replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your response.
Rule 34 allows an opposing party in a lawsuit to request entry to inspect a property as part of the discovery process in the lawsuit. To oppose the request, you must file an objection (rather than seek an injunction). In the objection you would state that the request is overly broad, invasive and harassing. You should also state that it is a fishing expedition an an invasion of your privacy rights. If they are suing you for something in your yard, then if they cannot see if from the street, they really have no basis for suing you (or so you would argue at least). However, you absolutely must object to the request for inspection in order to get your concerns before the court.
That being said, the court will likely allow an inspection of the property in the lawsuit. But the inspection should be limited to a single time and date. And you should not allow them to take anything apart while they are there. If they violate any aspect of the court order allowing the inspection, you have a right to force them to leave your property.
If they come onto your property outside of the allowance in the order from the court, then you should call the police, as this would be trespassing.
So to sum up, you need to respond with an objection to the request. You send the objection to the other party. You should entitled the document "Defendant's Objection to Plaintiff's Request for Inspection." Then, if they try to come onto the property you simply tell them that you will not allow them to do so without a court order.
That being said, your resistance to a request like this does expose you to having to pay their costs for going to court to get the order to let them onto your property. Keep that in mind when you send your objection.
Zachary D. Norris
PS...I've included the text of the rule below just in case you don't have a copy:
Rule 34. Production of documents, electronically stored information, and things and entry upon land for inspection and other purposes
(a) Scope. -- Any party may serve on any other party requests (1) to produce and permit the party making the request, or someone acting on the requestor's behalf, to inspect, copy, test or sample any designated documents or electronically stored information -- including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound recordings, images, and other data or data compilations stored in any medium from which information can be obtained -- translated into reasonably usable form when translation is practicably necessary, or to inspect, copy, test, or sample any designated tangible things which constitute or contain matters within the scope of Rule 26(b) and which are in the possession, custody or control of the party upon whom the request is served; or (2) to permit entry upon designated land or other property in the possession or control of the party upon whom the request is served for the purpose of inspection and measuring, surveying, photographing, testing, or sampling the property or any designated object or operation thereon, within the scope of Rule 26(b).
(b) Procedure and limitations. -- The requests may, without leave of court, be served upon the plaintiff after commencement of the action and upon any other party with or after service of the summons and complaint upon that party. The requests shall set forth the items to be inspected either by individual item or by specific category, and describe each item and specific category with reasonable particularity. The request may specify the form or forms in which electronically stored information is to be produced. The request(s) shall not, without leave of court, cumulatively include more than ten (10) distinct items or specific categories of items. Each request shall specify a reasonable time, place, and manner of making the inspection and performing the related acts. If a party believes that good cause exists for more than ten (10) distinct items or categories of items, that party shall consult with the party upon whom a request would be served and attempt to secure a written stipulation to that effect. The party upon whom a request is served shall serve a written response within 40 days after the service of the request, except that a defendant may serve a response within 60 days after service, or execution of a waiver of service by that defendant, of the summons and complaint upon that defendant, or execution of a waiver of service by that defendant. The court may allow a shorter or longer time. The response shall state, with respect to each item or category, that inspection and related activities will be permitted as requested or identify the reasons for any objection, including any objection to the requested form or forms for producing electronically stored information. If objection is made to part of an item or category, the part shall be specified. If objection is made to the requested form or forms for producing electronically stored information -- or if no form was specified in the request -- the responding party must state the form or forms it intends to use. The party submitting a request may move for an order under Rule 37(a) with respect to any objection to or other failure to respond to the request or any part thereof, or any failure to permit inspection as requested. Unless the parties otherwise agree, or the court otherwise orders:
(1) a party who produces documents for inspection shall produce them as they are kept in the usual course of business or shall organize and label them to correspond with the categories in the request;
(2) if a request does not specify the form or forms for producing electronically stored information, a responding party must produce the information in a form or forms in which it is ordinarily maintained or in a form or forms that are reasonably usable; and
(3) a party need not produce the same electronically stored information in more than one form.
