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Idaho Civil Rule 31: Depositions by Written QuestionsThere are many different types of a depositions that can be used by an attorney while preparing for a civil case, such as a car accident. Idaho Civil Rule 31 is addresses depositions using written questions. This is different from Rule 30, which was about a deposition through oral examination. That being said, many of the aspects of Rule 31 are very similar to Rule 30. For instance, just as in Rule 30, generally anyone can be deposed through written questions without the leave of the court. However, a written deposition needs the court’s permission if the deponent is in prison or if the deponent has already been deposed and did not stipulate to an additional deposition. Rule 31 is also similar to Rule 30 in that formal written notice is required to be delivered in order to take a written deposition.

Idaho Civil Rule 31: Depositions by Written Questions

  1. When a deposition may be taken.
    • Without leave. A party may, by written questions, depose any person, including a party, without leave of court except as provided in Rule 31(a)(2). The deponent’s attendance may be compelled by subpoena under Rule 45.
    • With leave. A party must obtain leave of court, and the court must grant leave to the extent consistent with Rule 26(b)(1)(C) if:
      1. the parties have not stipulated to the deposition and the deponent has already been deposed in the case; or
      2. the deponent is confined in prison.
    • Service; Required notice. A party who wants to depose a person by written questions must serve them on every other party, with a notice stating, if known, the deponent’s name and address. If the name is unknown, the notice must provide a general description sufficient to identify the person or the particular class or group to which the person belongs. The notice must also state the name or descriptive title and the address of the officer before whom the deposition will be taken.
    • Questions directed to an organization. A public or private corporation, a partnership, an association, or a governmental agency may be deposed by written questions in accordance with Rule 30(b)(6).
    • Questions from other parties. Any questions to the deponent from other parties must be served on all parties as follows: cross-questions, within 14 days after being served with the notice and direct questions; redirect questions, within 7 days after being served with cross-questions; and recross-questions, within 7 days after being served with redirect questions. The court may, for good cause, extend or shorten these times.
  2. Delivery to the officer; Officer’s duties. The party who noticed the deposition must deliver to the officer a copy of all the questions served and of the notice. The officer must promptly proceed in the manner provided in Rule 30(c), (e), and (f) to:
    • take the deponent’s testimony in response to the questions;
    • prepare and certify the deposition; and
    • send it to the party, attaching a copy of the questions and of the notice.
  3. Notice of completion. The party who noticed the deposition must notify all other parties when it is completed.
  4. Protective orders. After the service of written questions, the court in which the action is pending may make any order specified in Rule 30, or order that the deposition not is taken before the officer designated in the notice or that the deposition must be taken upon oral examination.

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