Michigan Property Law: Civil Litigation Discovery Requests, Request for Interrogatories

Interrogatories

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 for interrogatories to the opposing party. For more detailed information, please review MCR 2.309.

Interrogatories are a series of questions that are answered by the parties or witnesses in writing. In contrast to requests for admissions which must be responded to a more specific format, these questions and responses are meant to be potentially broader in scope. Either side has more flexibility when drafting the questions or responses.

Responses need to be sent to the opposing party within twenty-eight days of service and responses should probably be notarized as well.

Responses to interrogatories are used as evidence in cases. They may be used to impeach a witness testifying at a later proceeding or persuasive purposes in a motion.

If a party fails to respond to a request for interrogatories, the opposing side may file a motion and ask for a court-order, along with sanctions. However, occasionally, a party asks a question that is not permissible under the court-rules and the other side can object. Ultimately, if a person objects to a question, whether a person needs to respond 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 many questions the parties may ask. Further, requests for interrogatories 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 detailed information, please review MCR 2.309.

Depositions

For more information on Depositions, click here.

Admissions

For more information on Admissions, 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.