(c) Persons not parties. -- A person not a party to the action may be compelled to produce documents and things or to submit to an inspection as provided in Rule 45.
Rule 37. Failure to make disclosure or discovery; sanctions
(a) Motion for order compelling disclosure or discovery. -- A party, upon reasonable notice to other parties and all persons affected thereby, may apply for an order compelling disclosure or discovery as follows:
(1) Appropriate court. -- An application for an order to a party may be made to the court in the county in which the action is pending, or, in matters relating to a deposition, to the court in the county where the deposition is being taken. An application for an order to a person who is not a party shall be made to the court in the county where the discovery is being, or is to be, taken.
(A) If a party fails to make a disclosure required by Rule 26.1, any other party may move to compel disclosure and for appropriate sanctions.
(B) If a deponent fails to answer a question propounded or submitted under Rule 30 or 31, or a corporation or other entity fails to make a designation under Rule 30(b)(6) or 31(a), or a party fails to answer an interrogatory submitted under Rule 33, or if a party, in response to a request for inspection submitted under Rule 34, fails to respond that inspection will be permitted as requested or fails to permit inspection as requested, the discovering party may move for an order compelling an answer, or a designation, or an order compelling inspection in accordance with the request. When taking a deposition on oral examination, the proponent of the question may complete or adjourn the examination before applying for an order.
(C) No motion brought under this Rule 37 will be considered or scheduled unless a separate statement of moving counsel is attached thereto certifying that, after personal consultation and good faith efforts to do so, counsel have been unable to satisfactorily resolve the matter.
(3) Evasive or incomplete disclosure, answer, or response. -- For purposes of this subdivision an evasive or incomplete disclosure, answer, or response is to be treated as a failure to disclose, answer, or respond.
(4) Expenses and sanctions.
(A) If the motion is granted or if the disclosure or requested discovery is provided after the motion was filed, the court shall, after affording an opportunity to be heard, require the party or deponent whose conduct necessitated the motion or the party or attorney advising such conduct or both of them to pay to the moving party the reasonable expenses incurred in making the motion, including attorney's fees, unless the court finds that the motion was filed without the movant's first making a good faith effort to obtain the disclosure or discovery without court action, or that the opposing party's nondisclosure, response, or objection was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.
(B) If the motion is denied, the court may enter any protective order authorized under Rule 26(c) and shall, after affording an opportunity to be heard, require the moving party or the attorney filing the motion or both of them to pay to the party or deponent who opposed the motion the reasonable expenses incurred in opposing the motion, including attorney's fees, unless the court finds that the making of the motion was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.
(C) If the motion is granted in part and denied in part, the court may enter any protective order authorized under Rule 26(c) and may, after affording an opportunity to be heard, apportion the reasonable expenses incurred in relation to the motion among the parties and persons in a just manner.
(b) Failure to comply with order.
(1) Sanctions by court in county where deposition is taken. -- If a deponent fails to be sworn or to answer a question after being directed to do so by the court in the county in which the deposition is being taken, the failure may be considered a contempt of that court.
(2) Sanctions by court in which action is pending. -- If a party or an officer, director, or managing agent of a party or a person designated under Rule 30(b)(6) or 31(a) to testify on behalf of a party fails to obey an order to provide or permit discovery, including an order made under subdivision (a) of this rule or RuleXXXXXin which the action is pending may make such orders in regard to the failure as are just, and among others the following:
(A) An order that the matters regarding which the order was made or any other designated facts shall be taken to be established for the purposes of the action in accordance with the claim of the party obtaining the order;
(B) An order refusing to allow the disobedient party to support or oppose designated claims or defenses, or prohibiting that party from introducing designated matters in evidence;
(C) An order striking out pleadings or parts thereof, or staying further proceedings until the order is obeyed, or dismissing the action of proceeding or any part thereof, or rendering a judgment by default against the disobedient party;
(D) In lieu of any of the foregoing orders or in addition thereto, an order treating as a contempt of court the failure to obey any orders except an order to submit to a physical or mental examination;
(E) Where a party has failed to comply with an order under Rule 35(a) requiring that party to produce another for examination, such orders as are listed in paragraphs (A), (B), and (C) of this subdivision, unless the party failing to comply shows that that party is unable to produce such person for examination.
