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How To Answer Interrogatories

When dealing with any kind of lawsuit including debt cases and credit card lawsuits, there is a period of time during which both parties can request information, documents and other evidence to help build their respective cases against the other. Interrogatories are a form of discovery. These written questions can be served by one party or a witness during a civil litigation. The process for serving and answering interrogatories in district court is governed by Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and by each state’s Rules of Civil Procedure.

One typically has 45 days from the receipt of the request to respond to the request for answers to interrogatories. Here are some steps to take when attempting to answer your interrogatories:

  • Carefully read through the set of interrogatories and any additional instructions included with the request. Make note of the date you’re required to respond by and if you need more time to answer, contact the opposing party immediately to request an extension.

  • Get a separate sheet of paper and draft your tentative answers to each question. Note down the questions you might plan to object to or those you are unsure of.

  • Check your draft and expand your answers to include all information that pertains to the question.

  • Create a document in Word and type out all of the original questions. Type your answers to each interrogatory underneath the corresponding question. Provide complete and accurate answers for each.

  • Enter a stock response for interrogatories you’re unsure of or just don’t know the answer for. You can go back to them later and amend the answer. Use something along the lines of “Unknown at this time. The (plaintiff/defendant) reserves the right to amend (his/her) answer to this interrogatory as discovery continues.”

  • Object to any prohibited or inappropriate interrogatories and provide clear reasoning. If and when objecting because of the interrogatory’s form, use the following answer: “Objection to form: This interrogatory is broad and overly burdensome.” For those interrogatories that seek privileged information, use “Objection to question: This interrogatory seeks information that is protected by work-product and/or attorney-client privilege.”

  • Review your answers again for accuracy and then print them and attach the original request.

  • Sign the original interrogatories to confirm that you have answered everything correctly under penalty of perjury. Retain a copy of it all for your personal records. Send the signed original copy to the address provided in the initial request for the opposing party.