Format Of Discovery Motions In Divorce Cases – Massachusetts
REQUIREMENTS AND FORMAT FOR DISCOVERY MOTIONS IN DIVORCE MATTERS
Discovery motions are highly technical and must be done correctly or the motion will be denied. The format must conform with Mass.R.Dom.Rel.P. 26(f), which allows a motion to request the trial court to compel the other party to do any of the following things:
- Respond further to interrogatories;
- Answer requests for admissions;
- Answer questions posed at a deposition; and
- Produce documents or things.
The motion must be accompanied by a separate document (which is usually referred to as a “Separate Statement of Issues”) which sets forth each separate interrogatory, item or category of items, request, question, document or tangible thing to which a further response, answer or production is requested. Essentially, this document is a summary of the demand or question, the response, and the reasons a further response is required. Another document cannot be referenced in this Separate Statement.
The party who is alleged to be non-compliant may submit a response including a written statement detailing why his or her response was sufficient or why the response was made.
Before a motion to compel further responses will be heard by the court, a mandatory pre-motion conference will take place. This meeting between the attorneys must take place in person or by telephone in an effort to resolve the dispute. This requirement is waived if a no-contact order is in effect.
Finally, a discovery motion must be accompanied by a certificate (by the filing party’s attorney) that efforts to resolve the discovery dispute between the plaintiff and defendant in the divorce case resulted in a failure to resolve the issue, thereby necessitating court intervention.
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