(cite as Neb. Ct. R. Disc. §)
(Revisor’s note: The former Nebraska Discovery Rules for All Civil Cases have been renumbered in the revised Nebraska Court Rules as Chapter 6, Article 3, Nebraska Court Rules of Discovery in Civil Cases. Thus, former rule 26 is now Neb. Ct. R. Disc. § 6-326, etc., with the last two numbers of the newly renumbered sections corresponding to the former rule number. Subsections and references within the rule to rules by number and subsection remain unchanged. Thus, a reference in this rule to rule 34(b) should be interpreted and found at Neb. Ct. R. Disc. § 6-334(b), etc.)
Pursuant to the provisions of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-1273.01, the Supreme Court does hereby promulgate the following discovery rules in civil cases, effective as of January 1, 1983.
These rules shall, as written, apply in the district courts, and in all other courts of Nebraska to the extent not inconsistent with other statutes. Rules 26 and 37 are applicable to county courts as to actions pending in those courts on theeffective date of these rules.
(a) Discovery Methods. Parties may obtain discovery by one or more of the following methods: depositions upon oral examination or written questions; written interrogatories; production of documents or things or permission to enter upon land or other property for inspection and other purposes; physical and mental examinations; and requests for admission. Unless the court orders otherwise under subdivision (c) of this rule, the frequency of use of these methods is not limited.
(1) In General. Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action, whether it relates to the claim or defense of the party seeking discovery or to the claim or defense of any other party, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of any discoverable matter. It is not ground for objection that the information sought will be inadmissible at the trial if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
(2) Insurance Agreements. A party may obtain discovery of the existence and contents of any insurance agreement under which any person carrying on an insurance business may be liable to satisfy part or all of a judgment which may be entered in the action or to indemnify or reimburse for payments made to satisfy the judgment. Information concerning the insurance agreement is not by reason of disclosure admissible in evidence at trial. For purposes of this paragraph, an application for insurance shall not be treated as part of an insurance agreement.
(3) Trial Preparation: Materials. Subject to the provisions of subdivision (b)(4) of this rule, a party may obtain discovery of documents and tangible things otherwise discoverable under subdivision (b)(1) of this rule and prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial by or for another party or by or for that other party's representative (including his or her attorney, consultant, surety, indemnitor, insurer, or agent) only upon a showing that the party seeking discovery has substantial need of the materials in the preparation of his or her case and that he or she is unable without undue hardship to obtain the substantial equivalent of the materials by other means. In ordering discovery of such materials when the required showing has been made, the court shall protect against disclosure of the mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories of an attorney or other representative of a party concerning the litigation.
A party may obtain without the required showing a statement concerning the action or its subject matter previously made by that party. Upon request, a person not a party may obtain without the required showing a statement concerning the action or its subject matter previously made by that person. If the request is refused, the person may move for a court order. The provisions of Rule 37(a)(4) apply to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the motion. For purposes of this paragraph, a statement previously made is (A) a written statement signed or otherwise adopted or approved by the person making it, or (B) a stenographic, mechanical, electrical or other recording, or a transcription thereof, which is a substantially verbatim recital of an oral statement by the person making it and contemporaneously recorded.
(4) Trial Preparation: Experts. Discovery of facts known and opinions held by experts otherwise discoverable under the provisions of subdivision (b)(1) of this rule and acquired or developed in anticipation of litigation or for trial may be obtained only as follows:
(A)(i) A party may through interrogatories require any other party to identify each person whom the other party expects to call as an expert witness at trial, to state the subject matter on which the expert is expected to testify, and to state the substance of the facts and opinions to which the expert is expected to testify and a summary of the grounds for each opinion.
(ii) Upon motion, the court may order further discovery by other means, subject to such restrictions as to scope and such provisions, pursuant to subdivisions (b)(4)(C) of this rule, concerning fees and expenses as the court may deem appropriate.
(B) A party may discover facts known or opinions held by an expert who has been retained or specially employed by another party in anticipation of litigation or preparation for trial and who is not expected to be called as a witness at trial, only as provided in Rule 35(b) or upon a showing of exceptional circumstances under which it is impracticable for the party seeking discovery to obtain facts or opinions on the same subject by other means.
(ii) with respect to discovery obtained under subdivision (b)(4)(A)(ii) of this rule the court may require, and with respect to discovery obtained under subdivision (b)(4)(B) of this rule the court shall require, the party seeking discovery to pay the other party a fair portion of the fees and expenses reasonably incurred by the latter party in obtaining facts and opinions from the expert.
(c) Protective Orders. Upon motion by a party or by the person from whom discovery is sought, and for good cause shown, the court in which the action is pending or alternatively, on matters relating to a deposition, the district court in the district where the deposition is to be taken, may make any order which justice requires to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, including one or more of the following:
If the motion for a protective order is denied in whole or in part, the court may, on such terms and conditions as are just, order that any party or person provide or permit discovery. The provisions of Rule 37(a)(4) apply to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the motion.
(d) Sequence and Timing of Discovery. Unless the court upon motion, for the convenience of parties and witnesses and in the interests of justice, orders otherwise, methods of discovery may be used in any sequence and the fact that a party is conducting discovery, whether by deposition or otherwise, shall not operate to delay any other party's discovery.
(e) Supplementation of Responses. A party who has responded to a request for discovery with a response that was complete when made is under no duty to supplement his or her response to include information thereafter acquired, except as follows:
(f) Service of Discovery Papers. Except as otherwise ordered by the court, every discovery paper and every motion relating to discovery and response thereto required to be served upon a party shall be served upon each of the parties not in default for failure to appear.
