manner or to an extent that causes unwarranted annoyance, embarrassment, or undue burden or expense;
(B) employing discovery methods otherwise available which result in legal expense disproportionate to the matters at issue;
(C)  making, without substantial good faith justification, an unmeritorious objection to discovery;
(D)  responding to discovery in a manner which the responding party knew or should have known was misleading or evasive;
(E)  producing documents or other materials in a disorganized manner or in a manner other than the form in which they are regularly kept;
(F)  failing to confer with an opposing party or attorney in a good faith effort to resolve informally a dispute concerning discovery;

(2)  The sanctions which may be imposed for discovery abuse include, but are not limited to, the following:

(A)  a monetary sanction in an amount equal to the unnecessary expenses incurred, including reasonable attorney’s fees, as the result of the abusive conduct;
(B)  an issue sanction that orders that designated facts be taken as established by the party who has been adversely affected by the abuse;
(C)  an evidence sanction that prohibits the offending party from introducing certain matters into evidence;
(D)  a terminating sanction that strikes all or parts of the claims or defenses, enters full or partial judgment in favor of the plaintiff or defendant, or stays the proceeding until ordered discovery has been provided.

(e)  Trial Preparation.

(1)  A party may obtain discovery of documents, electronically stored information and tangible things otherwise discoverable and prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial by or for another party or by or for that other party’s representative (including his or her attorney, non-attorney representative, consultant, surety, indemnitor, insurer, or agent) only upon a showing that the party seeking discovery has substantial need of the materials in the preparation of his or her case and that he or she is unable without undue hardship to obtain the substantial equivalent of the materials by other means.  In ordering discovery of such materials when the required showing has been made, the court shall protect against disclosure of the mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories of an attorney or other representative of a party concerning the litigation.

(2)  A party may obtain without the required showing a statement concerning the action or its subject matter previously made by that party.  Upon request, a person not a party may obtain without the required showing a statement concerning the action or its subject matter previously made by that person.  If the request is refused, the person may move for a court order.  For purposes of this paragraph, a statement previously made is (i) a written statement signed or otherwise adopted or approved by the person making it, or (ii) a stenographic, mechanical, electrical, or other recording, or a transcription thereof, which is a substantially verbatim recital of an oral statement by the person making it and contemporaneously recorded.

(f)  Sequence and Timing of Discovery.  Unless the court upon motion, for the convenience of parties and witnesses and in the interests of justice, orders otherwise, methods of discovery may be used in any sequence and the fact that a party is conducting discovery, whether by deposition or otherwise, shall not operate to delay any other party’s discovery.

(g)  Supplementation of Responses.  A party, who has responded to a request for discovery with a response that was complete when made, is under no duty to supplement his or her response to include information thereafter acquired, except as follows:

(1)  A party is under a duty seasonably to supplement his or her response with respect to any question directly addressed to (a) the identity and location of persons having knowledge of discoverable matters, and (b) the identity of each person expected to be called as an expert witness at trial, the subject matter on which he or she is expected to testify, and the substance of his or her testimony.
(2)  A party is under a duty seasonably to amend a prior response if he or she obtains information upon the basis of which (a) he or she knows that the response was incorrect when made, or (b) he or she knows that the response, though correct when made, is no longer true.
(3)  A duty to supplement responses may be imposed by order of the court, agreement of the parties, or at any time prior to trial through new requests for supplementation of prior responses.

Rule 3.22.    Automatic Disclosures

(a)  Materials that Must Be Disclosed.  Except as may be otherwise ordered by the court for good cause shown, a party must without awaiting a discovery request, provide to the other parties:

(1) the name and, if known, the address and telephone number of each individual likely to have discoverable information that the disclosing party may use to support his or her claims or defenses, unless the use would be solely for impeachment, and, unless such information is contained in a document provided pursuant to Rule 3.22 (a)(2), a summary of the information believed by the disclosing party to be possessed by each such person;
(2) a copy of all documents, electronically stored information, and tangible things that the disclosing party has in his or her possession, custody or control and may use to support his or her claims or defenses, unless the use would be solely for impeachment;
(3)  a computation of each category of damages claimed by the disclosing party together with all documents or other evidentiary materials on which each computation is based, including materials bearing on the nature and extent of injuries suffered; and
(4) for inspection and copying, any insurance agreement or policy under which an insurance business may be liable to satisfy all or part of a possible judgment in the action or to indemnify or reimburse for payments made to satisfy the judgment.

