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Rule 31. Depositions by Written Questions

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of Arizona

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of Arizona (Refs & Annos)
V. Disclosure and Discovery
16 A.R.S. Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 31
Rule 31. Depositions by Written Questions
(a) When a Deposition May Be Taken.
(1) Depositions Permitted. A party may with leave of court, by written questions, depose: (A) any party; (B) any person disclosed as an expert witness under Rule 26.1(d)(1); and (C) 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, by written questions, depose any other person or depose a person who has already been deposed in the action.
(2) Service of Written Questions by Plaintiff Earlier Than 30 Days After Serving the Summons and Complaint. Unless a defendant has served a deposition notice or otherwise sought discovery under these rules, a plaintiff must obtain leave of court to serve written questions under Rule 31(b) earlier than 30 days after serving the summons and complaint on that defendant.
(3) Incarcerated Deponents. Subject to Rule 31(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; Service of Questions and Objections; Questions Directed to an Entity.
(1) Service of Written Questions; Required Notice. A party who wants to depose a person by written questions must serve them on all parties, with a notice stating, 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. The notice must also state the name or descriptive title and the address of the officer before whom the deposition will be taken.
(2) Service of Additional Questions. Unless the parties agree or the court orders otherwise, any additional questions to the deponent must be served on all parties as follows: cross-questions, within 15 days after being served with the notice and direct questions; redirect questions, within 5 days after being served with cross-questions; and recross-questions, within 5 days after being served with redirect questions.
(3) Service of Objections. A party who objects to the form of a written question served under Rule 31(b)(1) or (2) must serve the objection in writing on all parties within the time allowed for serving the succeeding cross-, redirect, or recross-questions, or, if to a recross-question, within 5 days after service of the recross-questions.
(4) Questions Directed to an Entity. In accordance with Rule 30(b)(6), a party may depose by written questions a public or private corporation, a limited liability company, a partnership, an association, a governmental agency, or other entity.
(c) Delivery to the Officer; Officer's Duties. The party who noticed the deposition must deliver to the officer designated in the notice a copy of the notice and copies of all the questions and objections served under Rule 31(b). The officer must promptly proceed in the manner provided in Rule 30(b), (c), (e), and (f) to:
(1) take the deponent's testimony in response to the questions;
(2) prepare and certify the deposition; and
(3) deliver it to the party who noticed the deposition, attaching a copy of the notice, the questions, and the objections.


Added Sept. 2, 2016, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Amended Aug. 31, 2017, effective July 1, 2018.
16 A. R. S. Rules Civ. Proc., Rule 31, AZ ST RCP Rule 31
State Court Rules are current with amendments received through May 15, 2024. The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through May 15, 2024.
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