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Family Law Discovery and Interrogatories in Maryland

Page history last edited by lawlibrary@aacounty.org 1 year, 10 months ago

 

Family Law Self-Help Center Discovery worksheet:

 

Overview: This handout directs you to more information about discovery. It refers you to the Maryland Rules, People’s Law Library of Maryland, and to the Law Library’s WIKI link. Make sure that you read the information at these places thoroughly. Do not rely on this worksheet alone. Use it to find other resources.

 

What is discovery?

Discovery" is a general word that describes the process by which you will find information to support your lawsuit. The purpose of discovery is to obtain the information necessary to prove your case or defend against the claims being made against you. You must determine who you believe knows information that may be important to your case.”

(People’s Law Library of Maryland-https://www.peoples-law.org/maryland-circuit-court-discovery.)

 

PLEASE NOTE: There are important deadlines in discovery. The deadlines are covered in the referenced materials and in Maryland Rule 2-401(c).

 

What are Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents?

The most common ways that self-help litigants use discovery is through Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents.

 

Interrogatories are written questions that a litigant serves on the other party. The other party must answer these questions within 30 days. Md. Rule 2-421.

 

Request for Production of Documents are formal requests that a litigant makes on the opposing party, asking the party to produce documents and tangible things. The other party must provide documents within 30 days. Md. Rule 2-422.

 

Notice of Service of Discovery– This is a cover sheet for Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents. It is the only paper that you submit to the court. You also use a copy of it as a cover sheet when sending Interrogatories and a Request for Production of Documents to the other party.

 

Motion to Compel – A litigant must file this if the other party does not respond to discovery. Learn more about this by reading the Maryland Rules 2-432 and 2-433 and through the People’s Law Library website. Note that the discovery deadline in a case includes the time to file (and wait 18 days for a response to) the Motion to Compel.

 

For electronic samples of Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents, go to:

http://aacpll.pbworks.com/w/page/51956046/AACO%20Family%20Self%20Help%20Forms

 

 

The following is a list of materials with information on Maryland family law discovery and interrogatories available in the Law Library.  It is not an exhaustive list and is intended only to provide background information for library patrons.  It should not be regarded as legal advice.

 

 

MARYLAND CODE, RULES & REGULATIONS:

(Also available in library in section 3B.)

 

Maryland Rules of Procedure

     Title 2: Civil Procedure - Circuit Court, Chapter 400: Discovery,( 2-401, etc. Please note the MSBA Guidelines)      Rule 2-421: Interrogatories to Parties

     Appendix: Forms, Form Interrogatories, Forms 1-5

N.B. - Forms 2 & 3 (General definitions and interrogatories) and forms 4 & 5 (Domestic relations definitions and interrogatories) are designed to be used in conjunction with each other. These are part of the complete discovery rules that can be found in the same locations in both the library and online.

 

(Please read MSBA Committee note below for instructions on using Form Interrogatories - Also available in the Lexis Rules of the Annotated Code of Maryland)

 

(Committee note. - The following forms have been prepared to facilitate the exchange of meaningful information with a minimum of controversy.  They are designed to be appropriate in a large percentage of cases, and the Committee encourages their use.  In the context of some cases, however, they may be overly burdensome or otherwise inappropriate.  The forms are not designed to limit the parties' right to frame their own interrogatories.

 

Rule 2-421(a) provides that each form interrogatory contained in the appendix to these rules shall count as a single interrogatory even though some of the interrogatories, were it not for the rule, might constitute more than a single interrogatory for counting purposes.  While use of the form interrogatories contained in this appendix may provide a safe harbor from the counting rules, that protection may be lost if any change is made to the interrogatory or in any of the instructions or definitions contained in this appendix.

 

It is suggested that when a form contained in this appendix is being used, that fact should be indicated in a parenthetical reference at the end of the form so that opposing counsel and the court may be aware that a form interrogatory is being used.)

 

ONLINE RESOURCES:

 

 

 

 

LIBRARY RESOURCES:

 

Maryland Domestic Relations Forms: with Practice Commentary, Ann M Turnbull.  Lexis Publishing, 1997.

KFM1294.A65T8 - Chapter 12: Discovery.

 

Maryland Family Law, 4th Edition, John Fader and Richard Gilbert.  Lexis Publishing, 2005.

KFM1294.F33 2005 - Forms 21-12,, 21-13.

 

Maryland Family Law Forms,MSBA, 2011. KFM 1294.M37 2011 Discovery p. 233-311. 

 

A Practice Guide to Family Law, Constance Putzel.  Baltimore: MICPEL, 1999.

KFM1294.P88 1999 - Discovery Tab.

 

Maryland Civil Procedure Forms 3rd ed, Robert Dale Klein.  Lexis Publishing, 2010. 

KFM1730.A65K64 2000.- General forms and information under Rule 2-421 at page 2:400-36

 

Maryland Law Encyclopedia - Discovery.

 

Bender's Forms of Discovery - Chapter 66 (Divorce and Separation, vol 4A) and Chapter 189 (Support and Custody, vol 9A).

KF8900.A3B4 1975.

 

 

 

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