Massachusetts Civil Procedure Rule 31: Depositions of Witnesses Upon Written Questions
(a) Serving Questions; Notice. After commencement of the action, any party may take the testimony of any person, including a party, by deposition upon written questions. The attendance of witnesses may be compelled by the use of subpoena as provided in Rule 45. The deposition of a person confined in prison may be taken only by leave of court on such terms as the court prescribes.
A party desiring to take a deposition upon written questions shall serve them upon every other party with a notice stating (1) the name and address of the person who is to answer them, if known, and if the name is not known, a general description sufficient to identify him or the particular class or group to which he belongs, and (2) the name or descriptive title and address of the officer before whom the deposition is to be taken. A deposition upon written questions may be taken of a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or governmental agency in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(b)(6).
Within 30 days after the notice and written questions are served, a party may serve cross questions upon all other parties. Within 10 days after being served with cross questions, a party may serve redirect questions upon all other parties. Within 10 days after being served with redirect questions, a party may serve recross questions upon all other parties. The court may for cause shown enlarge or shorten the time.
(b) Officer to Take Responses and Prepare Record. A copy of the notice and copies of all questions served shall be delivered by the party taking the deposition to the officer designated in the notice, who shall proceed promptly, in the manner provided by Rule 30(c), (e), and (f), to take the testimony of the witness in response to the questions and to prepare, certify, and deliver or send the deposition to the party taking the deposition, attaching thereto the copy of the notice and questions received by him.
Amended Jan. 30, 1989, effective March 1, 1989.
Reporter's Notes (1989) This amendment is necessitated by the amendment to Mass. R. Civ. P. 5(d). Since depositions will no longer be filed in court, except as otherwise ordered by the court, this amendment requires the officer who takes responses at depositions upon written questions to "deliver or send the deposition to the party taking the deposition." Rule 31(b). The party who took the deposition is required promptly to notify all other parties of receipt of the deposition from the officer. Rule 31(c). See, also, Reporter's Notes to the Amendment to Rule 5(d).
(1973) Rule 31, a copy of Federal Rule 31, governs the little-used practice of conducting a deposition on written interrogatories, a process which has been aptly described as washing one's hands without removing one's gloves.