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Rule 168. Interrogatories to Parties (1984)


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 service upon the party himself is ordered by the court.

2. Scope. Interrogatories may relate to any matters which can be inquired into under Rule 166b, 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 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 locate and to identify as readily as can the party served, the records 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 thirty days after the service of the interrogatories, unless the court, on motion and notice 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 thirty 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 166b 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. Within thirty (30) days after 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 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.

Amended by order of Dec. 5, 1983, eff. April 1, 1984: Section 7 of former Rule 168 concerning duty to supplement interrogatories has been moved to Rule 166b and revised to apply generally to the discovery process. Sanctions imposable for violating the duty to supplement are stated in new Rule 215(4).

Section 2b regarding the indentification of individual documents contained in former Rule 168(2) was proposed at the federal level in 1978 by the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States but was withdrawn after it received criticism. See Schroeder & Frank, The Proposed Changes in the Discovery Rules, 1978 Arizona St. L. Rev. 475, 491. The revision to Rule 168 corresponds with the language of the current federal rule “. . . to locate and to identify as readily as can the party served the records. . . .” The provisions in this rule concerning sanctions have been deleted, because the subject is covered by Rule 215.

Prior Amendments Future Amendments
April 12, 1962, eff. Sept. 1, 1962 July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988. Order to correct and clarify Dec. 16, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.
July 20, 1966, eff. Jan. 1, 1967 April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990
Oct. 3, 1972, eff. Feb. 1, 1973 Repealed by order of Aug. 4, 1998, and Nov. 9, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999. See Rule 197.1 et seq.
July 11, 1977, eff. Jan. 1, 1978  
June 10, 1980, eff. Jan. 1, 1981