Family Law

Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Family Law
This answer was rated:

Im going thru a divorce and acting pro se. The county that

I'm going thru a divorce...
I'm going thru a divorce and acting pro se. The county that the divorce agreement will be filed is Bristol County in Massachusetts. My questions is this. Does discovery (specifically, the sending of interrogatories, document requests and depositions) end at Pretrial or can it continue right up until trial?
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Answered in 9 minutes by:
9/1/2011
Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27,689
Experience: 25 years experience as practicing attorney
Verified

Dear JACUSTOMER - This will depend on the court since many courts will have what is known as a scheduling hearing, usually at the time of the pretrial, which will set dates for the completion of discovery and filing motions etc. Since I have no way of knowing if your particular court will set such a schedule I cannot say for certain. Since discovery requests give the opposing party time to respond, generally 20-30 days, it is logical that you cannot file for discovery within that many days of the actual trial since the other side would not have sufficient time to respond.

If you want to file for discovery I would do it sooner rather than later since I would assume you know what you need to ask for and there's no point in waiting. If new facts come to light after you file you can always file for additional information. I'm not certain from your facts whether you are asking for the purpose of you filing or the opposing party filing so I can only answer in general terms however the rules would apply to both sides.

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 6 years ago

I am asking a specific question within my county. There has never been a scheduling hearing. I need advice specific to my county. Frankly, your response is too general and I have gained nothing. My expectations are that you were asked a specific question as it relates to my county and if I'm expecting to pay for advice the advice should be germain to my specific question.

Unfortunately we do not have an attorney in every county in the US. The rules of discovery are under state law and not county law and are fairly consistent. What I was trying to explain was that every judge in every court has slightly different rules for their court and some have scheduling conferences and some don't. All you have to do is ask your court bailiff if you are representing yourself. Here are the MA rules of discovery. As you can see it says "unless otherwise ordered by the court" meaning the local judge has discretion.

 

http://www.lawlib.state.ma.us/source/mass/rules/civil/mrcp26.html

Massachusetts Civil Procedure Rule 26: General Provisions Governing Discovery

[Disclaimer]

(a) Discovery Methods. Parties may obtain discovery by one or more of the following methods except as otherwise provided in Rule 30(a) and Rule 30A(a), (b): depositions upon oral examination or written questions; written interrogatories; production of documents or things or permission to enter upon land or other property, for inspection and other purposes; physical and mental examinations; and requests for admission. Unless the court orders otherwise, or unless otherwise provided in these rules, the frequency of use of these methods is not limited.

(b) Scope of Discovery. Unless otherwise limited by order of the court in accordance with these rules, the scope of discovery is as follows:

(1) In General. Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action, whether it relates to the claim or defense of the party seeking discovery or to the claim or defense of any other party, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of any discoverable matter. It is not ground for objection that the information sought will be inadmissible at the trial if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

(2) Insurance Agreements. A party may obtain discovery of the existence and contents of any insurance agreement under which any person carrying on an insurance business may be liable to satisfy part or all of a judgment which may be entered in the action or to indemnify or reimburse for payments made to satisfy the judgment. Information concerning the insurance agreement is not by reason of disclosure admissible in evidence at trial. For purposes of this paragraph, an application for insurance shall not be treated as part of an insurance agreement.

(3) Trial Preparation: Materials. Subject to the provisions of subdivision (b)(4) of this rule, a party may obtain discovery of documents and tangible things otherwise discoverable under subdivision (b)(1) of this rule and prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial by or for another party or by or for that other party's representative (including his attorney, consultant, surety, indemnitor, insurer, or agent) only upon a showing that the party seeking discovery has substantial need of the materials in the preparation of his case and that he is unable without undue hardship to obtain the substantial equivalent of the materials by other means. In ordering discovery of such materials when the required showing has been made, the court shall protect against disclosure of the mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories of an attorney or other representative of a party concerning the litigation.

A party may obtain without the required showing a statement concerning the action or its subject matter previously made by that party. Upon request, a person not a party may obtain without the required showing a statement concerning the action or its subject matter previously made by that person. If the request is refused, the person may move for a court order. The provisions of Rule 37(a)(4) apply to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the motion. For purposes of this paragraph, a statement previously made is (A) a written statement signed or otherwise adopted or approved by the person making it, or (B) a stenographic, mechanical, electrical, or other recording, or a transcription thereof, which is a substantially verbatim recital of an oral statement by the person making it and contemporaneously recorded.