(g) Filing of Discovery Materials. Discovery materials that do not require action by the court shall not be filed with the court. All such materials, including notices of deposition, depositions, certificates of filing a deposition, interrogatories, answers and objections to interrogatories, requests for documents or to permit entry upon land and responses or objections to such requests, requests for admissions and responses or objections to such requests, subpoenas for depositions or other discovery and returns of service of subpoenas, and related notices shall be maintained by the parties.
Discovery materials shall be filed with the court only when ordered by the court or when required by law. If the original of a deposition is not in the possession of a party who intends to offer it in evidence at a hearing, that party may give notice to the party in possession of it that the deposition will be needed at the hearing. Upon receiving such notice the party in possession of the deposition shall either make it available to the party who intends to offer it or produce it at the hearing.
Rule 26(g) amended December 12, 2001; Comments to Rule 26(g) amended December 12, 2001. Renumbered and codified as § 6-326, effective July 18, 2008.
(1) Petition. A person who desires to perpetuate his or her own testimony or that of another person regarding any matter that may be cognizable in any court of this state may file a petition verified by affidavit of the petitioner or his or her attorney in the district court in the district of the residence of any expected adverse party. The petition shall be entitled in the name of the petitioner and shall show:
(v) the names and addresses of the persons to be examined and the substance of the testimony which he or she expects to elicit from each, and shall ask for an order authorizing the petitioner to take the depositions of the persons to be examined named in the petition, for the purpose of perpetuating their testimony.
(2) Notice and Service. The petitioner shall thereafter serve a notice upon each person named in the petition as an expected adverse party, together with a copy of the petition, stating that the petitioner will apply to the court, at a time and place named therein, for the order described in the petition. At least twenty days before the date of hearing the notice shall be served in the manner provided for service of summons; but if such service cannot with due diligence be made upon any expected adverse party named in the petition, the court shall order service by publication in the manner provided in Rule 30(b)(1)(D), and shall appoint, for persons not served in the manner provided for service of summons, an attorney who shall represent them, and, in case they are not otherwise represented, shall cross-examine the deponent. If any expected adverse party is a minor or incompetent the provisions of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-309 shall apply.
(3) Order and Examination. If the court is satisfied that the perpetuation of the testimony may prevent a failure or delay of justice, it shall make an order designating or describing the persons whose depositions may be taken and specifying the subject matter of the examination and whether the depositions shall be taken upon oral examination or written questions. The depositions may then be taken in accordance with these rules; and the court may make orders of the character provided for by Rules 34 and 35. For the purpose of applying these rules to depositions for perpetuating testimony, each reference therein to the court in which the action is pending shall be deemed to refer to the court in which the petition for such deposition was filed.
(4) Use of Deposition. If a deposition to perpetuate testimony is taken under these rules or if, although not so taken, it would be admissible in evidence in the courts of the state in which it is taken, it may be used in any action involving the same subject matter subsequently brought in a district court in this state, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 32(a).
(b) Pending Appeal. If an appeal has been taken from a judgment of a district court, the appellate court, upon motion filed therein and notice and service thereof as if the action was pending in the district court, may remand the motion to the district court for consideration and ruling, may itself overrule the motion, or, if the appellate court finds that the perpetuation of the testimony is proper to avoid failure or delay of justice, may itself enter an order allowing the depositions to be taken and may make orders of the character provided for by Rules 34 and 35, and thereupon the depositions may be taken and used in the same manner and under the same conditions as are prescribed in these rules for depositions taken in actions pending in the district court. The motion shall show
Rule 27(b) amended January 14, 1998. Renumbered and codified as § 6-327, effective July 18, 2008. § 6-327(a)(2) amended October 21, 2015, effective January 1, 2016.
(a) Within this State. Within this State depositions may be taken before a judge or clerk of the Supreme Court or district court, a county judge, clerk magistrate, notary public, or any person appointed by the court in which the action is pending. A person so appointed has power to administer oaths and take testimony.
(b) Elsewhere Within the United States. Within other states of the United States or within a territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States depositions may be taken before an officer authorized to administer oaths by the laws of the United States or of the place where the examination is held, or before a person appointed by the court in which the action is pending. A person so appointed has power to administer oaths and take testimony.
A commission or a letter rogatory shall be issued on application and notice on terms that are just and appropriate. It is not requisite to the issuance of a commission or a letter rogatory that the taking of the deposition in any other manner is impracticable or inconvenient; and both a commission and a letter rogatory may be issued in proper cases. A notice or commission may designate the person before whom the deposition is to be taken either by name or descriptive title. A letter rogatory may be addressed "To the Appropriate Authority in [here name the country]." Evidence obtained in response to a letter rogatory need not be excluded merely for the reason that it is not a verbatim transcript or that the testimony was not taken under oath or for any similar departure from the requirements for depositions taken within the United States under these rules.
(d) Disqualification for Interest. The officer before whom the deposition is taken and the person recording the testimony shall not be a relative, employee, or attorney of any of the parties, nor a relative or employee of such attorney, nor financially interested in the action.
(e) Depositions for Use in Foreign Jurisdictions. When the deposition of any person is to be taken in this state pursuant to the laws of another state or of the United States or of another country for use in proceedings there, witnesses may be compelled to appear and testify in the same manner and by the same process and proceedings as may be employed for the purpose of taking testimony in proceedings pending in this state. The district court for the county where the deponent is found may make such orders as could be made if the deposition were intended for use in this jurisdiction, having due regard for the laws and rules of such foreign jurisdiction.