(b)  Time for Disclosure.  Unless the court orders otherwise, the disclosures required by Rule 3.22(a) shall be made as follows:

(1) by the plaintiff, not later than 30 days after the defendant to whom the disclosure is being made has filed his or her Answer to the Complaint; and
(2) by the defendant, not later than 60 days after the defendant making the disclosure has filed his or her Answer to the Complaint.

(c)  Duty to Supplement.  Each party has a duty to supplement that party’s initial disclosures promptly upon becoming aware of the supplemental information.

(d)  Sanctions for Failure to Comply.  A party who fails to timely make the disclosures required by this rule may be sanctioned as provided in Rule 3.21.

Rule 3.23     Written Interrogatories

(a) Any party may serve, by mail or delivery by hand, upon any other party written interrogatories relating to any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action, whether it relates to the claim or defense of the party seeking discovery or to the claim or defense of any other party, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition and location of any books, documents, electronically stored information, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of any discoverable matter.

(b) A party may propound more than one set of interrogatories to an adverse party, but the total number of interrogatories shall not exceed 25, unless the court otherwise orders for good cause shown after the proposed additional interrogatories have been filed with the court.  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.

(c) 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 after service.  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 RULE 3.23 OF THE RULES OF THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.  YOU MUST ANSWER EACH QUESTION SEPARATELY AND FULLY IN WRITING AND UNDER OATH.  YOU MUST SERVE THE ORIGINAL AND ONE COPY OF YOUR ANSWERS ON THE PARTY OR COUNSEL WHO SERVED THE INTERROGATORIES UPON YOU WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS OF BEING SERVED.  IF YOU OBJECT TO ANY QUESTION, YOU MUST NOTE YOUR OBJECTION AND STATE THE REASON THEREFORE.  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.

(d) Interrogatories may be served at any time after service of the action.

(e) The party serving the interrogatories shall furnish the answering party with an original and two copies of the interrogatories.  The interrogatories shall 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.

(f) 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.

(g) Each question shall be answered separately, fully and responsively in such manner that the final document shall have each interrogatory immediately succeeded by the separate answer.

(h) If, in any interrogatory, copies of papers, documents or electronically stored information are requested, such interrogatory shall be deemed to be a request for production pursuant to Rule 3.24. 

(i)  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 30 days after service of such interrogatories.  The parties may extend such time by written agreement.

(j)  The answers shall be served, together with the original and one copy of the interrogatories, upon the propounding party.  If copies of papers are annexed to answers, they need be annexed to only one set.

(k)  (1) If a party, upon whom interrogatories are served, objects to any questions propounded therein, he or she may answer the question by objecting and stating the grounds.  The party shall make timely answer, however, to all questions to which he or she does not object.  The propounder of a question to which another party objects may 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.  It is not ground for objection that the information sought will be inadmissible at the trial if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

(2) When objections are made to interrogatories or requests for admissions, before there is any court hearing regarding said objections, counsel for the parties shall attempt in good faith to settle the objections by agreement.  It shall be the responsibility of counsel for the objecting party to initiate such attempt and to notify the clerk if the objections are settled by agreement.

(3) If, following such conference, counsel are unable to settle objections, counsel for the objecting party shall notify the clerk and request a hearing on such objections as remain unsettled.

(4) Where an objection to an interrogatory has been withdrawn by agreement of counsel or has been overruled by the court, the answer to such interrogatory shall be served within 10 days thereafter.

(l)  The adverse party shall have the same privileges in answering written interrogatories as the deponent in the taking of a deposition.

(m)  If a party, who has furnished answers to interrogatories, thereafter obtains information which renders such answers incomplete or inaccurate, amended answers shall be served as follows:

(i)  A party is under a duty seasonably to supplement his or her response with respect to any question directly addressed to (a) the identity and location of persons having knowledge of discoverable matters, and (b) the identity of each person expected to be called as an expert witness at trial, the subject matter on which he or she is expected to testify, and the substance of his or her testimony.
(ii)  A party is under a duty seasonably to amend a prior response if he or she obtains information upon the basis of which (a) he or she knows that the response was incorrect when made, or (b) he or she knows that the response, though correct when made, is no longer true.
(iii)  A duty to supplement responses may be imposed by order of the court, agreement of the parties, or at any time prior to trial through new requests for supplementation of prior responses.

