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cfortunato, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Areas of practice: Landlord/Tenant, Bankruptcy, Consumer Debt
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When responding to a Plaintiffs Discovery Request (Admission,

Customer Question

When responding to a Plaintiffs Discovery Request (Admission, Interrogatories, Production) do I need to send anything to the court or just the Plaintiff?

Thank you
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  cfortunato replied 6 years ago.

Hi theonlyexpert,

If you are the defendant, all responses to discovery requests are supposed to be sent to the plaintiff's attorney - not to the court.

If you are not the defendant, responses to discovery requests are sent to the plaintiff's attorney, unless indicated otherwise.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Do my sets of responses require a certificate of service and a certificate in lieu of oath or affidavit? Or is the affidavit optional?
Expert:  cfortunato replied 6 years ago.
Since the responses are not being filed with the court, there is no need for a certificate of service, or an affidavit.

Edited by cfortunato on 9/2/2010 at 2:14 AM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The reason I asked is because the attorney attached a certificate in lieu of oath at the end of each set of discovery docs, which states:

"I certify that the foregoing statements made by me are true. I am aware that if any of the foregoing statements made by me are wilfully false, I am subject to punishment."

And he wants me to sign them along with my responses.

What can be the disadvantage if I ignore this certificate? And would it help or hurt if I attached a certificate of service along with it?

Thank you.
Expert:  cfortunato replied 6 years ago.
If the attorney sent Certificates in Lieu of Oath, it is a good idea to sign and send those. However, a Certificate of Service would not be sent. Instead - if you fill one out, you would keep it as proof that you mailed the papers, in case the attorney does not receive them, or misplaces them after receipt.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
What are the possible consequences of not signing a certificate in Liue of Oath? I don't want to sign it and have it twisted against me somehow.
Expert:  cfortunato replied 6 years ago.
If you don't sign and return that form, the attorney can request a deposition instead. You would have to go in and answer the questions under oath.

Edited by cfortunato on 9/2/2010 at 2:40 AM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Ok, I understand now. Thank you. And as a final concern of mine:

How long to I have to answer the discovery? The civil rules website is a bit confusing to me since it says 30, 60, and 90 days in different sections of the rules, each paragraph shows a different time, how do I know how long I have to respond, viz:

4:17 Interrogatories to parties

(b) Service of Answers; Time; Enlargement of Time. Except as otherwise provided by R. 4:17-1(b)(2), the party served with interrogatories shall serve answers thereto upon the party propounding them within 60 days after being served with the interrogatories. For good cause shown the court may enlarge or shorten such time upon motion on notice made within the 60-day period. Consent orders enlarging the time are prohibited.

6:4-3. Interrogatories; Admissions; Production

a) Generally. Except as otherwise provided by R. 6:4-3(b) interrogatories may be served pursuant to the applicable provisions of R. 4:17 in all actions except forcible entry and detainer actions, summary landlord and tenant actions for the recovery of premises, and actions commenced or pending in the Small Claims Section. The 40-day and 60-day periods prescribed by R. 4:17-2 and R. 4:17-4, respectively, for serving and answering interrogatories shall, however, be each reduced to 30 days in Special Civil Part actions.

6:4-5. Time for Completion of Discovery Proceedings

All proceedings referred to in R. 6:4-3 and R. 6:4-4, except for proceedings under R. 4:22 (request for admissions), shall be completed as to each defendant within 90 days of the date of service of that defendant's answer, unless on motion and notice, and for good cause shown, an order is entered before the expiration of said period enlarging the time for such proceedings to a date specified in the order. In actions transferred to the Special Civil Part pursuant to R. 4:3-4(c), however, the parties shall complete discovery within such time to which they would have been entitled under R. 4:24-1 had the action not been transferred.

I appreciate your assistance with this matter.
Expert:  cfortunato replied 6 years ago.
The time to respond is 60 days, unless this is an eviction proceeding or a small claims proceeding. The last statute (6:4-5) refers to the timeframe for the plaintiff to complete discovery - not for you to respond.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you, I'm still unclear why it's 60 days, as it only says this for interrogatories, what about admissions, and production?

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