Unless the court orders otherwise, the parties may by written or otherwise recorded stipulation:
(a) When Depositions May Be Taken. After commencement of the action, any party may take the testimony of any person, including a party, by deposition upon oral examination. Leave of court, granted with or without notice, must be obtained only if the plaintiff seeks to take a deposition prior to the expiration of thirty days after service of summons, except that leave is not required:
(2) If special notice is given as provided in subdivision (b)(2) of this rule.
The attendance of witnesses may be compelled by subpoena. The deposition of a person confined in prison may be taken only by leave of court on such terms as the court prescribes.
(1)(A) A party desiring to take the deposition of any person upon oral examination shall give reasonable notice in writing to every other party to the action. The notice shall state the time and place for taking the deposition and the name and address of each person to be examined, if known, and, if the name is not known, a general description sufficient to identify him or her or the particular class or group to which he or she belongs. The notice shall also state the name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address (if any) of the party taking the deposition or if the party is represented, the party's attorney. If it is known that an interpreter will be used, the notice shall state that an interpreter will be used and shall state the language that will be interpreted or the type of interpretation (e.g., sign language). If it is unknown whether an interpreter may be necessary, the notice shall include the following advisory statement: "If you are a person who is deaf, hard of hearing, or unable to communicate in the English language, you should contact as soon as possible the attorney or the party whose name is stated in this notice or subpoena and let that attorney or party know that you will need the help of an interpreter to understand and answer questions during the deposition."
(B) If a subpoena is to be served on the person to be examined, the subpoena shall contain the same information required by subdivision (A) of this rule. The advisory statement required by subdivision (A) may be omitted from the notice if it is included in the subpoena.
(C)(1) If a subpoena duces tecum is to be served on the person to be examined, the designation of the materials to be produced pursuant to the subpoena shall be attached to or included in the notice. If any of the materials are in a language other than English, the person on whom the subpoena duces tecum is served shall promptly notify the party serving the subpoena of the language(s). The party serving the subpoena shall then promptly notify every other party to the action of the language(s).
(2) The notice to a party deponent may be accompanied by a request made in compliance with Rule 34 for the production of documents and tangible things at the taking of the deposition. The procedure of Rule 34 shall apply to the request.
(D) When the party against whom the deposition is to be used is unknown or is one whose whereabouts cannot be ascertained, he or she may be notified of the taking of the deposition by publication or by any manner that is approved by the court and reasonably calculated under the circumstances to provide the party with actual notice. The publication must be made once in some newspaper printed in the county where the action is pending, if there be any printed in such county, and if not, in some newspaper printed in this state of general circulation in that county. The publication must contain all that is required in a written notice and must be made at least ten days prior to the deposition. Publication may be proved in the manner prescribed in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-520. Before publication, a copy of the written notice shall be filed with the court in which the action is pending.
(A) States that the person to be examined is about to go out of the State of Nebraska and will be unavailable for examination in the State of Nebraska unless his or her deposition is taken before expiration of the thirty-day period, and
The plaintiff's attorney shall sign the notice, and his or her signature constitutes a certification by him or her that to the best of his or her knowledge, information, and belief the statement and supporting facts are true.
If a party shows that when he or she was served with notice under subdivision (b)(2) he or she was unable through the exercise of diligence to obtain counsel to represent him or her at the taking of the deposition the deposition may not be used against him or her.
(4) The notice required by subdivision (1) shall state the means by which the testimony will be recorded and preserved. The court may make any order necessary to assure that the record of the testimony will be accurate and trustworthy
(A) Unless the court orders otherwise, testimony may be recorded by audio, audiovisual, or stenographic means, or any combination of those means. The noticing party bears the cost of the recording means specified in the notice.
(B) With prior notice to the deponent and other parties, any party or the deponent may designate another means of recording the testimony in addition to the means specified in the original notice. The additional recording shall be made by the officer personally or by someone acting in the presence of and under the direction of the officer. The party or deponent who designates another means bears the cost of the additional record or transcript unless the court orders otherwise. Absent a stipulation of the parties, no other recordings of the testimony may be made.
(5) If the deponent is a person who is deaf, hard of hearing, or unable to communicate the English language as defined in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-2402, an interpreter must be used to interpret the questions and answers. Unless the parties stipulate or the court upon good cause shown orders otherwise, the noticing party shall arrange and pay for the interpreter. Unless the parties stipulate or the court upon good cause shown orders otherwise, the interpreter must be a certified or provisionally certified interpreter; however, if the noticing party has made reasonably diligent efforts to obtain a certified or provisionary certified interpreter and none are available, the interpreter may be a registered interpreter. A certified interpreter, a provisionally certified interpreter, and a registered interpreter is one who, pursuant to Neb. Ct. R. § 6-702(A)-(C), is listed as such in the statewide register of interpreters published and maintained by the State Court Administrator.
(6) A party may in his or her notice and in a subpoena name as the deponent a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or governmental agency and describe with reasonable particularity the matters on which examination is requested. In that event, the organization so named shall designate one or more officers, directors, or managing agents, or other persons who consent to testify on its behalf, and may set forth, for each person designated, the matters on which he or she will testify. A subpoena shall advise a nonparty organization of its duty to make such a designation. The persons so designated shall testify as to matters known or reasonably available to the organization. This subdivision (b)(6) does not preclude taking a deposition by any other procedure authorized in these rules.
(7) The parties may stipulate in writing, or the court may upon motion order, that a deposition be taken by telephone or by other remote means. For the purposes of these rules, a deposition taken by telephone or by other remote means is taken at the place where the deponent is to appear to answer questions. Absent a court order or stipulation of the parties, the officer must be in the same location as the deponent.
(8) Officer's Duties.
