Discovery is not a document to be ignored when it is served upon an individual. If it is served with the Summons and Complaint you will have 45 days from service to furnish the opposing party with your responses and if it served after the Complaint you have 30 days. If there is a failure by the responding party to furnish their responses, the opposing party will first attempt to solve the outstanding discovery dispute. Normally, the attempt takes the form of a 6.4(b) letter asking the opposing party to furnish their responses by a given date.
If the opposing party fails to respond after the 6.4(b) letter, then the opposing attorney can file a Motion to Compel. A Motion to Compel can result not only in the opposing party being ordered to provide their responses but also to pay attorney’s fees.
What if an individual fails to comply with the order?
The consequences of failing to comply with a judge’s order to do a deposition may result in being held in contempt of court. If a party fails to comply with a judge’s order to furnish their responses to Request for Production and Interrogatories the consequences could be:
(A) An order that the matters regarding which the order was made or any other designated facts shall be taken to be established for the purposes of the action in accordance with the claim of the party obtaining the order;
(B) An order refusing to allow the disobedient party to support or oppose designated claims or defenses, or prohibiting him from introducing designated matters in evidence;
(C) An order striking out pleadings or parts thereof, or staying further proceedings until the order is obeyed, or dismissing the action or proceeding or any part thereof, or rendering a judgment by default against the disobedient party;
(D) In lieu of any of the foregoing orders, or in addition thereto, an order treating as a contempt of court the failure to obey any orders except an order to submit to a physical or mental examination; or
(E) Where a party has failed to comply with an order under subsection (a) of Code Section 9-11-35 requiring him to produce another for examination, such orders as are listed in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of this paragraph, unless the party failing to comply shows that he is unable to produce such person for examination. O.C.G.A. 9-11-37
Discovery in any form should be taken seriously as the resulting failure to respond can result in serious consequences that can affect your life and your Family Law case. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation with one of our experienced Family Law attorneys, please contact us at 866-527-2630.