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Rule 168. Interrogatories to Parties (1978)


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, by any officer or agent, who shall furnish such information as is available to the party. The interrogatories shall be answered separately and fully in writing under oath. Answers to interrogatories should, to the extent possible, be answered in spaces left therefor following each interrogatory. The answers shall be signed by the person making them, and the provisions of Rule 14 shall not apply. 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.

Whenever 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. True copies of the interrogatories and of any answers shall be served on all other parties or their attorneys at the time that any interrogatories or answers are served, and a true copy of each shall be promptly filed in the clerk's office together with proof of service thereof under the provisions of Rules 21a and 21b. Provided, however, that not more than four copies of any set of interrogatories or of answers shall be required to be furnished to adverse parties, and if there be more than four adverse parties, four copies of such interrogatories or of such answers shall be deposited with the clerk of the court, and in such case no copies shall be required to be served on the other parties or their attorneys as otherwise provided. The party filing such copies with the clerk, or asking leave to file them, shall inform all adverse parties or their attorneys of record that such copies have been deposited with the clerk. The copies shall be delivered by the clerk to the first four applicants entitled thereto. Such four copies so provided to be deposited with the clerk are in addition to the one copy to be filed in the clerk's office with proof of service.

Within 15 days after service of interrogatories a party may serve written objections thereto together with a notice of hearing the objections at the earliest practicable time. Answers to interrogatories to which objection is made shall be deferred until the objections are determined and for such additional time as the court may direct. 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. A party may be required in his answers to identify each person whom he expects to call as an expert witness at the trial and to state the subject matter concerning which the expert is expected to testify.

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 may require. The number of interrogatories or of sets of interregatories to be served is not limited except as justice requires to protect the party from annoyance, expense, embarrassment or oppression. The provisions of Rule 186b are applicable for the protection of the party from whom answers to interrogatories are sought under this rule.

A party whose answers to interrogatories were complete when made is under no duty to supplement his answers to include information thereafter acquired, except as follows: (1) a party is under a duty seasonably to amend his answer if he obtains information upon the basis of which (a) he knows that the answer was incorrect when made, or (b) 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; and (2) a duty to supplement answers may be imposed by order of the court, agreement of the parties, or at any time prior to trial through new requests for supplementation of prior answers.

If a party refuses to answer any interrogatory, the proponent of the question may, upon reasonable notice to all persons affected, apply to the court in which the action is pending for an order compelling an answer. Reasonable expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees, incurred in obtaining the order or opposing the motion may be assessed, and a refusal to comply with the order shall authorize the court to act, as provided in paragraphs (a) and (b) of Rule 215a.

If a party, except for good cause shown, fails to serve answers to interrogatories after proper service of such interrogatories, the court in which the action is pending may, on motion and notice, make such orders as are just, including those authorized by paragraph (c) of Rule 215a.

Where the answer to an interrogatory may be derived or ascertained 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 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.

Amended by order of July 11, 1977, eff. Jan. 1, 1978: Time to answer enlarged to 30 days; time to object to interrogatories enlarged to 15 days; answers should follow each question.

Prior Amendments Future Amendments
April 12, 1962, eff. Sept. 1, 1962 June 10, 1980, eff. Jan. 1, 1981
July 20, 1966, eff. Jan. 1, 1967 Dec. 5, 1983, eff. April 1, 1984
Oct. 3, 1972, eff. Feb. 1, 1973 July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988. Order to correct and clarify Dec. 16, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.
  April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990
  Repealed by order of Aug. 4, 1998, and Nov. 9, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999. See Rule 197.1 et seq.