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Rule 191.3. Signing of Disclosures, Discovery Requests, Notices, Responses, and Objections (1999)
(a) Signature required. Every disclosure, discovery request, notice, response, and objection must be signed:
(1) by an attorney, if the party is represented by an attorney, and must show the attorney's State Bar of Texas identification number, address, telephone number, and fax number, if any; or
(2) by the party, if the party is not represented by an attorney, and must show the party's address, telephone number, and fax number, if any.
(b) Effect of signature on disclosure. The signature of an attorney or party on a disclosure constitutes a certification that to the best of the signer's knowledge, information, and belief, formed after a reasonable inquiry, the disclosure is complete and correct as of the time it is made.
(c) Effect of signature on discovery request, notice, response, or objection. The signature of an attorney or party on a discovery request, notice, response, or objection constitutes a certification that to the best of the signer's know ledge, information, and belief, formed after a reasonable inquiry, the request, notice, response, or objection:
(1) is consistent with the rules of civil procedure and these discovery rules and warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law;
(2) has a good faith factual basis;
(3) is not interposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation; and
(4) is not unreasonable or unduly burdensome or expensive, given the needs of the case, the discovery already had in the case, the amount in controversy, and the importance of the issues at stake in the litigation.
(d) Effect of failure to sign. If a request, notice, response, or objection is not signed, it must be stricken unless it is signed promptly after the omission is called to the attention of the party making the request, notice, response, or objection. A party is not required to take any action with respect to a request or notice that is not signed.
(e) Sanctions. If the certification is false without substantial justification, the court may, upon motion or its own initiative, impose on the person who made the certification, or the party on whose behalf the request, notice, response, or objection was made, or both, an appropriate sanction as for a frivolous pleading or motion under Chapter 10 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
Amended by order of Nov. 9, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.
|Prior Amendments||Future Amendments|
|Aug. 5, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999|
Notes and Comments
Comments to 1999 change:
1. Rule 191.1 preserves the ability of parties by agreement and trial courts by order to adapt discovery to different circumstances. That ability is broad but not unbounded. Parties cannot merely by agreement modify a court order without the court's concurrence. Trial courts cannot simply "opt out" of these rules by form orders or approve or order a discovery control plan that does not contain the matters specified in Rule 190.4, but trial courts may use standard or form orders for providing discovery plans, scheduling, and other pretrial matters. In individual instances, courts may order, or parties may agree, to use discovery methods other than those prescribed in these rules if appropriate. Because the general rule is stated here, it is not repeated in each context in which it applies. Thus, for example, parties can agree to enlarge or shorten the time permitted for a deposition and to change the manner in which a deposition is conducted, notwithstanding Rule 199.5, although parties could not agree to be abusive toward a witness.
2. Rule 191.2 expressly states the obligation of parties and their attorneys to cooperate in conducting discovery.
3. The requirement that discovery requests, notices, responses, and objections be signed also applies to documents used to satisfy the purposes of such instruments. An example is a statement that privileged material or information has been withheld, which may be separate from a response to the discovery request but is nevertheless part of the response.