TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: January 6, 2012
RE: Rule 33, N.D.R.Civ.P., Interrogatories to Parties
Mr. David Peterson has written the Committee to request that Rule 33 be amended to limit the number of interrogatories a party may serve to 25, consistent with Fed.R.Civ.P. 33. A copy of Mr. Peterson's letter is attached. He argues that the change is needed because of the "excessive and ridiculous" number of interrogatories being served even in simple cases.
Proposed amendments to Rule 33 are attached. A new paragraph (3) is added to subdivision (a) of the rule. The language of the paragraph is based on the federal language.
The Committee has previously considered a proposal to limit the number of interrogatories allowed to 25. In January 2003, a proposal to limit interrogatories as a way of implementing suggestions in the ABA Discovery Guidelines was presented to the Committee. It was rejected. he Committee's position at that time was that it is acceptable for the federal rules to limit interrogatories because the federal rules require extensive disclosures under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a). On the other hand, because North Dakota does not require similar disclosures under Rule 26, allowing more extensive discovery by interrogatory and deposition is appropriate.
Copies of Fed.R.Civ.P. 26 and 33 are attached.