Responding To The Other Side's Requests For Information

Learn what to do if you have received written discovery requests from the other side. These might include requests to produce documents, or to answer written questions (called “interrogatories”), or to admit or deny certain facts (called “request for admissions”).


Overview

When a party to a civil case needs to get information from the other side, she can serve the other side with written requests called “discovery requests.” These requests might include:

  • Interrogatories, which are written questions about things that are relevant or important to the case. (NRCP 33; JCRCP 33)
  • Requests for production of documents or things, which are written requests that demand the other side provide particular documents or items. (NRCP 34; JCRCP 34.)
  • Requests for admissions, which are written requests that ask the other side to admit or deny certain facts about the case. (NRCP 36; JCRCP 36.)

If you have received discovery requests (which would probably come in the mail), you have thirty days to mail your written responses back to the other side. Missing that thirty-day deadline can be serious. It could even result in you losing the case.

To learn how to respond to discovery requests you have received, click to jump down to one of these sections:
How to answer interrogatories 
How to respond to requests for production of documents 
How to respond to requests for admissions 

TIP! You may need to talk to a lawyer about the requests you received or do some legal research – especially if your case is complex! This website doesn’t cover every aspect of discovery. It doesn’t talk in detail about how you might be able to object to certain discovery requests or protect certain information. It also doesn’t talk about depositions or what you might need to do if you’ve received a notice requiring you to appear for one. Click to visit Lawyers and Legal Help or Researching the Law.


How To Answer Interrogatories

“Interrogatories” are written questions to the other side. Each party to a case can typically serve forty interrogatories to the other side, unless the judge has set some other number.

If you have received interrogatories, you have thirty days to prepare your written answers (unless the court has ordered something else). You do not file your written answers with the court. You simply mail the original back to the other side. If you do not mail your answers back within thirty days, the court could sanction you.

Make sure you keep a copy of your answers for your records.

Here are some things to remember when preparing your answers to interrogatories:

  • You must retype each of the interrogatories, and then follow each interrogatory with your answer. Like this:

INTERROGATORY NO. 1: What is the year, make, and model of your automobile?

ANSWER NO. 1: I own a 1995 Chevy Camaro.

INTERROGATORY NO. 2: What is the license plate number of your automobile?

ANSWER NO. 2: My license plate number is BNA642.

  • If you are unable to answer an interrogatory because it is too vague, ambiguous, or somehow objectionable, you can state an objection and the reason for your objection. You must then answer to the extent the interrogatory is not objectionable. For example:

INTERROGATORY NO. 3: Please describe your automobile.

ANSWER NO. 3: I object that this interrogatory is vague. Without waiving this objection and to the extent I understand this question, my car is red and in good condition.

TIP! Objections can be tricky and complicated! You may want to do some research at your local law library or consult with an attorney if you think you need to assert objections. Click to visit Lawyers and Legal Help or Researching the Law.

  • Your interrogatory answers must be “verified,” meaning you must sign the verification page included with the form below in front of a notary and swear that your answers are true. You must mail the original verification page with the interrogatories back to the other side.
  • Your answers to the interrogatories should usually be short, clear, and direct and should answer only the question that is being asked. This is not the time to set out your entire case or defense to the other side.
  • Take the time to make sure your answers are correct and truthful. You will be signing them under penalty of perjury. Any false or incomplete statements could be punished by the court. They could also end up losing you the case.

You can download a form to help you prepare your Answers to Interrogatories by clicking one of the formats underneath the form’s title below:

JUSTICE COURT ANSWERS TO INTERROGATORIES 
Word Fillable 

DISTRICT COURT ANSWERS TO INTERROGATORIES 
Word Fillable 

Be sure to sign your responses. Fill in the “certificate of service” on the last page before mailing them back to the other side.


How To Respond To Requests for Production of Documents

“Requests for production” are written demands, usually requiring the other side to produce copies of documents he possesses or can readily obtain. But the requests could be broader too. They could request to inspect or test some item. Or they could request to enter property to inspect it and take pictures or samples or surveys. (NRCP 34(a); JCRCP 34(a).)

If you have received requests to produce, you have thirty days to prepare your written responses (unless the court has ordered something else). You do not file your written responses with the court. You simply mail the original back to the other side. If you do not mail your responses back within thirty days, the court could sanction you.

Make sure you keep a copy of your responses for your records.

Here are some things to remember when preparing your responses to requests for production:

  • You must retype each of the requests, and then follow each request with your response. Like this:

REQUEST NO. 1: Please produce a copy of your proof of insurance effective January 31, 2014.

RESPONSE NO. 1: A copy of my proof of insurance from Farmers Insurance effective January 1, 2014, is attached to these responses.

REQUEST NO. 2: Please produce a copy of any traffic ticket or citation you received on January 31, 2014.

RESPONSE NO. 2: A copy of a traffic citation for failure to yield dated January 31, 2014, is provided with these responses.

