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Massachusetts Housing Court Standing Order 1-96: Filing Written Discovery Materials in Civil Cases


Counsel are reminded that the 1989 amendments to Mass.R.Civ.P. 5(d)(2) provide that written discovery materials should be served but not filed.

The rule expressly mentions deposition notices, transcripts, document requests, and documents produced under Rule 34.

This court construes Mass.R.Civ.P. 5(d)(2) to dispense with the need to file any written discovery materials in civil cases, unless and until, and then only to the extent that there is a need to do so.

Therefore, the following materials need not be filed when served, but may be referred to by affidavit, or exhibited, as appropriate, to discovery motions and to re-applications for final judgment under Rule 33(a):

Materials which need not be filed
R. 29 discovery stipulations
R. 30
  • deposition notices
  • deposition transcripts and exhibits
R. 30A
  • audio-visual stipulations
  • audio-visual recordings
R. 31 depositions on written questions
R. 33
  • written interrogatories
  • answers and objections
  • initial applications for judgment
R. 34
  • document requests
  • documents produced
  • responses and objections
R. 34
  • requests to inspect
  • responses and objections
R. 35
  • requests to examine
  • responses and objections
  • examination reports
R. 36
  • requests to admit
  • responses and objections
R. 45 witness subpoenas

It should be observed that discovery materials, especially those that are not expressly mentioned in Mass.R.Civ.P. 5(d)(2) will not be rejected for filing, only that the need to Me such materials will be dispensed with and indefinitely postponed until the need to file arises.

It should also be observed that because of the automatic rescheduling requirements of Uniform Summary Process Rule 7, discovery requests in summary process cases should continue to be filed when served.

The cooperation of the bar in minimizing the time and expense for clerical filing in this court is greatly appreciated.

Adopted effective June 1, 1996.