(n)  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 introduced or read into evidence by a party, an adverse party may introduce or read into evidence any other of the interrogatories and answers or parts thereof necessary for a fair understanding of the parts read or otherwise introduced into evidence.

(o)  Neither the interrogatories nor the answers need be filed with the court unless the court otherwise directs.

Rule 3.24.    Production of Documents

(a)  Scope.  Any party may serve on any other party a request:

(1) to produce and permit the party making the request, or someone acting on the requestor’s behalf, to inspect, copy, test, or sample any designated documents or electronically stored information including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound recordings, images, and other data or data compilations stored in any medium from which information can be obtained, translated, if necessary, by the respondent into reasonably usable form, or to inspect and copy, test, or sample any designated tangible things which constitute or contain matters within the scope of Rule 3.21(b) and which are in the possession, custody or control of the party upon whom the request is served; or
(2) to permit entry upon designated land or other property in the possession or control of the party upon whom the request is served for the purpose of inspection and measuring, surveying, photographing, testing, or sampling the property or any designated object or operation thereon, within the scope of Rule 3.21(b).

(b)  Procedure.

(1)  The request shall set forth, either by individual item or by category, the items to be inspected, and describe each with reasonable particularity.  The request shall specify a reasonable time, place, and manner of making the inspection and performing the related acts.
(2)  The party upon whom the request is served shall serve a written response within 30 days after the service of the request.  A shorter or longer time may be directed by the court or, in the absence of such an order, agreed to in writing by the parties.  The response shall state, with respect to each item or category, that inspection and related activities will be permitted as requested, unless the request is objected to, in which event the reasons for the objection shall be stated.  If objection is made to part of an item or category, the part shall be specified and inspection permitted of the remaining parts.
(3)  A party who produces documents for inspection shall produce them as they are kept in the usual course of business or shall organize and label them to correspond with the categories in the request.

Rule 3.25.    Discovery of Electronically Stored Information (ESI)

(a) Promptly after litigation is commenced, the parties must meet and confer about preservation of any electronically stored information (ESI).  In the absence of an agreement, any party may move for an order governing preservation of ESI.  Because the parties require a prompt response, the court must make an order governing preservation of ESI as soon as possible.

(b) The parties have a duty to preserve all potentially relevant ESI once the party is aware that the information may be relevant to a potential claim.  Counsel for the parties have a duty to notify their clients to place a “litigation hold” on all potentially relevant ESI.

(c) Requests for ESI shall be made in proportion to the significance of the issues in dispute.  If the request for ESI is considered to be out of proportion to the issues in the dispute, at the request of the responding party, the court may determine the responsibility for the reasonable costs of producing such ESI.

(d)  A party may serve on another party a request for designated ESI, including documents, email messages and other electronically recorded messages and communications, photographs, sound recordings, drawings, charts, graphs and other data or data compilations, including back-up and archived copies of ESI – stored in any medium from which information could be obtained either directly or, if necessary, after translation by the responding party into a reasonably usable form.

(e)  The request must describe with reasonable particularity each item or category of items to be produced.  The request must also state the form or forms in which ESI is to be produced.

(f)  The responding party must respond to each item or category of items or state an objection to the request including the basis of the objection, within 30 days of the receipt of the request.

(g)  The responding party must produce documents as they are kept in the usual course of business or must organize and label them to correspond to the categories in the request.

(h)  The responding party need not produce the same ESI in more than one form.

(i)  The responding party does not waive privileged information by its inadvertent disclosure under this rule.

(j)   Inadvertently disclosed privileged ESI is subject to “claw-back” at the request of the responding party.  If agreement is not reached by opposing counsel or the litigants concerning any “claw-back” requests, the court may decide any disputes.

(k)   A party may also serve on another party a request to permit the requesting party and or its representatives to inspect, copy, test or sample the ESI in the responding party’s possession or control.

Rule 3.26     Depositions

(a)  A party may take as many depositions as necessary to adequately prepare a case for trial so long as the combined total of deposition hours does not exceed 20 unless otherwise stipulated by counsel or ordered by the court for good cause shown.

