Use this “At A Glance Guide” to learn the statewide rules of civil procedure (New York Civil Law and Practice Rules and Uniform Rules) applicable to responding to interrogatories in New York Supreme Court. For more detailed information, including local rules, please see the New York Supreme Court SmartRules Guides: Response to Interrogatories.
The deadline for service of answers or objections to interrogatories depends on the method of service of the interrogatories.
Within twenty (20) days after being served with interrogatories, the party served must serve on each other party a copy of the answer or objection to each interrogatory. CPLR 3133(a). No additional time is added to this period if service was made by personal delivery, facsimile or electronic transmission. CPLR 2103(b)(1), (5) and (7).
If the interrogatories were served by overnight delivery add one (1) day to the response period. CPLR 2103(b)(6).
If the interrogatories were served by mail, add five (5) days to the response period. CPLR 2103(b)(2).
The day interrogatories are served is not included when calculating the time to respond. Response time starts running the day after service. Gen. Const. L. 20.
Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays are included in the count if they do not fall on the last day of the period. If the last day of the period is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the response period runs until the end of the next non-holiday business day. Gen. Const. L. 25. “Legal holidays” include those specified in Gen. Constr. L. 24, plus any others designated by the federal or state government. Gen. Const. L. 24.
Any party may serve interrogatories on any other party at any time after commencement of the action. CPLR 3130; CPLR 3132.
Unless the Court directs otherwise, no party may serve interrogatories on a defendant until the time has expired for that defendant to serve a responsive pleading. CPLR 3132.
The response deadline may be altered by court order or stipulation. CPLR 2004; CPLR 3102(b), respectively.
As a practical matter, the timing of discovery requests and responses will be governed by the discovery schedule entered by the court, typically at the preliminary conference. All disclosure should be completed within twelve (12) months of the RJI filing in a standard case, or within fifteen (15) months of the RJI filing in a complex case. Uniform R. 202.12(b).
In all commercial division cases the discovery schedule will be set at the preliminary conference. Commercial Div. R. 11.
In all Commercial Division cases, parties must strictly comply with discovery obligations by the dates set forth in all case scheduling orders. Such deadlines, however, may be modified upon the consent of all parties, provided that all discovery shall be completed by the discovery cutoff date set forth in the preliminary conference order. Commercial Div. R. 13.
Applications for extension of a discovery deadline shall be made as soon as practicable and prior to the expiration of such deadline. Commercial Div. R. 13.
Non-compliance with such an order may result in the imposition of an appropriate sanction against that party pursuant to Section 3126 of the CPLR. Commercial Div. R. 13.
Response to Interrogatories Rules:
The party served with interrogatories must answer in writing under oath. CPLR 3133(b). If the party served with interrogatories is a corporation, a partnership or a sole proprietorship, then an officer, director, member, agent or employee that has the information sought by the interrogatory must answer in writing under oath. CPLR 3133(b).
As to any interrogatories not answered, the responding party must state his or her objections with reasonable particularity. CPLR 3133(a).
Except with respect to amendment or supplementation of responses pursuant to subdivision (h) of section 3101, answers to interrogatories may be amended or supplemented only by order of the court upon motion. CPLR 3133(c).
A party shall amend or supplement a response previously given to a request for disclosure promptly upon the party’s thereafter obtaining information that the response was incorrect or incomplete when made, or that the response, though correct and complete when made, no longer is correct and complete, and the circumstances are such that a failure to amend or supplement the response would be materially misleading. Where a party obtains such information an insufficient period of time before the commencement of trial appropriately to amend or supplement the response, the party shall not thereupon be precluded from introducing evidence at the trial solely on grounds of noncompliance with this subdivision. In that instance, upon motion of any party, made before or at trial, or on its own initiative, the court may make whatever order may be just. Further amendment or supplementation may be obtained by court order. CPLR 3101(h).
Answers to interrogatories may be amended or supplemented by court order upon motion. CPLR 3133(c).
Interrogatories may relate to any matter or information material or necessary to the prosecution or defense of the action and not subject to privilege. CPLR 3131; CPLR 3101. Interrogatories may require (a) an opportunity to examine and copy papers, documents or photographs that are relevant to the answers to the interrogatories, or (b) copies of such papers, documents or photographs. CPLR 3131.
The New York Rules do not specify a numerical limit for Interrogatories. However, if the number of interrogatories is burdensome, oppressive or improper, they may be subject to vacation under a protective order.
In the Commercial Division, the preliminary conference order may provide for “such limitations of interrogatories and other discovery as pay be necessary to the circumstances of the case. Commercial Div. R. 11(c).
In a statement dated June 8, 2007, the Administrative Judge of the New York County Commercial Division asserted: “All Justices of the Commercial Division require that, unless otherwise directed in a particular case, the number of interrogatories shall be limited to 25, including subparts.” Statement of the Administrative Judge of the New York County Commercial Division Re Number of Interrogatories. The full statement can be viewed online at: http://www.nycourts.gov/comdiv/Main_Page_New_York_County2.htm.
Except in matrimonial actions, no party can serve interrogatories on a party and demand a bill of particulars from the same party. CPLR 3130(1).
In actions based solely on negligence and claiming personal injury, property damage or wrongful death, no party may, without leave of Court, serve written interrogatories on a party and take the oral deposition of the same party. CPLR 3130(1).
After the commencement of a matrimonial action the Court may order non-parties to respond to written interrogatories, of a form and scope determined by the Court, to furnish reasonable and necessary financial information about a party to the action. CPLR 3130(2).
If a party fails to answer an interrogatory, the propounding party may file a motion seeking to compel a response. CPLR 3124. See New York County Supreme Court SmartRules¢ procedural guide: MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY.
If a party refuses to obey an order for disclosure or willfully fails to disclose information that ought to have been disclosed, the propounding party may seek sanctions against that party. CPLR 3126.
Each question must be answered separately and fully, and the question to which the answer or objection responds must proceed each answer or objection. CPLR 3133(b).
The party propounding or responding to discovery requests must serve every party to the action. CPLR 3132.
In any action subject to e-filing, parties and non-parties producing materials in response to discovery demands may enter into a stipulation authorizing the electronic filing of discovery responses and discovery materials to the degree and upon terms and conditions set forth in the stipulation. In the absence of such a stipulation, no party shall file electronically any such materials except in the form of excerpts, quotations, or selected exhibits from such materials as part of motion papers, pleadings or other filings with the court. Uniform R. 202.05b(j).
The authorities cited in this At A Glance Guide are current as of the publication date. For authorities updated in real time, please see the SmartRules Guide for the litigation document you are drafting.