INTERROGATORIES – Amended December 1, 2017
(a) Restrictions. At the commencement of discovery, interrogatories will be restricted to those questions seeking names of witnesses with knowledge or information relevant to the subject matter of the action, the computation of each category of damage alleged, and the existence, custodian, location, and general description of relevant documents, including pertinent insurance agreements, and other physical evidence, and information of a similar nature.
(b) Method of Obtaining Information. During discovery, interrogatories, other than those seeking information described in subdivision (a) of this rule, may be served only if (i) they are a more practical method of obtaining the information sought than a request for production or a deposition or (ii) ordered by the Court.
(c) What May Be Served. Unless the Court orders otherwise, at the conclusion of each party's discovery, and at least thirty (30) days prior to the discovery cut-off date, interrogatories seeking the claims and contentions of the opposing party may be served. Questions seeking the names of expert witnesses and the substance of their opinions also may be served if such information has not yet been supplied.
(d) No Interrogatories to Be Unanswered. No part of an interrogatory may be left unanswered merely because an objection is interposed to another part of the interrogatory.
(e) Objections or Requests for Relief.
(1) In connection with any objection or request for relief with respect to interrogatories or answers to interrogatories, the party making the objection or request for relief shall (i) simultaneously with the filing of a request or moving papers, file a copy of the interrogatories or answers to interrogatories and (ii) specify and quote verbatim in the request or moving papers each relevant interrogatory or answer and, immediately following each specification, set forth the basis of the objection or relief requested.
(2) If an objection or request for relief is made with respect to any interrogatory or portion thereof, the objection shall state all grounds with specificity. Any ground not stated in the objection or request for relief within the time provided by the Bankruptcy Rules, or any extensions thereof, shall be deemed waived.
(3) If a claim of privilege is asserted in an objection or request for relief with respect to any interrogatory or portion thereof, and an answer is not provided on the basis of the assertion, the objection or request for relief shall identify:
(A) the nature of the privilege being claimed and, if the privilege is being asserted in connection with a claim or defense governed by state law, the state's privilege rule being invoked; and
(B) unless divulgence of such information would cause disclosure of the allegedly privileged information:
1. for documents: (i) the type of document; (ii) the general subject matter of the document; (iii) the date of the document; and (iv) such other information as is sufficient to identify the document for a subpoena duces tecum, including, where appropriate, the author of the document, the addressee of the document, and, where not apparent, the relationship of the author to the addressee and the names of all entities that received a copy of the document.
2. for oral communications: (i) the name of the person making the communication, the names of any persons present while the communication was made, and, where not apparent, the relationship of the persons present to the person making the communication; (ii) the date and place of the communication; and (iii) the general subject matter of the communication.
(f) Reference to Records. If a party answers an interrogatory by reference to records from which the answer may be derived or ascertained, as permitted by Bankruptcy Rule 7033:
(1) the specification of documents to be produced shall be in sufficient detail to permit the interrogating party to locate and identify the records and ascertain the answer as readily as could the party from whom discovery is sought;
(2) the producing party shall also make available any computerized information or summaries thereof that it has, or can adduce by a relatively simple procedure, unless these materials are privileged or otherwise immune from discovery;
(3) the producing party shall also provide any relevant compilations, abstracts, or summaries in its custody or readily obtainable by it, unless these materials are privileged or otherwise immune from discovery; and
(4) unless the Court orders otherwise, the documents shall be made available for inspection and copying within fourteen (14) days after service of the answers to interrogatories or on a date agreed upon by the parties.
This rule is derived from Former Local Bankruptcy Rule 14 and is an adaptation of Civil Rules 5.1, , 33.3, and 37.1 of the Local District Rules as well as former Civil Rule 33.1 of the Local District Rules, with the exception of subdivision (e)(1) of this rule, which is derived from Former Local Bankruptcy Rule 13.
Subdivision (f)(4) of this rule was amended in 2009 to change the time period from ten (10) to fourteen (14) days. The purpose of the amendment was to conform the time period in this rule to the 2009 time-related amendments to the Bankruptcy Rules. Throughout the Bankruptcy Rules, as well as the Local Bankruptcy Rules, most time periods that are shorter than thirty (30) days were changed so that the number of days is in multiples of seven (7), thereby reducing the likelihood that time periods will end on a Saturday or Sunday.
Subsection (e)(2) was stylistically amended in 2016. No substantive change was intended.
Subparagraphs (a) and (c) were amended in 2017 to conform to Civil Rule 33.3(a) and (c) of the Local District Rules. Subparagraph (a) was amended by deleting the reference to initial disclosures under Rule 26(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. No substantive change was intended. Subparagraph (c) was amended by adding a thirty (30) day deadline prior to the discovery cut-off to serve interrogatories seeking the claims and contentions of the opposing party.
Subparagraph (e)(1) was amended in 2017 to make clear that upon a discovery motion, relevant discovery material should be filed with the Court in accordance with the corresponding exception in Local Bankruptcy Rule 7005-1(a).