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Before the Trial

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How do I respond to interrogatories?

You have to respond to interrogatories in writing to the best of your ability. If you do not answer an interrogatory question, and then the other side learns that you did in fact know the answer, it could have a negative impact on your case at trial. The other side could imply that you are trying to hide information that is harmful to your case and ask that an inference or assumption is made at trial based on this.

However, you can object to interrogatories that call for legal conclusions. You can also object to questions if they are not at all related to the court case. To object, you need to write out the reasons for the objection instead of answering the question. These objections must be valid and you should note them in your response along with the questions that you are answering. If the other side does not think that your objection is valid, s/he may be able to file a motion to compel, which basically asks the judge to force you to answer the interrogatories. The judge will then decide whether the question in the interrogatories must be answered or not.

Let’s take the examples mentioned in What are interrogatories and how do they work? and look at how you might respond or object to each one:

Q; Was the vehicle in the crash registered in your name?

A: Yes, on the date of the alleged traffic accident, the vehicle was registered in the name of the defendant, Jane Doe.

Q: Were you at fault for the accident?

A: Defendant respectfully objects to this interrogatory question because it calls for Defendant to reach a legal conclusion.