Obsolete Date: 3/1/2011
(a) Scope. Any party may serve on any other party a request
(1) to produce and permit the party making the request, or someone acting on the requestor's behalf, to inspect copy, test, or sample any designated documents or electronically stored information -- including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound recordings, images, and other data or data compilations stored in any medium from which information can be obtained -- translated, if necessary, by the respondent into reasonably usable form, or to inspect, copy, test, or sample any designated tangible things that constitute or contain matters within the scope of Rule 26(b) and which are in the possession, custody or control of the party upon whom the request is served; or
(2) to permit entry upon designated land or other property in the possession or control of the party upon whom the request is served for the purpose of inspection and measuring, surveying, photographing, testing, or sampling the property or any designated object or operation thereon, within the scope of Rule 26(b).
(b) Procedure. The request, without leave of court, may be served upon the plaintiff after commencement of the action and upon any other party with or after service of the summons and complaint upon that party. The request must set forth, either by individual item or by category, the items to be inspected and describe each with reasonable particularity. The request must specify a reasonable time, place, and manner of making the inspection and performing the related acts. The request may specify the forms in which electronically stored information is to be produced.
The party upon whom the request is served shall serve a written response within 30 days after the service of the request, but a defendant may serve a response within 45 days after service of the summons and complaint upon that defendant. A shorter or longer time may be directed by the court or, in the absence of such an order, agreed to in writing by the parties, subject to Rule 29 .The response must state, with respect to each item or category, that inspection and related activities will be permitted as requested, unless the request is objected to, including an objection to the requested form or forms for providing electronically stored information, stating the reasons for objection must be stated. If objection is made to part of an item or category, the part must be specified and inspection permitted to the remaining parts. If objection is made to the requested form or forms for producing electronically stored information--or if no form was specified in the request--the responding party must state the form or forms it intends to use. The party submitting the request may move for an order under Rule 37(a) with respect to any objection to or other failure to respond to the request or any part thereof, or any failure to permit inspection as requested.
Unless the parties otherwise agree, or the court otherwise orders:
(i) a party who produces documents for inspection shall produce them as they are kept in the usual course of business or shall organize and label them to correspond with the categories in the request;
(ii) if a request does not specify the form or forms for producing electronically stored information, a responding party must produce the information in a form or forms in which it is ordinarily maintained or in a form or forms that are reasonably usable;
(iii) a party need not produce the same electronically stored information in more than one form.
(c) Persons not parties. A person not a party to the action may be compelled to produce documents and things or to submit to an inspection as provided in Rule 45.
An objection must be served within the time for serving a response or the objection is waived. Any extension must be in writing and should specify whether the extension includes responses, objections, or both.
Paragraph (b)(2) was amended, effective March 1, 2017, in response to the December 1, 2015, revision of Fed.R.Civ.P. 34. The amendments allow copies of documents or electronically stored information to be produced rather than permitting inspection and to require an objection to specify whether anything is being withheld on the basis of the objection.
Subdivision (c) was amended, effective March 1, 2017, to require the person who responds to a request for production to sign the response document and for a lawyer or self-represented person who makes objections to sign the objections. The former text of subdivision (c) on nonparties became new subdivision (d).
Rule 34 was amended, effective March 1, 2011, in response to the December 1, 2007, revision of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The language and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.
Rule 34 was amended, effective March 1, 2008, in response to the 2006 federal revision. The amendments provide guidance regarding requests for electronically stored information.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of January 28-29, 2016, pages 15-18; January 29-30, 2009, pages 28-29; September 28-29, 2006, pages 20-22;January 25-26, 1996, page 6; September 28-29, 1995, page 14; April 20, 1989, page 2; December 3, 1987, page 11; October 30-31, 1980, pages 20-22; November 29-30, 1979, page 7; Fed.R.Civ.P. 34.
CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.R.Civ.P. 16 (Pre-Trial Procedure Formulating Issues), N.D.R.Civ.P. 26 (General Provisions Governing Discovery), N.D.R.Civ.P. 29 (Stipulations Regarding Discovery Procedures), N.D.R.Civ.P. 37 (Failure to Make Discovery Sanctions), N.D.R.Ev. 510 (Waiver of Privilege by Voluntary Disclosure).