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Wis Stat 804.08
Always consult local rules for additional instructions on interrogatories - can usually send a maximum # of interrogatories, but you can send many many sets.
- Brown Co. 30 max at a time
- Winnabago Co. - 45
- Shawano Co. -
Wis. Stat. 804.08(1)(a)
Interrogatories can only be sent to the parties in a lawsuit, so only the plaintiff's and defendants.
They are written questions that are answered under oath.
They must be served.
If served on an entity (business) they must be answered by an agent or officer of the entity.
Must serve to the attorney of record if there is one, because of the no contact rule.
How soon can interrogarories be utilized?
The interrogatories can be served on the plaintiff after the commencement of the Cause of Action.
The interrogatories can be served on the defendant/other parties - with - or after service of Summons and Complaint.
What is Engrossing?
Restating question prior to answering the nterrogatories
Wis. Stat. 804.08 (1)(b)
Interrogatory may be objected to
If you object, need to state the reasons for objecting -
"In lieu of an answer____"
Always answer WITH an attorney
As a general rule, interrogatories must be answered within 30 days -
Exception: Defendant may give answers within 45 days if the interrogatories are served with the summons and complaint. on that defendant.
Wis stat 804.08(2)
to be discoverable the info must be relevant (wis stat 804.01(2))
MUST BE REASONABLY CALCULATABLE TO LEAD TO THE DISCOVERY OF ADMISABLE EVIDENCE.
To be discoverable the information must be relevant, however not all relevant information is discoverable.
i.e. privledged documents
Challenging on the grounds of privledge
You must object and specify grounds for ovjection. you can also make a motion for a protective order.
To be discoverable, information must be relevant...
just because it is discoverable does not make it admissible.
- 3 R's
The three R's of evidence
To be admissible the info must satisfy the three R's of evidence:
Funnel of Evidence
Funnel starts very large at the top where discoverable evidence is "poured into" and then is "filtered" to see what discoverable evidence is admissible evidence. Admissible evidence gets through to the Jury...
Producing Business Records
Wis Stat 804.08(3)
In order to produce business records, rather than answer an interrogatory the following test applies:
"The burden of deriving the answer from the records must be "SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME FOR THE PERSON ASKING AS FOR THE PERSON ANSWERING THE INTERROGATORY"
So that means that if the answer is "code" it must be interpreted to "normal" language
If the test for producing the business records is met, then it is a sufficient answer to the interrogatory to:
* Specify the records from which the answer can be derived
*Provide a reasonable opportunity to examine/audit/inspect
*Provide a reasonable opportunity to copy/compile/abstract/summerize records
It is okay to charge for things like copying, staff to copy
Things to remember with interrogatories:
Check the local rules for a limit on the number of questions that can be put in the set of interrogatories
In WI there is no limit on the number of sets of interrogatories that may be sent
You should label each set of interrogatories to indicate whether it is the first, second, third etc.
Interrogatories can only be used to have PARTIES to the lawsuit answer questions
Interrogatories have got to be served to the opposing parties attorney due to the no contact rule.
Objections to Interrogatories
Objections must state the grounds as to why they are being objected to:
- Privledged information
- Work Product doctrine
- Vague, ambiguous, unintelligible (was the road wet? - WHEN, WHAT ROAD)
- Too broad
- Unduly burdonsome (FRCP 26(c)) - Expensive
- Exceeds number of questions permitted by the local court rules