Do responses to legal interrogatories have to be filed with the courthouse?

I’m trying to home brew a defense to a lawsuit. I’m writing up the response to admissions/interrogatories. My question is - do I simply send the response back to the plaintiff’s attornies, or do I have to file them with the court too? I’m having trouble finding information about that.

Second question - legal sites make mention of a verification that has to go with the response to interrogatories. Do I need an official form, or a court issued affadavit, or can I simply attach something like “I, ____, hereby claim under threat of perjury that the answers contained herein are true to the best of my knowledge” or somesuch?

In my experience you can get very good information by simply calling the appropriate clerk of court and asking nicely. Much of what you ask is likely addressed under the local/state rules of procedure, but a phone call might be easier. Good luck.

What follow isn’t legal advice. I’m not your lawyer, you’re not my client, and if you believe anything I say, it’s at your own peril and you’re a moron.

Typically, you don’t file discovery requests or responses with the court. Courts get a lot of paper, and they dislike getting things that don’t involve them. Discovery typically is dealt with between the parties, and if the court has to get involved, then someone typically files a motion asking the court to do something (and would attach the discovery at issue to that motion).

As for a verification, the form will likely depend on the rules in the jurisdiction in which the case is filed (i.e., federal court? state court? which state?). Typically, a verification says that you have read the interrogatories and their answers, and you know the answers to be true based on your own personal knowledge, and that on that basis you verify that the answers are true. You then sign the verification under penalty of perjury.

The exact language is, to some extent, important. In California, for example, if you sign “under penalty of perjury” without identifying the location where you signed (i.e., “Subscribed this fifth day of December, 2008, at Los Angeles, California”), the verification is inadequate. If, on the other hand, you sign “under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California,” you don’t need to put your location.

In Hawaii, also for example, in addition to verifying the discovery responses, you need to have your verification notarized. California has no such requirement.

I recognize that this doesn’t answer your question, but instead simply provides generalized legal information. To find a particular answer, many jurisidictions have form books or practice guides. In a form book (i.e., Matthew Bender’s California Forms of Pleading and Practice) there are examples of just about every kind of pleading you could want to see. And California also has Rutter Guides to Civil Procedure; the grey one is for state court and the red one is for federal court. You may want to take a look at a local law library to see if there’s something there to help you.

Apologies, but aren’t interrogs different from discovery? Or are the UK and US systems different?

I was under the impression that answers to interrogs (and indeed lists of documents) would need to be filed in Court, if not for anything else then for the reason that they rightly form part of the Court Documents and should be placed on public record. What would be the point of an off-the-record affidavit?

Of course, I am not a US lawyer, and will defer to any lawyer who knows what’s up (i.e. not me), but if there were no requirement for lists of documents or interrogs or further & better particulars to be filed in Court, I would be quite surprised… I’m genuinely curious.

Interrogatories are part of discovery but discovery isn’t filed in the Courthouse. You wouldn’t file your Responses to Document Production Requests either. The Court doesn’t care to the extent that a Motion to Compel isn’t required. If you have some pleading that references it, then you file the necessary discovery as an exhibit to the pleading.

Sorry to have to pee out the campfire here, but I can’t really see the OP as anything other than a request for legal advice. Thread closed.

General Questions Moderator