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Rule 30. Depositions by Oral Examination

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of ArizonaEffective: January 1, 2023

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of Arizona (Refs & Annos)
V. Disclosure and Discovery
Effective: January 1, 2023
16 A.R.S. Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 30
Formerly cited as AZ ST RCP Rule 32(d)
Rule 30. Depositions by Oral Examination
(a) When a Deposition May Be Taken.
(1) Depositions Permitted. A party may depose: (A) any party; (B) any person disclosed as an expert witness under Rule 26.1(d)(1); (C) any treating physician in a medical malpractice action; and (D) any document custodian in order to secure production of documents and establish evidentiary foundation. Unless all parties agree or the court orders otherwise for good cause, a party may not depose any other person or depose a person who has already been deposed in the action.
(2) Depositions by Plaintiff Earlier Than 30 Days After Serving the Summons and Complaint. A plaintiff must obtain leave of court to take a deposition earlier than 30 days after serving the summons and complaint on any defendant unless: (A) a defendant has served a deposition notice or otherwise sought discovery under these rules; or (B) the plaintiff certifies in the deposition notice, with supporting facts, that the deponent is expected to leave Arizona and will be unavailable for deposition after expiration of the 30-day period. If a party shows that it was unable, despite diligent efforts, to obtain counsel to represent it at a deposition taken under this Rule 30(a)(2), the deposition may not be used against that party.
(3) Incarcerated Deponents. Subject to Rule 30(a)(1), a party may depose an incarcerated person only by agreement of the person's custodian or by leave of court on such terms as the court orders.
(4) Compelling Attendance of Deponent. A party may compel a nonparty deponent's attendance by serving a subpoena under Rule 45. A party noticing the deposition of a party--or an officer, director, or managing agent of a party--need not serve a subpoena under Rule 45.
(b) Notice of a Deposition; Method of Recording; Deposition by Remote Means; Deposition of an Entity; Other Formal Requirements.
(1) Notice Generally. Unless all parties agree or the court orders otherwise, a party who wants to depose a person by oral questions must serve written notice to every other party at least 10 days before the date of the deposition. The notice must state the date, time, and place of the deposition and, if known, the deponent's name and address. If the deponent's 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.
(2) Producing Materials. If a subpoena for documents, electronically stored information, or tangible things has been or will be served on the deponent, the materials designated for production in the subpoena must be listed in the deposition notice or in an attachment to the notice. A deposition notice to a deponent who is a party to the action may be accompanied by a separate request under Rule 34 to produce documents, electronically stored information, or tangible things at the deposition. The procedures under Rule 34 apply to any such request.
(3) Method of Recording.
(A) Permitted Methods. Unless all parties agree or the court orders otherwise, testimony must be recorded by a certified reporter and may also be recorded by audio or audiovisual means.
(B) Method Stated in the Notice. The party who notices the deposition must state in the notice the method for recording the testimony. If the deposition will be recorded by audiovisual means, the notice must state the method and manner of audiovisual recording and the person or company that will conduct such recording. Unless the parties agree or the court orders otherwise, the noticing party bears the recording costs.
(C) Additional Method. With at least two days prior written notice to the deponent and other parties, any other party may designate another method for recording the testimony in addition to that specified in the original notice. Unless the parties agree or the court orders otherwise, that party bears the expense of the additional recording.
(D) Transcription. Any party may request that the testimony be transcribed. If the testimony is transcribed, the party who originally noticed the deposition is responsible for the cost of the original transcript. Any other party may, at its expense, arrange to receive a certified copy of the transcript.
(4) By Remote Means. The parties may agree or the court may order that a deposition be taken by telephone or other remote means. For the purposes of this rule and Rules 28(a), 37(a)(2), 45(b)(3)(B), and 45(e), the deposition takes place where the deponent answers the questions. If the deponent is not in the officer's physical presence, the officer may nonetheless place the deponent under oath or affirmation with the same force and effect as if the deponent was in the officer's physical presence.
(5) Officer's Duties.
(A) Before Deposition. Unless the parties agree otherwise under Rule 29, a deposition must be conducted before an officer appointed or designated under Rule 28. The officer must begin the deposition with a statement or notation on the record that includes:
(i) the officer's name, certification number, if any, 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 by audio or audiovisual means, the officer must repeat the items in Rule 30(b)(5)(A)(i) through (iii) at the beginning of each unit of the recording medium. The deponent's and attorneys' appearance, voice, and demeanor must not be distorted through recording techniques or later editing. The camera should squarely face the witness and avoid depicting other persons.
(C) After the Deposition. At the end of the deposition, the officer must state or note 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 relevant matters.
(6) Notice or Subpoena Directed to an Entity. In its deposition notice or subpoena, a party may name as the deponent a public or private corporation, a limited liability company, a partnership, an association, a governmental agency, or other entity, and must then describe with reasonable particularity the matters for examination. The named entity must then designate one or more officers, directors, managing agents, or other persons who consent to testify on its behalf. If the entity designates more than one person to testify, it must set out the matters on which each designated person will testify. Each designated person must testify about information known or reasonably available to the entity. This Rule 30(b)(6) does not preclude a deposition by any other procedure allowed by these rules.
(c) Examination and Cross-Examination; Record of the Examination; Objections; Conferences Between Deponent and Counsel; Written Questions.
