Interrogatories – Use and Purpose in Civil Litigation

What are interrogatories and what is the purpose of interrogatories?

If you are involved in a civil lawsuit, including a divorce action, you may encounter interrogatories, a request for production of documents, depositions, or a request for admissions.  All of these legal tools are available to any party in a lawsuit and are collectively referred to as the discovery process. These tools are designed and used as a means to discover information and evidence from your adversary and to help narrow the issues involved in the case.

Interrogatories are written questions which are issued by one party to another party involved in a lawsuit.  The receiving party must answer each interrogatory question in writing, usually under oath, within thirty (30) days.  The receiving party’s attorney may object in writing to some or all of the interrogatory questions, as long as there are proper legal grounds for objection.  For instance interrogatory questions which seek information which is considered privileged or creates an undue burden are usually considered objectionable.

Interrogatory Responses May Be Compelled By The Court

If a party fails to properly respond to interrogatories within the thirty day period, the issuing party may move the court for an Order to Compel compliance.  Failure of a party to obey the court’s order to compel may result in a finding of contempt of court, a default judgment against him/her, or a dismissal of his/her claims, among other potential sanctions.

Follow the advice and counsel of your lawyer in all legal matters, including when responding to interrogatories and other discovery requests.  Learn more about the attorneys of Purple Law Firm, and the areas of law which affect your life.