In lieu of any of the foregoing orders or in addition thereto, the court shall require the party failing to obey the order or the attorney advising that party or both to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, caused by the failure, unless the court finds that the failure was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.
(c) Failure to disclose; false or misleading disclosure; untimely disclosure.
(1) A party who fails to timely disclose information required by Rule 26.1 shall not, unless such failure is harmless, be permitted to use as evidence at trial, at a hearing, or on a motion, the information or witness not disclosed, except by leave of court for good cause shown. A party or attorney who makes a disclosure pursuant to Rule 26.1 that the party or attorney knew or should have known was inaccurate or incomplete and or thereby causes an opposing party to engage in investigation or discovery shall be ordered by the court to reimburse the opposing party for the cost including attorneys' fees of such investigation or discovery. In addition to or in lieu of these sanctions, the court, on motion of a party or on the court's own motion and after affording an opportunity to be heard, may impose other appropriate sanctions. In addition to requiring payment of reasonable expenses, including attorneys' fees, caused by the failure, these sanctions may include any of the actions authorized under subparagraphs (A), (B) and (C) of subdivision (b)(2) of this rule and may include informing the jury of the failure to make the disclosure.
(2) A party seeking to use information which that party first disclosed later than sixty (60) days before trial must obtain leave of court by motion, supported by affidavit, to extend the time for disclosure. Such information shall not be used unless the motion establishes and the court finds:
(i) that the information would be allowed under the standards of subsection (c)(1) notwithstanding the short time remaining before trial; and
(ii) that the information was disclosed as soon as practicable after its discovery.
(3) A party seeking to use information which that party first disclosed during trial must obtain leave of court by motion, supported by affidavit, to extend the time for disclosure. Such information shall not be used unless the motion establishes and the court finds:
(i) that the information could not have been discovered and disclosed earlier even with due diligence; and
(ii) that the information was disclosed immediately upon its discovery.
(d) Failure to disclose unfavorable information. -- A party's or attorney's knowing failure to timely disclose damaging or unfavorable information shall be grounds for imposition of serious sanctions in the court's discretion up to and including dismissal of the claim or defense.
(e) Expenses on failure to admit. -- If a party fails to admit the genuineness of any document or the truth of any matter as requested under Rule 36, and if the party requesting the admissions thereafter proves the genuineness of the document or the truth of the matter, the requesting party may apply to the court for an order requiring the other party to pay the reasonable expenses incurred in making that proof, including reasonable attorney's fees. The court shall make the order unless it finds that (1) the request was held objectionable pursuant to Rule 36(a), or (2) the admission sought was of no substantial importance, or (3) the party failing to admit had reasonable ground to believe that the party might prevail on the matter, or (4) there was other good reason for the failure to admit.
(f) Failure of party to attend at own deposition or serve answer to interrogatories or respond to request for inspection. -- If a party or an officer, director, or managing agent of a party or a person designated under Rule 30(b)(6) or 31(a) to testify on behalf of a party fails (1) to appear before the officer who is to take the deposition, after being served with a proper notice, or (2) to serve answers or objections to interrogatories submitted under Rule 33, after proper service of the interrogatories, or (3) to serve a written response to a request for inspection submitted under Rule 34, after proper service of the request, the court in which the action is pending on motion may make such orders in regard to the failure as are just, and among others it may take any action authorized under paragraphs (A), (B), and (C) of subdivision (b)(2) of this rule. In lieu of any order or in addition thereto, the court shall require the party failing to act or the attorney advising that party or both to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, caused by the failure, unless the court finds that the failure was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.
The failure to act described in this subdivision may not be excused on the ground that the discovery sought is objectionable unless the party failing to act has applied for a protective order as provided by Rule 26(c).
(g) Electronically stored information. -- Absent exceptional circumstances, a court may not impose sanctions under these rules on a party for failing to provide electronically stored information lost as a result of the routine, good-faith operation of an electronic information system.
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