(4) Trial Preparation: Experts. Discovery of facts known and opinions held by experts, otherwise discoverable under the provisions of subdivision (b)(1) of this rule and acquired or developed in anticipation of litigation or for trial, may be obtained only as follows:

(A)(i) A party may through interrogatories require any other party to identify each person whom the other party expects to call as an expert witness at trial, to state the subject matter on which the expert is expected to testify, and to state the substance of the facts and opinions to which the expert is expected to testify and a summary of the grounds for each opinion. (ii) Upon motion, the court may order further discovery by other means, subject to such restrictions as to scope and such provisions, pursuant to subdivision (b)(4)(C) of this rule, concerning fees and expenses as the court may deem appropriate.

(B) A party may discover facts known or opinions held by an expert who has been retained or specially employed by another party in anticipation of litigation or preparation for trial and who is not expected to be called as a witness at trial, only as provided in Rule 35(b) or upon a showing of exceptional circumstances under which it is impracticable for the party seeking discovery to obtain facts or opinions on the same subject by other means.

(C) Unless manifest injustice would result, (i) the court shall require that the party seeking discovery pay the expert a reasonable fee for time spent in responding to discovery under subdivisions (b)(4)(A)(ii) and (b)(4)(B) of this rule; and (ii) with respect to discovery obtained under subdivision (b)(4)(A)(ii) of this rule the court may require, and with respect to discovery obtained under subdivision (b)(4)(B) of this rule the court shall require, the party seeking discovery to pay the other party a fair portion of the fees and expenses reasonably incurred by the latter party in obtaining facts and opinions from the expert.

(5) Claims of Privilege or Protection of Trial Preparation Materials: Privilege Log. When a party withholds information otherwise discoverable under these rules by claiming that it is privileged or subject to protection as material prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial, the party shall make the claim expressly and, without revealing information that is privileged or protected, shall prepare a privilege log containing the following information: the respective author(s) and sender(s) if different; the recipient(s); the date and type of document, written communication or thing not produced; and in general terms, the subject matter of the withheld information. By written agreement of the party seeking the withheld information and the party holding the information or by court order, a privilege log need not be prepared or may be limited to certain documents, written communications, or things.

(c) Protective Orders. Upon motion by a party or by the person from whom discovery is sought, and for good cause shown, the court in which the action is pending or alternatively, on matters relating to a deposition, the court in the county or judicial district, as the case may be, where the deposition is to be taken may make any order which justice requires to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, including one or more of the following: (1) that the discovery not be had; (2) that the discovery may be had only on specified terms and conditions, including a designation of the time or place; (3) that the discovery may be had only by a method of discovery other than that selected by the party seeking discovery; (4) that certain matters not be inquired into, or that the scope of the discovery be limited to certain matters; (5) that discovery be conducted with no one present except persons designated by the court; (6) that a deposition after being sealed be opened only by order of the court; (7) that a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information not be disclosed or be disclosed only in a designated way; (8) that the parties simultaneously file specified documents or information enclosed in sealed envelopes to be opened as directed by the court.

If the motion for a protective order is denied in whole or in part, the court may, on such terms and conditions as are just, order that any party or person provide or permit discovery. The provisions of Rule 37(a)(4) apply to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the motion.

(d) Sequence and Timing of Discovery. Unless the court upon motion, for the convenience of parties and witnesses and in the interests of justice, orders otherwise, methods of discovery may be used in any sequence and the fact that a party is conducting discovery, whether by deposition or otherwise, shall not operate to delay any other party's discovery.

(e) Supplementation of Responses. A party who has responded to a request for discovery with a response that was complete when made is under no duty to supplement his response to include information thereafter acquired, except as follows:

(1) A party is under a duty seasonably to supplement his response with respect to any question directly addressed to (A) the identity and location of persons having knowledge of discoverable matters, and (B) the identity of each person expected to be called as an expert witness at trial, the subject matter on which he is expected to testify, and the substance of his testimony.

(2) A party is under a duty seasonably to amend a prior response if he obtains information upon the basis of which (A) he knows that the response was incorrect when made, or (B) he knows that the response though correct when made is no longer true and the circumstances are such that a failure to amend the response is in substance a knowing concealment.

(3) A duty to supplement responses may be imposed by order of the court, agreement of the parties, or at any time prior to trial through new requests for supplementation of prior responses.

Amended December 16, 1980, effective January 1, 1981; amended effective July 1, 1996; amended February 27, 2008, effective

Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27,689
Experience: 25 years experience as practicing attorney
Verified
Dave Kennett and 87 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Dave Kennett Your Own Question
Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27,689
27,689 Satisfied Customers
Experience: 25 years experience as practicing attorney

Dave Kennett is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

11,844 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney and Counselor at Law

9,025 satisfied customers

30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

7,856 satisfied customers

I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

6,562 satisfied customers

JD, 17 years legal experience including family law

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Lawyer

3,360 satisfied customers

16 yrs. of experience including family law.

Barrister

Barrister

Lawyer

3,346 satisfied customers

Attorney with 17 years experience

RobertJDFL

RobertJDFL

Lawyer

2,754 satisfied customers

Experienced in multiple areas of the law.

