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Rule 168. Interrogatories to Parties (1990)


Any party may serve upon any other 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 an officer or agent who shall furnish such information as is available to the party. Interrogatories may, without leave of court, be served upon the plaintiff after commencement of the action and upon any other party with or after the service of the citation and petition upon that party. A true copy of the interrogatories and the written answers or objections, together with proof of service thereof as provided in Rule 21a, shall be filed promptly in the clerk's office by the party making them, except that when an interrogatory is answered by reference to records as permitted by paragraph 2, the records so referenced need not be filed.

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 Answer. The party upon whom the interrogatories have been served shall serve 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 except that if the request accompanies citation, a defendant may serve answers within 50 days after service of the citation and petition upon that defendant. The court, on motion and notice for good cause shown, may enlarge or shorten the time for serving answers or objections.

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. True copies of the interrogatories, and answers and objections thereto, shall be served on all parties or their attorneys, and copies thereof shall be provided to any additional parties upon request. The answers shall be signed and verified by the person making them and the provisions of Rule 14 shall not apply.

6. Objections. On or prior to the date on which answers are to be 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 April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990: The previous second sentence in section 6 was and is applicable to all discovery objections and therefore has been moved to Rule 166b. 4, last sentence.

Prior Amendments Future Amendments
April 12, 1962, eff. Sept. 1, 1962 Repealed by order of Aug. 4, 1998, and Nov. 9, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999. See Rule 197.1 et seq.
July 20, 1966, eff. Jan. 1, 1967  
Oct. 3, 1972, eff. Feb. 1, 1973  
July 11, 1977, eff. Jan. 1, 1978  
June 10, 1980, eff. Jan. 1, 1981  
Dec. 5, 1983, eff. April 1, 1984  
July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988. Order to correct and clarify Dec. 16, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.