Discovery usually proceeds without court intervention, however there are some cases when intervention becomes necessary. Interventions generally occur when there is either an abuse of the discovery process or failure on the part of a party to produce requested documentation.
Abuse of discovery occurs when one party tries to use discovery as a tool to harass his/her adversary. If this is the case the non-abusive party may object to the discovery requests (by indicating that the discovery requests are not within the scope of discovery) or seek a protective order against the abusive discoveree.
If one party refuses to cooperate in the other’s discovery attempts, the aggrieved party may seek an order compelling discovery. An order compelling discovery may be granted if the opposing party fails to: (1) answer an interrogatory; (2) designate an officer to answer deposition questions (if the party is a corporation); (3) produce documents or allow an inspection; or (4) answer a written or oral deposition question.
A court may also order sanctions or penalties against the party who refuses to comply with legitimate discovery requests. These sanctions can take the form of financial sanctions, dismissal of a claim, contempt, and prevention of the refusing party from making certain claims or defenses. We highly recommend that you contact a local attorney prior to engaging in discovery as the process can be complex and difficult to navigate.
Disclaimer: This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. If you have questions or need specific advice relating to the matters contained herein, please contact Lovaas & Lehtinen, P.C.