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I need more time to answer interrogatories in U.S Distrinct Court, do I file with the Court requesting an extension of time?

San Francisco, CA |
Filed under: Litigation

I have 30 days of service to answer several interrogatories pursuant to Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; however, the other party did not submit all documentation requested. Since the other party has not production most of the documentation requested, I can not answer several of the interrogatories and as such, will require more time. Do I confer with the other party for my request of time extension or do I file with the Court requesting an extension of time. I am Pro Se.

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

Courts like to see the Parties communicating. Tell your opponent what you need and confirm she has no objection to your request for more time. You will file a Motion for Enlargement of Time, stating that your opponent has no objection. Consult with the Clerk. In most federal courts, an agreed extension is summarily granted provided it is filed prior to the date the filing is due and it does not require the re-scheduling of a hearing before the judge/magistrate. Good luck. If it's worth litigating in Federal Court, it's worth hiring counsel.

If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Links: ccandiano@themargolisfirm.com http://www.themargolisfirm.com

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Asker

Posted

You are correct in terms of confering with the opposing party and worth hiring counsel but the costs of hiring counsel is too costly for me and although the judge has found there is enough merit to the case to move forward still there is some grey areas in the case that prevents counsel from taking on for contingency. Not a class action suit.

Posted

The court has nothing to do with discobvery unitl required to rule on a motion to compel answers of further answers.

If you want an edxtension of time to answer, call or write opposing counsel and ask for more time, and if it's granted, confirm the etsntion and new due date in writing to them and keep a copy.

If you need documents from THEM in response to YOUR discovery requests before you can answer these interrogatories, explain that to them, and advise them that if they don't produce these documents, you'll have to respond to the interrogatories that you're unable to respond due to lacking these documents that they won't produce, and object that they're in a superior position to you to know these answers.

Of course you know you should hire your own lawyer, since pro per litigants rarely do well in court, especially against lawyers.

I'm only licensed in CA. Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

Make sure that you file your motion prior to the expiration of the 30 days.

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Posted

Often, it is easier to simply ask opposing counsel for an extension. These are routinely granted, especially where the other party has not produced documents either. If the other party denies the extension, you should make the court aware by a motion to extend time, that you sought the stipulation of the opposing party, but it refused.

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Posted

Your natural intuition is correct. As long as there are no impending court deadlines like a trial date or the last day on which to file motions, parties in litigation routinely request and obtain extensions of time in which to respond to discovery. If your opponent agrees, make sure the extension is documented between you and the opposing attorney in a letter or e-mail to avoid any confusion. If your opponent will not agree you can file a motion for a protective order pursuant to Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Because motion practice in Federal court can be difficult unless you hire a lawyer, the easiest route may be to just respond to the interrogatories may stating you cannot yet answer the interrogatories because you don't yet have the information necessary to answer them. Remember you have a duty to disclose all information in your possession, custody or control and, because you are in Federal Court, you have a continuing duty to supplement your responses when you do have the necessary information. Because the failure to respond to discovery may have serious consequences you should consult with a lawyer about the specific details of your case.

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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