(1) Examination and Cross-Examination. The examination and cross-examination of a deponent proceed as they would at trial under the Arizona Rules of Evidence, except for Rules 103 and 615. Any party not present within 30 minutes after the time specified in the notice of deposition waives any objection that the deposition was taken without its presence. After putting the deponent under oath or affirmation, the officer personally--or a person acting in the presence and under the direction of the officer--must record the testimony by the method(s) designated under Rule 30(b)(3).
(2) Objections. The officer must note on the record any objection made during the deposition--whether to evidence, to a party's, deponent's, or counsel's conduct, to the officer's qualifications, to the manner of taking the deposition, or to any other aspect of the deposition. An objection must be stated concisely, in a nonargumentative manner, and without suggesting an answer to the deponent. Unless requested by the person who asked the question, an objecting person must not specify the defect in the form of a question or answer. Counsel may instruct a deponent not to answer--or a deponent may refuse to answer--only when necessary to preserve a privilege, to enforce a limit ordered by the court, or to present a motion under Rule 30(d)(3). Otherwise, the deponent must answer, and the testimony is taken subject to any objection.
(3) Conferences Between Deponent and Counsel. The deponent and his or her counsel may not engage in continuous and unwarranted conferences off the record during the deposition. Unless necessary to preserve a privilege, the deponent and his or her counsel may not confer off the record while a question is pending.
(4) Participating Through Written Questions. Instead of participating in the oral examination, a party may serve written questions in a sealed envelope on the party who noticed the deposition, who must deliver them to the officer. The officer must ask the deponent those questions and record the answers verbatim.
(d) Duration; Sanctions; Motion to Terminate or Limit.
(1) Duration. Unless the parties agree or the court orders otherwise, a deposition is limited to 4 hours and must be completed in a single day.
Depositions of fact witnesses are further limited by the total amount of time permitted for fact witnesses by a case's tier assignment under Rule 26.2(f), which limit may not be extended except as provided in Rule 26.2(g) and (h). Notwithstanding those limits, the court must allow additional time consistent with Rule 26(b)(1) and (2) if needed to fairly examine the deponent or if the deponent, another person, or any other circumstance impedes or delays the examination.
(2) Sanctions. The court may impose appropriate sanctions--including any order under Rule 16(h)--against a party or attorney who has engaged in unreasonable, groundless, abusive, or obstructionist conduct in connection with a deposition including an unreasonable refusal to agree to extend a deposition beyond 4 hours.
(3) Motion to Terminate or Limit.
(A) Grounds. At any time during a deposition, the deponent or a party may move to terminate or limit the deposition on the ground that it is being conducted in bad faith or in a manner that unreasonably annoys, embarrasses, or oppresses the deponent or party. The deponent or party must file the motion in the court where the action is pending or the court where the deposition is being taken. If the objecting deponent or party so demands, the deposition must be suspended for the time necessary to obtain an order.
(B) Order. The court may order that the deposition be terminated or that its scope and manner be limited as provided in Rule 26(c). If terminated, the deposition may be resumed only by order of the court where the action is pending.
(C) Award of Expenses. Rule 37(a)(5) applies to the award of expenses.
(e) Review by the Deponent; Changes.
(1) Review; Statement of Changes. If requested by the deponent or a party before the deposition is completed, the deponent must be allowed 30 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 and deliver to the officer a statement listing the changes and the reasons for making them.
(2) Officer's Certificate to Attach Changes. The officer must note in the certificate prescribed by Rule 30(f)(1) whether a review was requested and, if so, must attach any changes the deponent made during the 30-day period.
(f) Officer's Certification and Delivery; Documents and Tangible Things; Copies of the Transcript or Recording.
(1) Certification and Delivery. The officer must certify in writing that the deponent was duly sworn by the officer and that the deposition accurately records the deponent's testimony. The certificate must accompany the record of the deposition. Unless the court orders otherwise, the officer must seal the deposition in an envelope or package bearing the title of the action and marked “Deposition of [witness's name]” and must promptly deliver it to the attorney who arranged for the transcript or recording. The attorney must store it under conditions that will protect it against loss, destruction, tampering, or deterioration.
(2) Documents and Tangible Things.
(A) Originals and Copies. Documents and tangible things produced for inspection during a deposition must, on a party's request, be marked for identification and attached to the deposition--and any party may inspect and copy them--but if the person who produced them wants to keep the originals, the person may:
(i) offer copies to be marked, attached to the deposition, and then used as originals--after giving all parties a fair opportunity to verify the copies by comparing them with the originals; or
(ii) give all parties a fair opportunity to inspect and copy the originals after they are marked--in which event the originals may be used as if attached to the deposition.
(B) Order Regarding the Originals. On motion, the court may order that the originals be attached to the deposition until final disposition of the action.
(3) Copies of the Transcript or Recording. Unless the parties agree or the court orders otherwise, the officer must retain the record of a deposition according to the applicable records retention and disposition schedules adopted by the Supreme Court. Upon payment of a reasonable charge, the officer must provide a copy of the transcript or recording to any party or to the deponent.
(g) Failure to Attend a Deposition or Serve a Subpoena; Expenses. A party who attends a noticed deposition in person or by an attorney may recover reasonable expenses for attending, including attorney's fees, if the noticing party failed to:
(1) attend and proceed with the deposition; or
(2) serve a subpoena on a nonparty deponent, who did not attend as a result of the lack of service.


Added Sept. 2, 2016, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Amended Aug. 31, 2017, effective July 1, 2018; Aug. 29, 2022, effective Jan. 1, 2023.
16 A. R. S. Rules Civ. Proc., Rule 30, AZ ST RCP Rule 30
State Court Rules are current with amendments received through May 1, 2024. The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through May 1, 2024.
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