< Previous | Next >

Related Family Law Questions
I am a Pro Se defendant in a divorce case. We were married
I am a Pro Se defendant in a divorce case. We were married 32 years. We have three adult children 29, 28, 22. I go before the judge on Friday for a pendante lite motion. During the marriage, the past … read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
Juris Doctor
17,961 satisfied customers
I'm trying to find the pro se form for a petition to
I'm trying to find the pro se form for a petition to domesticate a foreign judgment from Florida to Georgia … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I am in Pro Se status and have been filing motions with the
I am in Pro Se status and have been filing motions with the court. Opposing counsel just contacted me saying she has filed a notice of absence from this week and that I should not contact her anymore.… read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Partner
Doctoral Degree
55,397 satisfied customers
I am currently in Pro Se status. I have read that opposing
I am currently in Pro Se status. I have read that opposing counsel must be careful not to give legal advice to me while in this status. What avenue can I take if she does give me legal advice? As in, … read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,480 satisfied customers
I am plaintiff pro se. Do Admissions (for Discovery) have to
I am plaintiff pro se. Do Admissions (for Discovery) have to be notarized after they are completed? Does having the defendant have to notarize the Admissions? Does notarizing them add legitimacy to an… read more
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL
Lawyer
Juris Doctorate
2,754 satisfied customers
A defendant, in a case I am the pro se plaintiff, answered
A defendant, in a case I am the pro se plaintiff, answered my Admissions by Admitting what I need to prove. She is only one of many defendants, but her Admission is the most significant since it invol… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,179 satisfied customers
I have a question about filing an interrogatory to the other
I have a question about filing an interrogatory to the other party in a law suit as part of the discovery process of a relocation trial. Does the interrogatory need to be officially submitted to the c… read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,480 satisfied customers
I'm a pro se in a divorce and we are coming to formal
I'm a pro se in a divorce and we are coming to formal discovery phase. My husband's attorney filed her timesheet a few months back and in it, it mentions that she billed my husband for drafting an aff… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,179 satisfied customers
My pending (petitioner's pro se) motion is underway re
my pending (petitioner's pro se) motion is underway re Verified Motion to Modify Child Support; my employment income circumstances are fluid as a result of current employment disability absence of unc… read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
I am trying to complete a pro se divorce in Kerr CCAL for a
I am trying to complete a pro se divorce in Kerr CCAL for a TDCJ inmate. The judge refuses to hear it or even issue any type of ruling.Ms. Griffith is currently incarcerated in TDCJ Hobby Unit in Marl… read more
Michael Bradley
Michael Bradley
JD
1,127 satisfied customers
Am pro se father re Colorado Child Support Modification
Am pro se father re Colorado Child Support Modification petition re emancipation 9-25-17, oldest of two daughters. Ex/former spouse still represented by same counsel from divorce process 8yrs+. Now wi… read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
Im pro se. My ex has an attorney. She is adamant that she
Im pro se. My ex has an attorney. She is adamant that she will not follow the temporary visitation order that is in place. Im trying to reason with her but she keeps telling me to call her lawyer. Sho… read more
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
Doctoral Degree
175 satisfied customers
Woman represented herself (pro se) at trial & lost. Lawyer
Woman represented herself (pro se) at trial & lost. Lawyer filed a motion for new trial which was denied. Woman wanted lawyer to appeal trial ruling. Lawyer reminded her he was only going to help her … read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
Well, texas, I filed a petition for divorce, pro se, and the
I filed a petition for divorce, pro se, and the other party signed the waiver, but now they are not agreeing to the final decree. So, I think I need to request a hearing and do it contested now … read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
11,844 satisfied customers
I am in the middle of a divorce proceeding as a Pro Se and
I am in the middle of a divorce proceeding as a Pro Se and the opposing counsel make these statement occasionally, which indicate she is more informed on me than I am.I don't know how the opposing cou… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,179 satisfied customers
If I am representing myself pro se, and requested an in
If I am representing myself pro se, and requested an in camera interview for my child, will I be allowed with my ex's attorney to ask questions or since it's a conflict for a parent to be in there, wo… read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Partner
Doctoral Degree
55,397 satisfied customers
In December, I submitted a pro se, uncontested divorce case.
In December, I submitted a pro se, uncontested divorce case. Months later I received a notice of a status conference. In it, it says, "Unless specifically excused by the Court, all litigants shall app… read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
11,844 satisfied customers
I live in Massachusetts and am pro se in my divorce matter.
I live in Massachusetts and am pro se in my divorce matter. My soon to be ex-wife's attorney is asking that i produce my retirement, life insurance and mortgage statements to her, but the discovery de… read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Partner
Doctoral Degree
55,397 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x