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Before the Trial

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What are interrogatories and how are they used?

Interrogatories are a discovery tool that the parties can use to have specific questions about a case answered before trial. Interrogatories are lists of questions sent to the other party that s/he must respond to in writing. You can use interrogatories to find out facts about a case but they cannot be used for questions that draw a legal conclusion. For example, in a case about a car accident, you could ask, “Was the vehicle in the crash registered in your name?” but you could not ask, “Were you at fault for the accident?” In a custody case, you could ask, “How many doctors’ appointments have you attended?” but you could not ask, “Is it in the child’s best interests to live with me?”

You may receive interrogatories with questions that call for legal conclusions or that you believe are irrelevant. You can read about how to properly respond in How do I respond to interrogatories?