(b)  No notice to the adverse party of the taking of depositions shall be deemed reasonable unless served at least 3 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 20 days’ notice shall be deemed reasonable in all cases, unless otherwise ordered by the court.  No deposition shall be taken within 30 days after service of the Complaint, except by agreement or by leave of court for good cause shown.

(c)  Every notice of a deposition to be taken within the State shall contain the name of the stenographer proposed to record the testimony.

(d)  When a statute requires notice of the taking of depositions to be given to the adverse party, it may be given to such party or the party’s representative of record.  In cases where the action is in the name of a nominal party and the Complaint or docket discloses the real party in interest, notice shall be given either to the party in interest or that party’s attorney of record.  Notices given pursuant to this rule may be given by mail or by service in hand.  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 or non-attorney representatives 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 agreements, the stenographer shall be designated by the court.  Failure to object in writing to a stenographer in advance of the taking of a deposition shall be deemed agreement to the stenographer recording the testimony.

(f)  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.

(g)  The stenographer 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 stenographer shall cause such complaint to be noted and shall certify the correctness or incorrectness thereof in the caption.

(h)  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.

(i)  The signature of a person outside the State, acting as an officer legally empowered to take depositions or affidavits, with his or her seal affixed, where one is required, to the certificate of an oath administered by him or her in the taking of affidavits or depositions, will be prima facie evidence of his or her authority so to act.

(j)  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.

(k)  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 30 days after written request to comply, the party propounding the question may, upon notice to all persons affected thereby, apply by motion to the court for an order compelling an answer. 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 deponent or the party, attorney, or non-attorney representative advising the refusal, or both 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 party or the attorney advising the motion, or both of them, to pay to the witness the reasonable expenses incurred in opposing the motion, including reasonable counsel fees.

(l) Videotape Depositions.

(1)  A party may, at such party's expense, record a videotape deposition, provided the party indicates the intent to record the videotape deposition in the notice of deposition. At the commencement of the videotape 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 comport themselves at all times as if they were actually in the courtroom.

(2)  If any problem arises as to the admissibility or inadmissibility of evidence, this should be handled in the same manner as written depositions.

(3)  A party objecting to a question asked of, or an answer given by, a witness whose testimony is being taken by videotape shall provide the court at the Trial Management Conference with a transcript of the videotape proceedings that is sufficient to enable the court to act upon the objection before the trial of the case, or the objection shall be deemed waived.

(m)  Notice or Subpoena Directed to An Organization.  In its notice or subpoena, a party may name as the deponent a public or private corporation, a partnership, an association, a governmental agency, or other entity and must describe with reasonable particularity the matters for examination.  The named organization must then designate one or more officers, directors or managing agents, or designate other persons who consent to testify on its behalf; and it may set out the matters on which each person designated will testify.  A subpoena must advise a nonparty organization of its duty to make this designation.  The persons designated must testify about information known or reasonably available to the organization.  This paragraph (m) does not preclude a deposition by any other procedure allowed by these rules.

Rule 3.27.    Expert Witnesses

(a)  Within 30 days of a request by the opposing party, or in accordance with any order of the court issued pursuant to Rule 3.5, a party shall make a disclosure of expert witnesses (as defined in Evidence Rule 702), whom he or she expects to testify at trial.

(b)  Said disclosure shall conform with RSA 516:29-b, unless waived by agreement of the parties.


Rule 3.28.    Requests for Admissions

(a) (i)  Any party, desiring to obtain admission of the signature on or the genuineness of any relevant document or of any relevant facts which he or she believes not to be in dispute, may, after 30 days after the date the defendant is served with the Summons and Complaint, without leave of court, serve an original request therefor, accompanied by any documents involved, to the adverse party or his or her representative. Each of the matters of which an admission is requested shall be deemed admitted unless within 30 days after such service the party requested serves a copy thereof to the party requesting such admission, or his or her attorney or non-attorney representative, either a sworn denial thereof or a written objection on the ground of privilege or that it is otherwise improper.

(ii) Notwithstanding (i) above, signatures and endorsements of all written instruments declared on will be considered as admitted unless the party disputing the signature or endorsement shall serve notice on the opposing party that they are disputed within 30 days after the date the defendant files an Answer. See Rule 3.37(c).

