In a lawsuit, Hawaii attorneys generally rely on two types of written discovery devices- interrogatories and document requests. Simply put, interrogatories are lists of questions that must be answered by the opposing party under oath. A discovery request lists categories of documents that must be produced for review by the opposing attorney. This blog will discuss each discovery device. A Hawaii party is required to timely respond to a Request for Answers to Interrogatories and to a Request for Production of Documents within thirty days after service of the request. If a party fails to respond to the discovery request within the thirty days, the party who served the discovery request may file a motion to compel answers to interrogatories or production. H.R.C.P. Rule 37(a)(2). However, under the Hawaii Model Rules of Professional Courtesy and Civility, Hawaii attorneys are required to “meet and confer” to attempt to solve any discovery issues before filing a motion to compel. If the “meet and confer” is unsuccessful, you may file a motion to compel. If the motion to compel is granted, the Court may award attorneys fees or costs (award the moving party’s expenses incurred in obtaining the order compelling answers to interrogatories or production, including attorneys’ fees, unless the court finds that the award of expenses would be unjust). Rule 37(a)(2) and (4), H.R.C.P.
Moreover, a “failure to serve objections to interrogatories and production of documents within the time period prescribed by the rule is a waiver of such objections.” Bohlin v. Brass Rail, 20 F.R.D. 224 (E.D. Pa. 1957); Davis v. Romney, 53 F.R.D. 247 (E.D. Pa. 1971); United States v. Acres of the Land, 66 F.R.D. 570 (E.D. Ill. 1975); Perry v. Golub, 74 F.R.D. 360 (N.D. Ala. 1976); Fretz v. Keltner, 109 F.R.D. 303 (D. Kan. 1986; Brock v. Grace, 110 F.R.D. 58 (D. N.J. 1986). Consequently, a party’s failure to respond within the thirty day period as prescribed by Rule 33, H.R.C.P., constitutes a waiver of any objections and all interrogatories must be answered in full and all documents requested must be produced.