During a case in criminal or civil court, each party tries to accumulate as much evidence to win or settle the case in their favor. One way to do that is during the discovery process.

Discovery is a formal process in which parties to a case obtain information from the other side to help support their arguments for a case.

What Is a Request for Production?

A request for production is one way that parties can obtain evidence during the discovery process. When served with the request, the other party is obligated to find all of the documents listed in the request within reason. Then, the party must send them to the other party, unless an exception applies and the party is not required to produce the requested documents.

What Does a Request for Production Look Like?

A request for production typically includes several numbered, separate requests asking for certain documents. The terminology used in the request is broad so the other party can obtain as many documents as possible. For instance, a defense attorney in a personal injury case may request all documents related to insurance to obtain every insurance document.

What Are Some Exceptions to Fulfilling a Request for Production?

There are a number of exceptions that would allow for a party to not fulfill a request for production. These exceptions include:

  • Privilege: The information contained in the documents is subject to a privilege, such as a doctor-patient privilege or a spousal privilege.
  • Impossibility: The request for production is requesting documents that are incredibly difficult or impossible to obtain.
  • Too Broad: The request for production is too vague or too broad that the effort to gather all of the documents would far exceed any value that the documents would give to the requesting party.

What If I Do Not Want to Comply with the Request for Production?

If you fail to properly respond to the request for production, the other party can file a motion to compel with the court. If it is granted, the court will order you to complete the request for production of documents or face contempt of court. If you are found in contempt of court, you may face jail time or a fine.

What Is a Subpoena Duces Tecum?

A subpoena duces tecum is a subpoena to produce documents. A court may give a person who is not a party to the case this type of subpoena to order them to bring documents to court.

Should I Contact an Attorney Regarding a Request for Production?

It is important to understand what documents the other party is requesting and how long you have to comply. Therefore, it is important to talk with a personal injury attorney about any request you receive.