In any case pending before the courts, both parties have the authority conduct certain Discovery pursuant to the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. In most cases Discovery can include Requests for Admissions, Requests for Production of Documents and Things, Interrogatories, and Depositions, as described below:
Requests for Admissions: These are statements that you are asking the other party to admit or deny. These can be a useful tool because if the responding party fails to respond within the timeframe prescribed by statute, the Requests can be deemed admitted by the court.
Requests for Production of Documents and Things: These are requests for the other party to produce documents that provide information regarding to the pending claims. In cases dealing with support or property, this will often include bank statements, investment account statements, retirement account statements, mortgage statements, and the like. In cases involving child custody or marital misconduct, this may include things like text messages, Facebook history, emails, or phone records.
Interrogatories: These are questions presented to the other party, requesting information relevant to the pending claims. Often times, the information requested in the Interrogatories is used to subpoena records from third parties for documents or witnesses that are necessary for the trial.
Depositions: This is through which one party (through their attorney) questions the other party under oath, and in the presence of a court reporter, regarding information relevant to the pending claims. Depositions are often used to determine what additional information is needed based on the party’s answers, or to get a preview of how the other party may present at trial.
All Discovery has certain requirements prescribed by statute and can be a tricky process. It is important to speak with an attorney who is experienced in conducting discovery correctly to ensure compliance with the rules and the ability to acquire the information needed.