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Rule 208. Depositions Upon Written Questions (1984)


1. Serving Questions; Notice. After commencement of the action, any party may take the testimony of any person, including a party, by deposition upon written questions. The attendance of witnesses and the production of designated items may be compelled as provided in Rule 201.

A party proposing to take a deposition upon written questions shall serve them upon every other party or his attorney with a written notice ten days before the deposition is to be taken. The notice shall state the name and if known, the address of the deponent, the suit in which the deposition is to be used, the name or descriptive title and address of the officer before whom the deposition is to be taken, and if the production of documents or tangible things in accordance with Rule 201 is desired, a designation of the items to be produced by the deponent either by individual item or by category and which describes each item and category with reasonable particularity.

A party may in his notice name as the witness a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or governmental agency and describe with reasonable particularity the matters on which examination is requested. In that event, the organization so named shall designate one or more officers, directors or managing agents, or other persons to testify on its behalf, and may set forth, for each person designated, the matters on which he will testify. A subpoena shall advise a nonparty organization of its duty to make such a designation. The person so designated shall testify as to matters known or reasonably available to the organization. This paragraph does not preclude taking a deposition by any other procedure authorized in these rules.

2. Notice by Publication. In all civil suits where it shall be shown to the court, by affidavit, that a party is beyond the jurisdiction of the court, or that he cannot be found, or has died since the commencement of the suit, and. such death has been suggested at a prior term of court, so that the notice and copy of written questions cannot be served upon him for the purpose of taking depositions, and such party has no attorney of record upon whom they can be served, or if he be deceased and all the persons entitled to claim by or through such deceased defendant have not made themselves parties to the suit, and are unknown, the party wishing to take depositions may file his written questions in the court where the suit is pending, and the clerk of such court or justice of the peace shall thereupon cause a notice to be published in some newspaper in the county where the suit is pending, if there be a newspaper published in said county, but if not, then in the nearest county where a newspaper is published, once each week for two (2) consecutive weeks, stating the number of the suit, the names of the original parties, in what court the suit is pending, name and residence of the witness to whom the written questions are propounded, and that a deposition will be taken on or after the fourteenth day after the first publication of such notice.

In suits where service of citation has been made by publication, and the defendant has not answered within the time prescribed by law, service of notice of depositions upon written questions may be made at any time after the day when the defendant is required to answer, by filing the notice and questions among the papers of the suit at least twenty days before such depositions are to be taken.

3. Cross-Questions, Redirect Questions, Recross Questions and Formal Objections. Any party may serve cross-questions upon all other parties within ten days after the notice and direct questions are served. Within five days after being served with cross-questions a party may serve redirect questions upon all other parties. Within three days after being served with redirect questions a party may serve recross questions upon all other parties. Objections to the form of written questions are waived unless served in writing upon the party propounding them within the time allowed for serving the succeeding cross or other questions and within five days after service of the last questions authorized. The court may for cause shown enlarge or shorten the time.

4. Deposition Officer; Interpreter. Any person authorized to administer oaths including notaries public (whether or not the person is a certified shorthand reporter), is an officer who is authorized to issue a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum for a written deposition as provided in Rule 201 and is an officer before whom a written deposition may be taken. An officer who is authorized to take a written deposition shall have authority, when he deems it expedient, to summon and swear an interpreter to facilitate the taking of the deposition.

5. Officer to Take Responses and Prepare Record. A copy of the notice and copies of all questions served shall be delivered by the party taking the deposition to the officer designated in the notice, who shall proceed promptly to administer an oath to the witness in the manner provided in paragraph 2 of Rule 204, to take the testimony of the witness in response to the questions in the manner provided in paragraph 3 of Rule 204 and to prepare, certify, and file or mail the deposition, in the manner provided by Rules 205 and 206, attaching thereto the copy of the notice and questions received by him.

The person filing the deposition shall give prompt notice of its filing to all parties.

After it is filed, the deposition shall remain on file and be available for the purpose of being inspected by the witness or deponent or any party and the deposition may be opened by the clerk or justice at the request of the witness or deponent or any party, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

This is a new rule by order of Dec. 5, 1983, eff. April 1, 1984. Former rule 208 is incorporated into Rule 206. This new rule revises and consolidates the written deposition practice as formerly stated in rules 189, 190, 191, 192, 196, 197, and 198 except that the use of written depositions in court proceedings is covered by new Rule 207.

Section 4 states that a person authorized to administer oaths, such as a notary public, may take written depositions, even though that person is not a certified shorthand reporter.

Section 5, by reference to new Rules 205 and 206, conforms the taking of the written deposition, its filing and other procedures to the oral deposition practice.


July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988. Corrected and clarified by order of Dec. 16, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990

Repealed by order of Aug. 5, 1998 and Nov. 1998, eff. Jan. 1 , 1999. See Rule 200. 1 et seq.