(A) Before the Deposition. Unless the parties stipulate otherwise, a deposition must be conducted before an officer identified by Rule 28 as a person before whom a deposition may be taken. The officer must begin the deposition with an on-the-record statement that includes: (i) the officer's name and business address; (ii) the date, time, and place of the deposition; (iii) the deponent's name; (iv) the officer's administration of the oath or affirmation to the deponent; and (v) the identity of all persons present.
(B) Conducting the Deposition; Avoiding Distortion. If the deposition is recorded nonstenographically, the officer must repeat the items in Rule 30(b)(8)(A)(i)–(iii) at the beginning of each unit of the recording medium. The deponent’s and attorneys’ appearance or demeanor must not be distorted through recording techniques.
(C) After the Deposition. At the end of a deposition, the officer must state on the record that the deposition is complete and must set out any stipulations made by the attorneys about custody of the transcript or recording and of the exhibits, or about any other pertinent matters.
(1) Examination and cross-examination of witnesses may proceed as permitted at the trial under the provisions of the Nebraska Evidence Rules. The officer before whom the deposition is to be taken shall put the witness under oath and, if an interpreter is used, also put the interpreter under oath. The officer shall also personally, or by someone acting under his or her direction and in his or her presence, record the testimony of the witness. The testimony shall be recorded in accordance with subdivision (b)(4) of this rule. If requested by one of the parties, the testimony shall be transcribed. All objections made at time of the examination to the qualifications of the officer taking the deposition, the qualification of the interpreter, or to the manner of taking the deposition, or to the evidence presented, or to the conduct of any party, and any other objection to the proceedings, shall be noted by the officer upon the deposition. Evidence objected to shall be taken subject to the objections.
(2) An objection must be stated concisely in a nonargumentative and nonsuggestive manner. A person may instruct a deponent not to answer only when necessary to preserve a privilege, to enforce a limitation ordered by the court, or to present a motion under Rule 30(d).
(3) In lieu of participating in the oral examination, parties may serve written questions in a sealed envelope on the party taking the deposition and he or she shall transmit them to the officer, who shall propound them to the witness and record the answers verbatim.
(d) Motion to Terminate or Limit Examination. At any time during a deposition, the deponent or a party may move to terminate or limit the deposition on the ground that (1) it is being conducted in bad faith or in a manner that unreasonably annoys, embarrasses, or oppresses the deponent or party or (2) the interpreter is not rendering a reasonably complete and accurate interpretation or is repeatedly altering, omitting, or adding things, including explanations, to what is stated. The motion may be filed in the court in which the action is pending. The court may order that the deposition be terminated or may limit its scope and manner as provided in Rule 26(c). If terminated the deposition may be resumed only by order of the court in which the action is pending. If the objecting deponent or party so demands, the deposition must be suspended for the time necessary to obtain an order. The provisions of Rule 37(a)(4) apply to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the motion.
(1) On request by the deponent or a party before the deposition is completed, the deponent must be allowed thirty days after being notified by the officer that the transcript or recording is available in which (a) to review the transcript or recording and (b) if there are changes in form or substance, to sign a statement listing the changes and the reasons for making them. The deponent may be allowed more or fewer than thirty days if the parties stipulate to or the court orders a different number of days. The officer must note in the certificate required by Rule 30(f)(1) whether a review was requested and, if so, must attach any changes the deponent makes during the period specified above for review.
(2) All objections to the accuracy of the deposition, including objections to accuracy of the interpreter’s interpretation of the questions or answers, are waived if a request for review is not made before the deposition is completed or, if a request for review is made, no changes are submitted to the officer in the time and manner required by subdivision (1) of this rule and no motion is made pursuant to subdivision (3) of this rule.
(3) If a request for review is made, the deponent or any party may move to suppress the deposition pursuant to Rule 32(d)(4) on the ground that the deponent was not allowed to review the transcript or recording as provided in subdivision (1) or that the transcription or interpretation of the deposition is inherently inaccurate.
(1) The officer shall include in or attach to the deposition a certificate that the witness was duly sworn by him or her and that the deposition is an accurate record of the testimony of the witness. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the officer shall then deliver the deposition to the party taking the deposition, who must store it under conditions that will protect it against loss, destruction, tampering, or deterioration.
Documents and things produced for inspection during the examination of the witness shall, upon the request of a party, be marked for identification and annexed to the deposition and may be inspected and copied by any party, except that if the person producing the materials desires to retain them, he or she may (A) offer copies to be marked for identification and annexed to the deposition and to serve thereafter as originals if he or she affords to all parties fair opportunity to verify the copies by comparison with the originals or (B) offer the originals to be marked for identification, after giving to each party an opportunity to inspect and copy them, in which event the materials may then be used in the same manner as if annexed to the deposition. Any party may move for an order that the originals be annexed to the deposition, pending final disposition of the case.
(2) Unless otherwise stipulated by the parties or ordered by the court, the officer must retain the stenographic notes of a deposition taken stengraphically or a copy of the recording of a deposition taken by another method. Upon payment of reasonable charges therefor, the officer shall furnish a copy of the transcript or recording to any party or to the deponent.
A party who, expecting a deposition to be taken, attends in person or by an attorney may recover reasonable expenses for attending, including attorney fees, if the noticing party failed to:
(h) Protective Orders. The deponent or any party may move at any time for an order pursuant to Rule 26(c) to limit the dissemination of the deposition, either in whole or in part, or to limit the persons who may have access to the deposition.
Rule 30(f)(1) amended December 12, 2001; comments to Rule 30(f) amended December 12, 2001. Renumbered and codified as § 6-330, effective July 18, 2008. § 6-330 and Comments to Rule 30 amended October 21, 2015, effective January 1, 2016.
