Michigan Property Law: Civil Litigation Discovery Requests, Depositions

Depositions

When a case filed in civil court is pending, the parties have options to obtain more information to use in their respective cases. One option is to send a request that witnesses appear at a location to be questioned at a deposition. For more specific information, please review MCR 2.303-2.308.

Sometimes, witnesses may be subpoenaed to appear and testify live in front of a court-reporter. This is known as a deposition. These requests are done through a subpoena. Witnesses or the parties may be deposed.

Testimony from depositions may be used in future court-appearance or even at the trial. The attorneys for both parties will have an opportunity to ask questions, cross-examine witnesses, or introduce exhibits for witnesses to review.

If a party fails to respond to a request for a subpoena, the opposing side may file a motion and ask for a court-order, along with sanctions. However, occasionally, a party makes a request that is not permissible under the court-rules and the other side can object. Ultimately, if a person objects to a request for a deposition, whether a person needs to respond or participate is up to the court.

If a party abuses the discovery process, the opposing party may file a motion with the court and ask for sanctions.

Scheduling orders issued by the court are an important part of this process. These orders may restrict when, how, and how often depositions may occur.

Further, the costs of depositions may also be a factor; the court reporter’s transcripts may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the length of the questioning. Parties may prefer alternatives such as requests for interrogatories or admissions rather than the expense and time of depositions.

Depositions may not be allowed in Michigan’s District Courts without a court-order permitting them. However, these requests are frequently made if a civil-claim is pending in Michigan’s Circuit Courts.

For more specific information, please review MCR 2.303-2.308.

Admissions

For more information on Admissions, click here.
Interrogatories

For more information on Interrogatories, click here.

Demand for Production

For more information on Demands for Production, click here.

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If you need specific legal advice for your particular circumstances, I encourage you to privately consult with a lawyer. Circumstances may vary significantly. If you need specific legal advice, please privately consult with a lawyer.