In litigation, one of the most important means of obtaining information from opposing parties and even third parties is called discovery. Discovery can consist of many forms including written discovery, depositions, and third party discovery. Here are three key components of discovery that can help understand the process.
1) Discovery has limitations
Not every piece of information is discoverable. For example, in a personal injury case, a question about why a person got divorced 10 years ago may not likely be relevant, and the other side may not likely be forced to answer.
2) The other side can object
Much like in a trial setting, the other side can object to discovery requests on several grounds. For example:
- It is overbroad for written response
- It is beyond the time frame in question
- It is unlikely to lead to discoverable information
Generally, an answer (maybe limited) will be provided after the objection, but may not be depending on the information requested and the objection noted.
3) There are avenues to pursue if information is not provided
So, what happens if you serve discovery requests on the opposing party and they do not respond? First, the parties must attempt to work out the dispute outside of Court. If there is still no response, the requesting party may file a Motion to Compel with the Court, and the Court can Order that responses be provided.
We hope that this information has been helpful in understanding some basics of discovery. This post is not intended as legal advice. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. practices throughout the state of Indiana. This blog post was written by attorney, Jessica Keyes.