(b)  If objection is made to part of a request, the remainder shall be answered within the time limit, and when good faith requires that a party qualify his or her answer or deny only part of a matter, he or she shall specify so much of it as is true and qualify or deny the remainder.

(c)  Any party, who without good reason or in bad faith, denies under this rule any signature or fact which has been requested and which is thereafter proved, or who without good reason or in bad faith requests such admission under this rule and thereafter fails to prove it, may, on motion of the other party, be ordered to pay the reasonable expense, including counsel fees, incurred by such other party in proving the signature or fact or in denying the request, as the case may be.

Rule 3.28A.           Medical Injuries and Special Damages

(a) Medical Examinations. In actions to recover damages for personal injuries, the defendant shall have the right to a medical examination of the plaintiff prior to trial. The defendant shall seek and obtain the medical examination of the plaintiff within the expert disclosure deadlines set forth by statute, rule, or in the structuring order issued by the court.  The court may order a medical examination of the plaintiff to take place outside of the expert disclosure deadlines, including during trial, only for good cause shown.

(b) Medical Reports. Copies of all medical reports relating to the litigation, in the possession of the parties, will be furnished to opposing counsel on receipt of the same.

(c) Medical Records. Any party shall have the right to procure from opposing counsel an authorization to examine and obtain copies of hospital records and X-rays involved in the litigation.

(d) Special Damages. Any party claiming damages shall furnish to opposing counsel, within 6 months after entry of the action, a list specifying in detail all special damages claimed; copies of bills incurred thereafter shall be furnished on receipt. Any party claiming loss of income shall furnish opposing counsel, within six months after the entry of the action, as soon as each is available, copies of the party's Federal Income Tax Returns for the year of the incident giving rise to the loss of income, and for two years before, and one year after, that year, or, in the alternative, written authorization to procure such copies from the Internal Revenue Service.

Rule 3.29.    Discovery Motions

(a)  Protective Orders.  Upon motion by a party or by the person from whom discovery is sought, and for good cause shown, the court may make any order which justice requires to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, including one or more of the following:  (a) that the discovery not be had; (b) that the discovery may be had only on specified terms and conditions, including a designation of the time or place; (c) that the discovery may be had only by a method of discovery other than that selected by the party seeking discovery; (d) that certain matters not be inquired into, or that the scope of the discovery be limited to certain matters; (e) that discovery be conducted with no one present except persons designated by the court; (f) that a deposition after being sealed be opened only by order of the court; (g) that a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information not be disclosed or be disclosed only in a designated way; (h) that the parties simultaneously file specified documents or information enclosed in sealed envelopes to be opened as directed by the court.

(b)  Motions for a protective order relating to trade secrets, confidential research, development or commercial information, or other private or confidential information sought through discovery shall be filed within the time set by these rules to respond to the discovery request or within 30 days of the date of automatic disclosure required by Rule 3.22, including any extensions agreed to by the parties or ordered by the court, or within ten days of an order of production of records.  All protective orders, whether assented to or not, must be approved by the court.

(c)  If a motion for a protective order is denied in whole or in part, the court may, on such terms and conditions as are just, order that any party or person provide or permit discovery.

(d)  Conditional Default.  If the party upon whom interrogatories or requests for production have been served, shall fail to answer said interrogatories or requests for production within 30 days, or any enlarged period, unless written objection to the answering of said interrogatories or requests is filed within that period, said failure will result in a conditional default being entered by the clerk 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 or requests within 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 10 days of receiving notice thereof, the adverse party may move to have a default judgment entered and damages assessed in connection therewith.  If, upon review of an affidavit of damages, the court determines that it does not provide a sufficient basis for determining damages, the court may, in its discretion, order a hearing thereon.

(e)  Motion to Compel.  Before any Motion to Compel discovery may be filed, counsel for the parties shall attempt in good faith to settle the dispute by agreement.  If a Motion to Compel regarding requested discovery is filed, the moving party shall be deemed to have certified to the court that the moving party has made a good faith effort to obtain concurrence in the relief sought.

(f)  Where a discovery dispute has been resolved by court order in favor of the party requesting discovery by court order, the requested discovery shall be provided within 10 days thereafter or within such time as the court may direct.

(g)  Motions for protective order or to compel responses to discovery requests shall include a statement summarizing the nature of the action and shall include the text of the requests and responses at issue.

(h)  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.

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