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Rule 197.1. Interrogatories (1999)


A party may serve on another party ­no later than 30 days before the end of the discovery period - written interrogatories to inquire about any matter within the scope of discovery except matters covered by Rule 195. An interrogatory may inquire whether a party makes a specific legal or factual contention and may ask the responding party to state the legal theories and to describe in general the factual bases for the party's claims or defenses, but interrogatories may not be used to require the responding party to marshal all of its available proof or the proof the party intends to offer at trial.

Amended by order of Nov. 9, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.

Prior Amendments Future Amendments
Aug. 4, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999  

Notes and Comments

Comments to 1999 change:

1. Interrogatories about specific legal or factual assertions ­ such as, whether a party claims a breach of implied warranty, or when a party contends that limitations began to run - are proper, but interrogatories that ask a party to state all legal and factual assertions are improper. As with requests for disclosure, interrogatories may be used to ascertain basic legal and factual claims and defenses but may not be used to force a party to marshal evidence. Use of the answers to such interrogatories is limited, just as the use of similar disclosures under Rule 194.6 is.

2. Rule 191's requirement that a party's attorney sign all discovery responses and objections applies to interrogatory responses and objections. In addition, the responding party must sign some interrogatory answers under oath, as specified by the rule. Answers in amended and supplemental responses must be signed by the party under oath only if the original answers were required to be signed under oath. The failure to sign or verify answers is only a formal defect that does not otherwise impair the answers unless the party refuses to sign or verify the answers after the defect is pointed out.

Technical corrections:

1. Rule 197.2(d) is modified as follows: "Verification required; exceptions. A responding party - not an agent or attorney as otherwise permitted by Rule 14 -must sign the answers under oath except that:"