Interrogatories and related Questions
Is it normal and lawful to demand interrogatories before mediation?Interrogatories are called discovery. Most attorneys use the information from interrogatories to determine if their client is receiving a fair settlement during mediation. Anything revealed during mediation cannot be used in the court room. You are free to express your concerns and interests during the mediation without retaliation in court. Some opposing lawyers try to use statements made during mediation but generally the statements will be stricken from the court.
What happens if a person doesn't answer all of the questions to Interrogatories?When answering interrogatories, if you feel the questions are pushy, bothersome, harassing, etc., don't answer them. The other party's lawyer will set a hearing on a motion to compel. Once the other party's lawyer has done this, you will go to court. During the hearing, you will have a chance to explain to the judge why you don't wish to answer the certain questions. However, the opposing lawyer will have a chance to explain the need for you to answer the questions. The judge will make a ruling after both sides have been heard. The judge may or may not rule in your favor. You may be ordered to answer some or all of the questions.
Is it ok to raise objections to interrogatories about a person's finances?Generally, you wouldn't have a base for objecting to interrogatories regarding finances. By law, you are required to release any financial information during a divorce. When dealing with issues such as spousal support, child support, or hidden assets, your spouse's attorney has a right to know what your net worth is. If your spouse's attorney was requesting something unrealistic, such as 10 years of pay stubs, you could claim that the request is overly burdensome. Other than that type of request, you are required by law to provide all financial information.
What will happen if a person's attorney turns the interrogatories in late and the opposing side files a motion for default of judgment?Usually, the judge after hearing the case will have the final say as to the outcome. If there is a legitimate reason that the interrogatories were turned in late, the judge may excuse it. However, if your attorney was the one who failed to turn the interrogatories in on time, the judge may excuse you from any wrong doing and sanction the attorney personally. Usually, if this is the case, your attorney will notify the court that the fault was not yours and ask the judge for leniency.
If someone objects to interrogatories, can they object without an explanation?If someone objects to interrogatories, they must explain their reasons for the objection. You would then be allowed to move to strike their objections for being improper and a motion to compel answers. When asking for interrogatories, you are not allowed to ask them to produce documents. However, you can ask the opposing party if the documents exist and ask them to identify the documents. You can then enter a request for production and request them to produce the document in question.
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