(a) Serving Questions; Notice. After commencement of the action, any party may take the testimony of any person including a party by deposition upon written questions. The attendance of witnesses may be compelled by a subpoena that contains the information specified by Rule 30(b)(1)(B). The deposition of a person confined in prison may be taken only by leave of court on such terms as the court prescribes.
A party desiring to take a deposition upon written questions shall serve them upon every other party with a notice stating:
(1) The name and address of the person who is to answer them, if known, and if the name is not known, a general description sufficient to identify him or her or the particular class or group to which he or she belongs, and
(3) If an interpreter will be used, the notice shall also state that an interpreter will be used and state the language that will be interpreted or the type of interpretation (e.g., sign language). The provisions of Rule 30(b)(5) govern who may serve as an interpreter.
A deposition upon written questions may be taken of a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or governmental agency in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(b)(6).
Within thirty days after the notice and written questions are served, a party may serve cross questions upon all other parties. Within ten days after being served with cross questions, a party may serve redirect questions upon all other parties. Within ten days after being served with redirect questions, a party may serve recross questions upon all other parties. The court may, for cause shown, enlarge or shorten the time.
(b) Officer to Take Responses and Prepare Record. A copy of the notice and copies of all questions served shall be delivered by the party taking the deposition to the officer designated in the notice, who shall proceed promptly, in the manner provided by Rule 30(c), (e), and (f), to take the testimony of the witness in response to the questions and to prepare, certify, and deliver the deposition, attaching thereto the copy of the notice and the questions received by him or her.
§ 3-661(a) and Comment to Rule 31 amended September 16, 2015, effective January 1, 2016; § 6-331(a)(3) adopted October 21, 2015, effective January 1, 2016.
(a) Use of Depositions. Any part or all of a deposition, so far as admissible under the Nebraska Evidence Rules applied as though the witness were then present and testifying, may be used against any party who was present or represented at the taking of the deposition or who had reasonable notice thereof, in accordance with any of the following provisions:
(2) The deposition of a party or of anyone who at the time of taking the deposition was an officer, director, or managing agent, or a person designated under Rule 30(b)(6) or 31(a) to testify on behalf of a public or private corporation, partnership or association, or governmental agency which is a party may be used by an adverse party for any purpose.
(B) That the witness is at a greater distance than one hundred miles from the place of trial or hearing, or out of the state, or beyond the subpoena power of the court, unless it appears that the absence of the witness was procured by the party offering the deposition; or
(E) That such exceptional circumstances exist as to make it desirable, in the interest of justice and with due regard to the importance of presenting the testimony of witnesses orally in open court, to allow the deposition to be used; or
(F) Upon application and notice prior to the taking of the deposition, that circumstances exist such as to make it desirable, in the interest of justice and with due regard to the importance of presenting the testimony of witnesses orally in open court, to allow the deposition to be used.
(4) If only part of a deposition is offered in evidence by a party, an adverse party may require him or her to introduce any other part which ought in fairness to be considered with the part introduced, and any party may introduce any other parts relevant to the issues.
Substitution of parties does not affect the right to use depositions previously taken; and when an action has been brought in any court of the United States or of any state and another action involving the same subject matter is afterward brought between the same parties or their representatives or successors in interest all depositions lawfully taken in the former action may be used in the latter as if originally taken therefor. A deposition previously taken may also be used as permitted by the Nebraska Evidence Rules.
(b) Objections to Admissibility. Subject to the provisions of subdivision (d)(3) of this rule, objection may be made at the trial or hearing to receiving in evidence any deposition or part thereof for any reason which would require the exclusion of the evidence if the witness were then present and testifying; or if the trial court directs, such objections may be heard and determined prior to trial.
(2) As to Disqualification of Officer. Objection to taking a deposition because of disqualification of the officer before whom it is to be taken is waived unless made before the taking of the deposition begins or as soon thereafter as the disqualification becomes known or could be discovered with reasonable diligence.
(A) Objections to the competency of a witness or to the competency or relevancy of testimony are not waived by failure to make them before or during the taking of the deposition, unless the ground of the objection is one which might have been obviated or removed if presented at that time. In a deposition recorded and preserved by nonstenographic means, such objections shall be made to the court before the trial or hearing, or such objections will be waived unless otherwise ordered by the court.
(B) Errors and irregularities occurring at the oral examination in the manner of taking the deposition in the form of the questions or answers, in the oath or affirmation, or in the conduct of parties, and errors of any kind which might be obviated, removed, or cured if promptly presented, are waived unless seasonable objection thereto is made at the taking of the depositions.
(C) Objections to the form of written questions submitted under Rule 31 are waived unless served in writing upon the party propounding them within the time allowed for serving the succeeding cross or other questions and within ten days after service of the last questions authorized.
(4) As to Interpreting, Completing and Returning the Deposition. An objection to how the interpreter interpreted the questions or answers, how the officer transcribed the testimony, or how the officer prepared, signed, certified, sealed, endorsed, sent, or otherwise dealt with the deposition is waived unless a motion to suppress the deposition is made promptly after the error or irregularity becomes known or, with reasonable diligence, could have been known.
§ 6-332(d)(4) and Comments to Rule 32 amended October 21, 2015, effective January 1, 2016.
(a) Availability; Procedures for Use. Any party may serve upon any other party written interrogatories to be answered by the party served or if the party served is a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or governmental agency, by any officer or agent, who shall furnish such information as is available to the party. Interrogatories may, without leave of court, be served upon the plaintiff after commencement of the action and upon any other party with or after service of the summons upon that party. Unless otherwise permitted by the court for good cause shown, no party shall serve upon any other party more than fifty interrogatories. Each question, subquestion, or subpart shall count as one interrogatory.
