Circuit Court Discovery - Frequently Asked Questions
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- What should I do if my opposing party is not responding to my discovery requests?
- What should I do if I feel my opposing party’s discovery responses are insufficient?
- Opposing party already knows the information they are asking me to provide, do I have to tell them?
- I mailed my opponent paper copies of my interrogatories and document requests. Now, they wants me to e-mail copies in Word. Do I have to do it?
- Do I have to answer an interrogatory that calls upon me to answer legal questions?
- What should I do if I think my opponent is just trying to embarrass or harass me through their discovery requests?
If the opposing party has not responded to your requests, follow up in writing to see when they expect to have responses. Give your opposing party reasonable time to respond after your request in writing. It is beneficial and expected by the Court that you participate in good faith discussions and grant an extension, if reasonable. Courts do not like to become involved in these disputes unless absolutely necessary.
If the opposing party still fails to respond within a reasonable time after your request, inform them that you will file a motion to compel with the court. A motion to compel asks the court to order the opposing party to respond to discovery by a certain date. These motions are typically acts of last resort, which you should save for when your opponent fails to respond to any of your requests. When filing a motion to compel, state specifically the relief you are requesting and describe the steps that you have taken to attempt to resolve the discovery dispute on your own. The Maryland Rules require you to certify, at the end of your motion that, after taking steps to resolve the discovery dispute, you were unable to reach an agreement with opposing party. You must include the date, time, and circumstances of each discussion or attempted discussion.
If you have a good faith basis for believing the response is insufficient, send a letter to the opposing party explaining why you believe the response was insufficient and what additional information you are requesting. Give the party reasonable time to respond to your request. Sometimes the opposing party may respond that they believe the information requested is objectionable or that they do not have the information. You will have to decide whether you believe the information is truly objectionable or necessary.
If you feel that you are absolutely entitled to the information, inform your opposing party that you will file a motion to compel with the court. Once again, when filing the motion, state specifically the relief you are requesting and describe the steps that you have taken to attempt to resolve the discovery dispute on your own. Do not forget to include a certification of good faith attempts to resolve the dispute.
Yes, even if your opponent already knows the answer to a discovery request or can easily obtain the necessary information, you must still provide a response.
Read the rule: Md. Rule 2-402
Yes, you should. The Committee Note to Rule 2-401 encourages parties to give each other discovery materials in an electronic format when requested.
Read the rule: Md. Rule 2-401 (Committee Note)
Yes, the Maryland Rules allow an interrogatory or deposition question to require a response that involves an opinion or contention that relates to facts and the application of law to the facts.
Read the rule: Md. Rule 2-402
Seek a protective order from the court pursuant to Rule 2-403, which allows a court to enter an order that protects a party from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense related to the discovery request.
Read the rule: Md. Rule 2-403