This packet provides general guidance about requesting documents from another party in the case.
WHEN TO REQUEST DOCUMENTS
- Figure out when you can first make requests. When the case was filed, the Clerk issued a document called an Initial Scheduling Order, which set the date of the Case Management Conference. Normally, you can serve discovery (such as these document requests or written questions) after this Conference, though the Court may set a different deadline at the Conference.
- Figure out the discovery deadline. After the Conference, the Court will send out an updated Scheduling Order setting the discovery “cutoff.” You must send your final set of requests 33 days before the discovery cutoff (or hand-serve 30 days before).
HOW TO COMPLETE THIS REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS TEMPLATE
- Fill in the case information. Fill in all blanks on the first page.
- Review the Definitions section. Review the standard definitions, and add in any definitions specific to your case that will make it easier to understand your Requests.
- Write your own Requests. Write simple requests for categories of documents that are relevant to your case. There is not a specific limit on the number of requests, but the other party may object if responding would cause an unfair burden.
- Review, number the pages and sign. Read the entire document to make sure your Requests are clear and focused on this case. Count the number of pages. On each page, write in the page number and the total. Sign and date.
- Prepare the Certificate of Service. Each document that you file must be “served” on each other party, usually by sending it in the mail. Follow the instructions on the Certificate of Service.
- Mark your calendar. The responding party has 30 days (33 days if you serve by mail) to send you a written response and copies of the documents.
SERVING YOUR REQUESTS
- Make copies. Once the documents are complete, make one copy for each party to the case.
- Serve the Requests. Be sure the Requests and Certificate are served on each party. Do not send a copy to the Court.
TIMELINE: AFTER REQUESTS ARE SERVED
The timeline below lists what generally happens after Requests for Production are served.
- Requests served
- Responding party provides written response to each request and documents requested (30 days + 3 for mail)
- If responding party objects or fails to produce documents, the requesting party follows up (immediately after due date)
- Parties follow Judge’s rules for resolving disputes about discovery (ongoing, but no later than the “discovery cutoff”)
STAY UP TO DATE
- Update your contact information. File a notice with the Clerk right away if your address, email, or phone number changes, or you may miss important deadlines, causing you to lose your case.
- Check your mail. Be sure to check regularly for documents from the Court and opposing side.
- A list of all of the documents that have been filed, and (usually) the documents themselves can be viewed online.
UNDERSTANDING THE LAWS AND RULES
- Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. These Rules explain the procedures from filing through trial for all civil cases in the federal courts across the country, and are available at http://www.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/rules-of-civil-procedure.pdf.
- Local Rules. The Local Rules follow the same numbering as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but generally provide more detail. They apply in this District only, and are available at http://www.nvd.uscourts.gov/localrules/civil.