Each interrogatory shall be repeated and answered separately and fully in writing under oath, unless it is objected to, in which event the reasons for objection shall be stated in lieu of an answer. The answers are to be signed by the person making them, and the objections signed by the attorney making them. The party upon whom the interrogatories have been served shall serve a copy of the answers, and objections if any, within thirty days after the service of the interrogatories, except that a defendant may serve answers or objections within forty-five days after service of the summons upon that defendant. The court may allow a shorter or longer time. The party submitting the interrogatories may move for an order under Rule 37(a) with respect to any objection to or other failure to answer an interrogatory.
(b) Scope; Use at Trial. Interrogatories may relate to any matters which can be inquired into under Rule 26(b), and the answers may be used to the extent permitted by the Nebraska Evidence Rules.
An interrogatory otherwise proper is not necessarily objectionable merely because an answer to the interrogatory involves an opinion or contention that relates to fact or the application of law to fact, but the court may order that such an interrogatory need not be answered until after designated discovery has been completed or until a pretrial conference or other later time.
(c) Option to Produce Business Records. Where the answer to an interrogatory may be derived or ascertained from the business records, including electronically stored information, of the party upon whom the interrogatory has been served or from an examination, audit, or inspection of such business records, including a compilation, abstract, or summary thereof, and the burden of deriving or ascertaining the answer is substantially the same for the party serving the interrogatory as for the party served, it is a sufficient answer to such interrogatory to specify the records from which the answer may be derived or ascertained and to afford to the party serving the interrogatory reasonable opportunity to examine, audit, or inspect such records and to make copies, compilations, abstracts, or summaries. A specification shall be in sufficient detail as to permit the interrogating party to locate and to identify, as readily as can the party served, the records from which the answer may be ascertained.
Rule 33(c) amended June 4, 2008, effective June 18, 2008. Renumbered and codified as § 6-333, effective July 18, 2008.
(1) To produce and permit the party making the request, or someone acting on his or her 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 and copy, test, or sample any tangible things which 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 may, without leave of court, be served upon the plaintiff after commencement of the action and upon any other party with or after service of the summons upon that party. The request shall set forth the items to be inspected either by individual item or by category, and describe each item and category with reasonable particularity. The request shall specify a reasonable time, place, and manner of making the inspection and performing the related acts. The request may specify the form or forms in which electronically stored information is to be produced.
The party upon whom the request is served shall serve a written response within thirty days after the service of the request, except that a defendant may serve a response within forty-five days after service of the summons upon that defendant. The court may allow a shorter or longer time. The response shall 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 producing electronically stored information, in which event the reasons for objection shall be stated. If objection is made to part of an item or category, the part shall be specified and inspection permitted of 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:
(1) 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;
(2) 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; and
Rule 34(a)(1) and 34(b)(1-3) amended June 4, 2008, effective July 18, 2008. Renumbered and codified as § 6-334, effective July 18, 2008.
(A) require the production for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling of designated books, papers, documents, tangible things, or electronically stored information (including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound recordings, and other data compilations from which information can be obtained) translated if necessary by the owner or custodian into reasonably usable form, that are in the possession, custody, or control of a person who is not a party and within the scope of Rule 26(b); or
(B) obtain entry upon designated land or other property within the scope of Rule 26(b) that is in the possession or control of a person who is not a party for the purpose of inspection and measuring, surveying, photographing, testing, or sampling the property or any designated object or operation thereon.
(2) Notice. A party intending to serve a subpoena pursuant to this rule shall give notice in writing to every other party to the action at least 10 days before the subpoena will be issued. The notice shall state the name and address of the person who will be subpoenaed, the time and place for production or entry, and that the subpoena will be issued on or after a stated date. A designation of the materials sought to be produced shall be attached to or included in the notice.
Such notice may be given by a party other than a plaintiff at any time. Such notice may not be given by a plaintiff until the time at which Rule 30(a) would permit a plaintiff to take a deposition.
(3) Issuance. A subpoena may be issued pursuant to this rule, either by a request to the clerk of the court or by an attorney authorized to do so by statute, at any time after all parties have been given the notice required by subsection (2). The subpoena shall identify all parties who were given notice that it would be issued and the date upon which each of them was given notice. A subpoena pursuant to this rule shall include or be accompanied by a copy of this rule.
(4) Time, manner, and return of service. A subpoena pursuant to this rule shall be served either personally by any person not interested in the action or by registered or certified mail not less than 10 days before the time specified for compliance. The person making personal service shall make a return showing the manner of service to the party for whom the subpoena was issued.
(1) Objection Before Issued. Before the subpoena is requested or issued any party may serve a written objection on the party who gave notice that it would be issued. The objection shall specifically identify any intended production or entry that is protected by an applicable privilege, that is not within the scope of discovery, or that would be unreasonably intrusive or oppressive to the party. No subpoena shall demand production of any material or entry upon any premises identified in the objection. If the objection specifically objects that the person served with the subpoena should not have the option to deliver or mail copies of documents or things directly to a party, the subpoena shall not be issued unless all parties to the lawsuit mutually agree on the method for delivery of the copies.
(2) Order. The party who gave notice that a subpoena would be issued may apply to the court in which the action is pending for an order with respect to any discovery for which another party has served a written objection. Upon hearing after notice to all parties the court may order that the subpoena be issued or not issued or that discovery proceed in a different manner, may enter any protective order authorized by Rule 26(c), and may award expenses as authorized by Rule 37(a)(4).
(3) Protective Order. After a subpoena has been issued any party may move for a protective order under Rule 26(c).
