RULE 34. PRODUCING DOCUMENTS, ELECTRONICALLY STORED INFORMATION AND TANGIBLE THINGS, OR ENTERING ONTO LAND FOR INSPECTION AND OTHER PURPOSES
1 (a) In General. A party may serve on any other party a request within the
2 scope of Rule 26(b):
3 (1) to produce and permit the requesting party or its representative to
4 inspect, copy, test, or sample the following items in the responding party's
5 possession, custody, or control:
6 (A) any designated documents or electronically stored information -
7 including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound recordings,
8 images, and other data or data compilations - stored in any medium from which
9 information can be obtained either directly or, if necessary, after translation by the
10 responding party into a reasonably usable form; or
11 (B) any designated tangible things; or
12 (2) to permit entry onto designated land or other property possessed or
13 controlled by the responding party, so that the requesting party may inspect,
14 measure, survey, photograph, test, or sample the property or any designated object
15 or operation on it.
16 (b) Procedure.
17 (1) Contents of the Request. The request:
18 (A) must describe with reasonable particularity each item or category of
19 items to be inspected;
20 (B) must specify a reasonable time, place and manner for the inspection and
21 for performing the related acts; and
22 (C) may specify the form or forms in which electronically stored
23 information is to be produced.
24 (2) Responses and Objections.
25 (A) Time to Respond. The party to whom the request is directed must
26 respond in writing within 30 days after being served, but a defendant is not
27 required to serve its response until 45 days after being served with the summons
28 and complaint. A shorter or longer time may be stipulated to under Rule 29 or be
29 ordered by the court.
30 (B) Responding to Each Item. For each item or category, the response must
31 either state that inspection and related activities will be permitted as requested or
an objection with specificity the grounds for
objecting to the request ,
including the reasons. The responding party may state that it
will produce copies
34 documents or of electronically stored information instead of permitting inspection.
35 (C) Objections. An objection must state whether any responsive materials
36 are being withheld on the basis of that objection. An objection to part of a request
37 must specify the part and permit inspection of the rest.
38 (D) Responding to a Request for Production of Electronically Stored
39 Information. The response may state an objection to a requested form for
40 producing electronically stored information. If the responding party objects to a
41 requested form - or if no form was specified in the request - the party must state
42 the form or forms it intends to use.
43 (E) Producing the Documents or Electronically Stored Information. Unless
44 otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, these procedures apply to producing
45 documents or electronically stored information:
46 (i) A party must produce documents as they are kept in the usual course of
47 business or must organize and label them to correspond to the categories in the
49 (ii) If the request does not specify a form for producing electronically stored
50 information, a party must produce it in a form or forms in which it ordinarily
51 maintained or in a reasonably usable form or forms; and
52 (iii) a party need not produce the same electronically stored information in
53 more than one form.
Persons not parties. As provided in Rule 45, a nonparty may be
compelled to produce documents and tangible things or to permit an
56 Signature. The person who responds to the request must sign the response, and the
57 person who objects must sign any objections.
58 (d) Nonparties. As provided in Rule 45, a nonparty may be compelled to
59 produce documents and tangible things or to permit an inspection.
60 EXPLANATORY NOTE
61 Rule 34 was amended, effective July 1, 1981; March 1, 1990; January 1,
62 1995; March 1, 1997; March 1, 2008; March 1, 2011; March 1, 2017.
63 An objection must be served within the time for serving a response or the
64 objection is waived. Any extension must be in writing and should specify whether
65 the extension includes responses, objections, or both.
66 Paragraph (b)(2) was amended, effective March 1, 2017, in response to the
67 December 1, 2015, revision of Fed.R.Civ.P. 34. The amendments allow copies of
68 documents or electronically stored information to be produced rather than
69 permitting inspection and to require an objection to specify whether anything is
70 being withheld on the basis of the objection.
71 Subdivision (c) was amended, effective March 1, 2017, to require the
72 person who responds to a request for production to sign the response document
73 and for a lawyer or self-represented person who makes objections to sign the
74 objections. The former text of subdivision (c) on nonparties became new
75 subdivision (d).
76 Rule 34 was amended, effective March 1, 2011, in response to the
77 December 1, 2007, revision of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The language
78 and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood
79 and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.
80 Rule 34 was amended, effective March 1, 2008, in response to the 2006
81 federal revision. The amendments provide guidance regarding requests for
82 electronically stored information.
83 SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of January 28-29, 2016,
84 pages 15-18; January 29-30, 2009, pages 28-29; September 28-29, 2006, pages
85 20-22;January 25-26, 1996, page 6; September 28-29, 1995, page 14; April 20,
86 1989, page 2; December 3, 1987, page 11; October 30-31, 1980, pages 20-22;
87 November 29-30, 1979, page 7; Fed.R.Civ.P. 34.
88 CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.R.Civ.P. 16 (Pre-Trial Procedure Formulating
89 Issues), N.D.R.Civ.P. 26 (General Provisions Governing Discovery), N.D.R.Civ.P.
90 29 (Stipulations Regarding Discovery Procedures), N.D.R.Civ.P. 37 (Failure to
91 Make Discovery Sanctions), N.D.R.Ev. 510 (Waiver of Privilege by Voluntary