  • If you are unable to respond to a request because it is too vague, ambiguous, or somehow objectionable, you can state an objection and the reason for your objection. You must then respond to the extent the request is not objectionable. For example:

REQUEST NO. 3: Please produce all papers and tickets.

RESPONSE NO. 3: I object that the request for “papers and tickets” is vague and ambiguous. Without waiving this objection and to the extend I understand this question, a copy of a citation for failure to yield dated January 31, 2014, is provided with these responses.

TIP! Objections can be tricky and complicated! You may want to do some research at your local law library or consult with an attorney if you think you need to assert an objection. Click to visit Lawyers and Legal Help or Researching the Law.

  • If a request asks for a document, make a copy of the document; in your response, describe the document and say that a copy is attached; and attach a copy of the document to the responses you send back to the other side.
  • If a requests asks to inspect a certain item, thing, or place (and you do not intend to object and the request is otherwise acceptable), simply say something like, “Inspection and related activities will be permitted as requested.”
  • If you do not have the document being requested, simply say something like, “I do not have any such document in my possession, custody, or control.”

FYI! If the other side is asking for a document you don’t have at the moment - but one you can get - you still have to produce it. For example, if the other side asks for your bank statements, you may not have them right now, but you can get them from your bank or its website. So you have to get them and produce them.

  • Take the time to make sure your responses are correct and truthful. You will be signing them under penalty of perjury. Any false or incomplete statements could be punished by the court. They could also end up losing you the case.
  • Suing someone or being sued is not the time to “hide the ball” or try to trick the other side by not giving them all the information you have. Just the opposite, it is the time for both sides to lay their cards on the table. Hiding documents and information will hurt you in the long run and could get you sanctioned by the court.

You can download a form to help you prepare your Responses to Request for Production of Documents by clicking one of the formats underneath the form’s title below:

JUSTICE COURT RESPONSE TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS 
Word Fillable 

DISTRICT COURT RESPONSE TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS 
Word Fillable 

Be sure to sign your responses. Fill in the “certificate of service” on the last page before mailing them back to the other side.


How To Respond To Requests for Admissions

“Requests for admissions” are written requests that ask the other side to admit or deny certain facts about the case. (NRCP 36; JCRCP 36.) They could also ask the other side to admit or deny statements or opinions of fact, the application of law to fact, or whether a document is genuine.

Each party can usually serve forty requests for admissions to the other side. But there is no limit on the number of requests for admissions that ask only whether a particular document is genuine. (NRCP 36(c); JCRCP 36(c).)

If you have received requests for admissions, you have thirty days to prepare your written responses (unless the court has ordered something else). You do not file your written responses with the court. You simply mail the original back to the other side.

Importantly, if you do not respond within thirty days, the matter will be considered admitted. (NRCP 36(a); JCRCP 36(a).) In other words, if you fail to respond to a request for admission in thirty days, whatever the request asked you to admit is considered conclusively establish (unless the court allows you to withdraw or change the admission). (NRCP 36(b); JCRCP 36(b).)

Make sure you keep a copy of your responses for your records.

Here are some things to remember when preparing your responses to requests for admissions:

  • You must retype each of the requests, and then follow each request with your response. Like this:

REQUEST NO. 1: Please admit that you received a traffic citation on January 31, 2014.

RESPONSE NO. 1: Admit.

REQUEST NO. 2: Please admit that the traffic citation you received on January 31, 2014, was for failure to yield.

RESPONSE NO. 2: Deny.

  • If you admit the request, write “admit” for your response. If you deny the request, write “deny.”
  • If you have to qualify an answer or deny only a part, you must specify the part that is true and deny the rest. For example:

REQUEST NO. 3: Please admit that you received a traffic citation on January 31, 2014, for failure to yield.

RESPONSE NO. 3: I admit that I received a traffic citation on January 31, 2014. But I deny that the citation was for failure to yield.

  • If you are unable to respond to a request because it is too vague, ambiguous, or somehow objectionable, you can object to the request and state the reason why.

TIP! Objections can be tricky and complicated! You may want to do some research at your local law library or consult with an attorney if you think you need to assert an objection. Click to visit Lawyers and Legal Help or Researching the Law.

  • If you simply do not have enough information or knowledge to admit or deny the request, and you have made a reasonable inquiry to get the information, you can say something like, “I have made a reasonable inquiry and the information known or obtainable is insufficient to enable me to admit or deny.”
  • Take the time to make sure your responses are correct and truthful. You will be signing them under penalty of perjury. Any false statements could be punished by the court. They could also end up losing you the case.

You can download a form to help you prepare your Responses to Request for Admissions by clicking one of the formats underneath the form’s title below:

JUSTICE COURT RESPONSE TO REQUEST FOR ADMISSIONS 
Word Fillable 

DISTRICT COURT RESPONSE TO REQUEST FOR ADMISSIONS 
Word Fillable 

 Be sure to sign your responses. Fill in the “certificate of service” on the last page before mailing them back to the other side.