(1) Avoiding Burden and Expense. A party or an attorney who obtains discovery pursuant to this rule shall take reasonable steps to avoid imposing undue burden or expense on a person subject to that subpoena. The court by which the subpoena was issued shall enforce this duty and impose upon the party or attorney in breach of this duty an appropriate sanction, which may include, but is not limited to, lost earnings of the person subject to the subpoena and reasonable attorney fees.
(A) A person served with a subpoena pursuant to this rule shall permit inspection, copying, testing, or sampling either where the documents or tangible things are regularly kept or at some other reasonable place designated by that person. If the subpoena states that the person served has an option to deliver or mail legible copies of documents or things instead of inspection, that person may condition the preparation of the copies on the advance payment of the reasonable cost of copying.
(B) A person served with a subpoena pursuant to this rule may, within 10 days after service of the subpoena, serve upon the party for whom the subpoena was issued a written objection to production of any or all of the designated materials or entry upon the premises. If objection is made, the party for whom the subpoena was issued shall not be entitled to production of the materials or entry upon premises except pursuant to an order of the court. If an objection has been made, the party for whom the subpoena was issued may, upon notice to all other parties and the person served with the subpoena, move at any time in the district court in the county in which the subpoena is served for an order to compel compliance with the subpoena. Such an order to compel production or to permit entry shall protect any person who is not a party or an officer of a party from significant expense resulting from complying with the command.
(1) Production. A person responding to a subpoena to produce documents 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 demand.
(2) Objection. When information subject to a subpoena is withheld on an objection that it is privileged, not within the scope of discovery, or otherwise protected from discovery, the claim shall be made expressly and shall be supported by a description of the nature of the documents, communications, or things not produced that is sufficient to enable the party who requested the subpoena to contest the objection.
(1) Copies. If the party for whom the subpoena was issued creates or obtains copies of documents or things, that party shall make available a duplicate of such copies at the request of any other party upon advance payment of the reasonable cost of making the copies.
(2) Inspection. If a notice of intent to serve a subpoena designates that the subpoena will require entry upon land or other property for the purposes permitted by subsection (a)(1)(B), any other party shall, upon request to the party who gave the notice, be named in the subpoena as also attending at the same time and place.
Rule 34A and Comment adopted December 12, 2001; Rule 34A(c)(2)(B) amended May 19, 2004; Rule 34A(a)(1)(A), 34A(a)(2), 34A(b)(1), 34A(c)(2)(A-B) amended June 4, 2008, effective June 18, 2008. Renumbered and codified as § 6-334(A), effective July 18, 2008.
(a) Order for Examination. When the mental or physical condition (including the blood group) of a party, or of a person in the custody or under the legal control of a party, is in controversy, the court in which the action is pending may order the party to submit to a physical or mental examination by one or more physicians, or other persons licensed or certified under the laws to engage in a health profession, or to produce for examination the person in his or her custody or legal control. The order may be made only on motion for good cause shown and upon notice to the person to be examined and to all parties and shall specify the time, place, manner, conditions, and scope of the examination and the person or persons by whom it is to be made.
(1) If requested by the party against whom an order is made under subdivision (a) of this rule or the person examined, the party causing the examination to be made shall deliver to him or her a copy of a detailed written report of the examining physician setting out his or her findings, including results of all tests made, diagnoses, and conclusions, together with like reports of all earlier examinations of the same condition. After delivery the party causing the examination shall be entitled upon request to receive from the party against whom the order is made a like report of any examination, previously or thereafter made, of the same condition, unless, in the case of a report of examination of a person not a party, the party shows that he or she is unable to obtain it. The court on motion may make an order against a party requiring delivery of a report on such terms as are just, and if a physician fails or refuses to make a report, the court may exclude his or her testimony if offered at the trial.
(3) This subdivision applies to examinations made by agreement of the parties, unless the agreement expressly provides otherwise. This subdivision does not preclude discovery of a report of an examining physician or the taking of a deposition of the physician in accordance with the provisions of any other rule.
Rule 35(b) comment amended February 26, 1997; Rule 35(a) and 35(a) comment amended November 21, 2001. Renumbered and codified as § 6-335, effective July 18, 2008.
(a) Request for Admission. A party may serve upon any other party a written request for the admission, for purposes of the pending action only, of the truth of any matters within the scope of Rule 26(b) set forth in the request that relate to statements or opinions of fact or of the application of law to fact, including the genuineness of any documents described in the request. Copies of documents shall be served with the request unless they have been or are otherwise furnished or made available for inspection and copying. The request may, without leave of court, be served upon the plaintiff after commencement of the action and upon any other party with or after service of the summons upon that party.
Each matter of which an admission is requested shall be separately set forth by the party making the request, and shall be repeated by the responding party in the answer or objection thereto. The matter is admitted unless, within thirty days after service of the request, or within such shorter or longer time as the court may allow, the party to whom the request is directed serves upon the party requesting the admission a written answer or objection addressed to the matter, signed by the party or by his or her attorney, but, unless the court shortens the time, a defendant shall not be required to serve answers or objections before the expiration of forty-five days after service of the summons upon him or her. If objection is made, the reasons therefor shall be stated. The answer shall specifically deny the matter or set forth in detail the reasons why the answering party cannot truthfully admit or deny the matter. A denial shall fairly meet the substance of the requested admission, and when good faith requires that a party qualify his or her answer or deny only a part of the matter of which an admission is requested, he or she shall specify so much of it as is true and qualify or deny the remainder. An answering party may not give lack of information or knowledge as a reason for failure to admit or deny unless he or she states that he or she has made reasonable inquiry and that the information known or readily obtainable by him or her is insufficient to enable him or her to admit or deny. A party who considers that a matter of which an admission has been requested presents a genuine issue for trial may not, on that ground alone, object to the request; he or she may, subject to the provisions of Rule 37(c), deny the matter or set forth reasons why he or she cannot admit or deny it.
