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Idaho Civil Rule 34: Discovery A civil case, including car accidents and semi truck accidents, typically have a period of time called Discovery. Discovery is when one party can request documents, electronically stored information (such as pictures, documents or records) and tangible things.  Discovery is governed by Idaho Civil Rule 34. Rule 34 also allows one party to ask for permission to come onto land to inspect something. The plaintiff can serve these requests on the defendant only after service of the summons and complaint has been completed. These requests can be from other parties after the suit has commenced.

In addition, Rule 34 describes all of the types of things that can be requested. These include charts, graphs, writings, electronically stored information, photographs, images, sound recordings, etc. The rule also allows any designated tangible thing to be requested as well. Lastly, Rule 34 allows for the requesting party to enter onto land or other property to inspect, measure, survey, photograph, or test the property or an item located on the property.

What is required in the request in order for the request to be valid is also discussed in Rule 34. For instance, the rule requires that the requested item has to be stated with particularity. The rule also requires that the requested party respond within 30 days and objections are allowed.

Idaho Civil Rule 34: Discovery ­– Producing documents, electronically stored information, and tangible things, or entering onto land, for inspection and other purposes.

  1. In general. Requests may be served on the plaintiff after commencement of the suit and upon any other party with or after service of the summons and complaint. A party may serve on any other party a request within the scope of Rule 26(b):
    • to produce and permit the requesting party or its representative to inspect, copy, test, or sample the following items in the responding party’s possession, custody, or control:
      1. 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 either directly or, if necessary, after translation by the responding party into a reasonably usable form; or
      2. any designated tangible things; or
    • to permit entry onto designated land or other property possessed or controlled by the responding party, so that the requesting party may inspect, measure, survey, photograph, test, or sample the property or any designated object or operation on it.
    • Contents of the request. The request:
      1. must describe with reasonable particularity each item or category of items to be inspected;
      2. must specify a reasonable time, place, and manner for the inspection and for performing the related acts; and
      3. may specify the form or forms in which electronically stored information is to be produced.
    • Responses and objections.
      1. Time to respond. The party to whom the request is directed must respond in writing within 30 days after being served. A shorter or longer time may be stipulated to under Rule 29 or be ordered by the court.
      2. Responding to each item. For each item or category, the response must either state that inspection and related activities will be permitted as requested or state an objection to the request, including the reasons. The response must first set forth each request asked, followed by the response or objection.
      3. An objection to part of a request must specify the part and permit inspection of the rest.
      4. Responding to a request for production of electronically stored information. The response may state an objection to a requested form for producing electronically stored information. If the responding party objects to a requested form, or if no form was specified in the request, the party must state the form or forms it intends to use.
      5. Producing the documents or electronically stored information. Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, these procedures apply to produce documents or electronically stored information:
        • a party must produce documents as they are kept in the usual course of business or must organize and label them to correspond to the categories in the request;
        • if a request does not specify a form for producing electronically stored information, a party must produce it in a form or forms in which it is ordinarily maintained or in a reasonably usable form or forms;
        • a party need not produce the same electronically stored information in more than one form; and
        • if the court orders the responding party to comply with the request, the court may also order that the requesting party pay the reasonable expenses of any extraordinary steps required to retrieve and produce the information.
      6. As provided in Rule 45, a nonparty may be compelled to produce documents and tangible things or to permit an inspection. Also, this rule does not preclude an independent action against a nonparty for production of documents and tangible things or to permit an inspection.
      7. Non-filing; Notice of serving.As provided in Rule 45, a nonparty may be compelled to produce documents and tangible things or to permit an inspection. Also, this rule does not preclude an independent action against a nonparty for production of documents and tangible things or to permit an inspection.
        • Non-filing.Neither the requests nor the responses are to be filed with the court. The propounding party must maintain the original requests and the original responses, along with the original proof of service for 1 year following the final disposition of the action and expiration of any period for appeal, unless the court orders that they be retained for a longer period.
        • Notice of serving.The party serving requests and responses to them must file with the court a notice of when and upon whom it was served.

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