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Rule 168. Interrogatories to Parties (1981)


At any time after a party has made appearance in the cause, or time therefor has elapsed, any other party may serve upon such party written interrogatories to be answered by the party served, or, if the party served is a public or private corporation or a partnership or association, or governmental agency, by any officer or agent who shall furnish such information as is available to the party.

1. SERVICE: When a party is represented by an attorney, service of interrogatories and answers to interrogatories shall be made on the attorney unless delivery to the party himself is ordered by the court.

2. SCOPE: Interrogatories may relate to any matters which can be inquired into under Rule 186a, but the answers, subject to any objections as to admissibility, may be used only against the party answering the interrogatories. Where the answer to an interrogatory may be derived or ascertained from:

a) public records; or

b) from the business records of the party upon whom the interrogatory has been served or from an examination, audit or inspection of such business records, or from a compilation, abstract or summary based thereon, and the burden of deriving or ascertaining the answer is substantially the same for the party serving the interrogatory as for the party served;

it is a sufficient answer to such interrogatory to specify the records from which the answer may be derived or ascertained and, if applicable, to afford to the party serving the interrogatory reasonable opportunity to examine, audit or inspect such records and to make copies, compilations, abstracts or summaries. The specification of records provided shall include sufficient detail to permit the interrogating party to readily identify the individual documents from which the answers may be ascertained.

3. PROCEDURE: Interrogatories may be served after a deposition has been taken, and a deposition may be sought after interrogatories have been answered, but the court, on motion of the deponent or the party interrogated, may make such protective order as justice requires.

4. TIME TO SERVE: The party upon whom the interrogatories have been served shall serve a copy of the answers on the party submitting the interrogatories within the time specified by the party serving the interrogatories, which specified time shall not be less than 30 days after the service of the interrogatories, unless the court, on motion and notice and for good cause shown, enlarges or shortens the time.

5. NUMBER OF INTERROGATORIES: The number of questions including subsections in a set of interrogatories shall be limited so as not to require more than 30 answers. No more than two sets of interrogatories may be served by a party to any other party, except by agreement or as may be permitted by the court after hearing upon a showing of good cause. The court may, after hearing, reduce or enlarge the number of interrogatories or sets of interrogatories if justice so requires. The provisions of Rule 186b are applicable for the protection of the party from whom answers to interrogatories are sought under this rule.

The interrogatories shall be answered separately and fully in writing under oath. Answers to interrogatories shall be preceded by the question or interrogatory to which the answer pertains. The answers shall be signed and verified by the person making them and the provisions of Rule 14 shall not apply. True copies of the interrogatories, and objections thereto, and answers shall be served on all parties or their attorneys at the time that any interrogatories, objections, or answers are served, and a true copy of each shall be promptly filed in the clerk's office together with proof of service.

6. OBJECTIONS: At the time answers to interrogatories are served, a party may serve written objections to specific interrogatories or portions thereof. Answers only to those interrogatories or portions thereof, to which specific objection is made, shall be deferred until the objections are ruled upon and for such additional time thereafter as the court may direct. Either party may request a hearing as to such objections at the earliest possible time. Upon hearing, the court, if it finds that the interrogatories are unreasonable, frivolous or a harrassment or if it finds the objections unreasonable, frivolous, made for the purpose of delay, or that a good faith effort to answer the interrogatories has not been made, may tax the costs of the hearing as well as a reasonable attorney's fee against the losing party at such hearing.

7. DUTY TO SUPPLEMENT: A party whose answers to interrogatories were complete when made is under no duty to supplement his answers to include information thereafter acquired, except the following shall be supplemented not less than 14 days prior to the beginning of trial unless the court finds that good cause exists for permitting or requiring later supplementation.

a) A party is under a duty seasonably to amend his answer if he obtains information upon the basis of which:

(1) he knows that the answer was incorrect when made;

(2) he knows that the answer though correct when made is no longer true and the circumstances are such that a failure to amend the answer is in substance a knowing concealment or misrepresentation; or

(3) if the party expects to call an expert witness whose name and the subject matter of such witness testimony has not been previously disclosed in response to an appropriate interrogatory, such answer must be amended to include the name, address, and telephone number of the witness and the substance of the testimony concerning which the witness is expected to testify, as soon as is practical, but in no event less than fourteen (14) days prior to the beginning of trial except on leave of court. If such amendment is not timely made, the testimony of the witness shall not be admitted in evidence unless the trial court finds that good cause sufficient to require its admission exists; and

b) A duty to supplement answers may be imposed by order of the court or agreement of the parties, at any time prior to trial through new requests for supplementation of prior answers.

8. SANCTIONS: After notice and hearing, if the court finds a party is abusing the discovery process in seeking, making or resisting discovery under this Rule, in addition to costs and a reasonable attorney’s fee the court may invoke the sanctions of Rules 170 and 215a.

Amended by order of June 10, 1980, eff. Jan. 1, 1981: The rule is wholly rewritten to provide for procedures and scope. It limits the number of interrogatories to 30 questions, except on court order.

Prior Amendments Future Amendments
April 12, 1962, eff. Sept. 1, 1962 Dec. 5, 1983, eff. April 1, 1984
July 20, 1966, eff. Jan. 1, 1967 July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988. Order to correct and clarify Dec. 16, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.
Oct. 3, 1972, eff. Feb. 1, 1973 April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990
July 11, 1977, eff. Jan. 1, 1978 Repealed by order of Aug. 4, 1998, and Nov. 9, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999. See Rule 197.1 et seq.