The party who has requested the admissions may move to determine the sufficiency of the answers or objections. Unless the court determines that an objection is justified, it shall order that an answer be served. If the court determines that an answer does not comply with the requirements of this rule, it may order either that the matter is admitted or that an amended answer be served. The court may, in lieu of these orders, determine that final disposition of the request be made at a pretrial conference or at a designated time prior to trial. The provisions of Rule 37(a)(4) apply to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the motion.
(b) Effect of Admission. Any matter admitted under this rule is conclusively established unless the court on motion permits withdrawal or amendment of the admission. The court may permit withdrawal or amendment when the presentation of the merits of the action will be subserved thereby and the party who obtained the admission fails to satisfy the court that withdrawal or amendment will prejudice him or her in maintaining his or her action or defense on the merits. Any admission made by a party under this rule is for the purpose of the pending action only and is not an admission by him or her for any other purpose nor may it be used against him or her in any other proceeding.
(1) Appropriate Court. An application for an order to a party may be made to the court in which the action is pending, or alternatively, on matters relating to a deposition, to the district court in the district where the deposition is being taken. An application for an order to a deponent who is not a party shall be made to the district court in the district where the deposition is being taken.
(2) Motion. If a deponent fails to answer a question propounded or submitted under Rule 30 or 31, or a corporation or other entity fails to make a designation under Rule 30(b)(6) or 31(a), or a party fails to answer an interrogatory submitted under Rule 33, or if a party, in response to a request for inspection submitted under Rule 34, fails to respond that inspection will be permitted as requested or fails to permit inspection as requested, the discovering party may move for an order compelling an answer, or a designation, or an order compelling inspection in accordance with the request. When taking a deposition on oral examination, the proponent of the question may complete or adjourn the examination before he or she applies for an order.
If the court denies the motion in whole or in part, it may make such protective order as it would have been empowered to make on a motion made pursuant to Rule 26(c).
(4) Award of Expenses of Motion. If the motion is granted, the court shall, after opportunity for hearing, require the party or deponent whose conduct necessitated the motion or the party or attorney advising such conduct or both of them to pay to the moving party the reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining the order, including attorney fees, unless the court finds that the opposition to the motion was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.
If the motion is denied, the court shall, after opportunity for hearing, require the moving party or the attorney advising the motion or both of them to pay to the party or deponent who opposed the motion the reasonable expenses incurred in opposing the motion, including attorney fees, unless the court finds that the making of the motion was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.
If the motion is granted in part and denied in part, the court may apportion the reasonable expenses incurred in relation to the motion among the parties and persons in a just manner.
(1) Sanctions by Court in District Where Deposition is Taken. If a deponent fails to be sworn or to answer a question after being directed to do so by the district court in the district in which the deposition is being taken, the failure may be considered a contempt of that court.
(2) Sanctions by Court in Which Action is Pending. If a party or an officer, director, or managing agent of a party or a person designated under Rule 30(b)(6) or 31(a) to testify on behalf of a party fails to obey an order to provide or permit discovery, including an order made under subdivision (a) of this rule or Rule 35, the court in which the action is pending may make such orders in regard to the failure as are just, and among others the following:
(A) An order that the matters regarding which the order was made or any other designated facts shall be taken to be established for the purposes of the action in accordance with the claim of the party obtaining the order;
(C) An order striking out pleadings or parts thereof, or staying further proceedings until the order is obeyed, or dismissing the action or proceeding or any part thereof, or rendering a judgment by default against the disobedient party;
(D) In lieu of any of the foregoing orders or in addition thereto, an order treating as a contempt of court the failure to obey any orders except an order to submit to a physical or mental examination;
(E) Where a party has failed to comply with an order under Rule 35(a) requiring him or her to produce another for examination, such orders as are listed in paragraphs (A), (B), and (C) of this subdivision, unless the party failing to comply shows that he or she is unable to produce such person for examination.
In lieu of any of the foregoing orders or in addition thereto, the court shall require the party failing to obey the order or the attorney advising him or her, or both to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney fees, caused by the failure, unless the court finds that the failure was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.
(c) Expenses on Failure to Admit. If a party fails to admit the genuineness of any document or the truth of any matter as requested under Rule 36, and if the party requesting the admissions thereafter proves the genuineness of the document or the truth of the matter, he or she may, within 30 days of so proving, apply to the court for an order requiring the other party to pay him or her the reasonable expenses incurred in making that proof, including reasonable attorney fees. The court shall make the order unless it finds that:
(1) The request was held objectionable pursuant to Rule 36(a), or
(d) Failure of Party to Attend at Own Deposition or Serve Answers to Interrogatories or Respond to Request for Inspection. If a party or an officer, director, or managing agent of a party or a person designated under Rule 30(b)(6) or 31(a) to testify on behalf of a party fails
(2) To serve answers or objections to interrogatories submitted under Rule 33, after proper service of the interrogatories, or
(3) To serve a written response to a request for inspection submitted under Rule 34, after proper service of the request, the court in which the action is pending on motion may make such orders in regard to the failure as are just, and among others it may take any action authorized under paragraphs (A), (B), and (C) of subdivision (b)(2) of this rule.
In lieu of any order or in addition thereto, the court shall require the party failing to act or the attorney advising him or her or both to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney fees, caused by the failure, unless the court finds that the failure was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.
The failure to act described in this subdivision may not be excused on the ground that the discovery sought is objectionable unless the party failing to act has applied for a protective order as provided by Rule 26(c).
Rule 37(c) amended July 23, 1997. Renumbered and codified as § 6-337, effective July 18, 2008.