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MODES OF DISCOVERY (Rules 23-28)
Modes of discovery:
Depositions pending action (Rule 23);
Depositions before action or pending appeal (Rule 24);
Interrogatories to parties (Rule 25)
Admission by adverse party (Rule 26);
Production or inspection of documents and things (Rule 27); and
Physical and mental examination of persons (Rule 28).
The importance of the rules of discovery is that they shorten the
period of litigation and speed up adjudication. The evident purpose is to
enable the parties, consistent with recognized principles, to obtain the
fullest possible knowledge of the facts and issues before civil trials and thus
prevent said trials from being carried on in the dark. The rules of discovery
serve as (a) devices, along with the pre-trial hearing under Rule 18, to
narrow and clarify the basis issues between the parties; and (b) devices for
ascertaining the facts relative to those issues (Republic vs. Sandiganbayan,
204 SCRA 212).
The basic purposes of the rules of discovery are:
To enable a party to obtain knowledge of material facts within the
knowledge of the adverse party or of third parties through depositions;
To obtain knowledge of material facts or admissions from the
adverse party through written interrogatories;
To obtain admissions from the adverse party regarding the
genuineness of relevant documents or relevant matters of fact through
requests for admissions;
To inspect relevant documents or objects, and lands or other
property in the possession and control of the adverse party; and
To determine the physical or mental condition of a party when such
is in controversy (Koh vs. IAC, 144 SCRA 259).
Depositions Pending Action (Rule 23)
Depositions before action or pending appeal
Meaning of Deposition
A deposition is the taking of the testimony of any person, whether he
be a party or not, but at the instance of a party to the action. This
testimony is taken out of court. It may be either by oral examination, or by
a written interrogatory (Sec. 1, Rule 23).
Kinds of depositions:
Deposition de bene esse – one taken pending action (Sec. 1, Rule
condition. and location of any books. 29. objection may be made at the trial or hearing to receiving in evidence any deposition or part thereof for any reason which would require the exclusion of the evidence if the witness were then present and testifying (Sec. (b) For any purpose by the adverse party where the deponent is a party. where the deponent is a witness if the court finds that: (1) The witness is dead. sickness. 4. custody. embarrass. or is out of the Philippines. 16 or 18. as provided in Sec. (2) The deposition may be used for the following purposes: (a) For contradicting or impeaching the testimony of the deponent as a witness. infirmity. or (5) When exceptional circumstances exist (Sec. (c) For any purpose by any party. 16. When may taking of deposition be terminated or its scope limited (1) At any time during the taking of the deposition. (2) The witness resides more than 100 kilometers from the place of trial or hearing. (3) That the witness is unable to attend or testify because of age. or (4) That the party offering the deposition has been unable to procure the attendance of witnesses by subpoena. 2). the court in which the action is pending or the RTC of the place where the deposition is being taken may order the officer conducting the examination to cease forthwith from taking the deposition. Any or all of the deposition. If it is to perpetuate a testimony for use in future proceedings as when it is sought before the existence of an action. or may limit the scope and manner of the taking of the deposition. or (b) against one who had due notice of the deposition (Sec. documents. so far as admissible under the rules of evidence. or for use in a pending appeal (Rule 24). Rule 23. or oppress the deponent or party. 4. 6). nature. which is relevant to the pending action. whether relating to the claim or defense of any other party. it shall be resumed thereafter only upon the order of the .(b) Deposition in perpetua rei memoriam – one taken prior to the institution of an apprehended or intended action (Rule 134). including the existence. may be used (a) against any party who was present or represented at the taking of the deposition. the deponent may be examined regarding any matter not privileged. during a pending action (Rule 23). it is called a deposition in perpetuam rei memoriam. Rule 23). on motion or petition of any party or of the deponent and upon showing that the examination is being conducted in bad faith or in such manner as reasonably to annoy. Uses (1) A deposition may be sought for use in a future action (Rule 24). unless it appears that his absence was procured by the party offering the deposition. or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of relevant facts (Sec. Scope of examination (1) Unless otherwise ordered by the court as provided by Sec. If the deposition is for use during a pending action. it is commonly called a deposition benne esse and is governed by Rule 23. or imprisonment. description. If the order made terminates the examination. When may Objections to Admissibility be Made (1) Subject to the provisions of Sec. Rule 23). or for cases on appeal.
it may require the refusing party or deponent or the counsel advising the refusal. or both of them.court in which the action is pending. The proponent may thereafter apply to the proper court of the place where the deposition is being taken. the refusal may be considered a contempt of that court (Sec. or the physical or mental condition of the party. or an order made under Rule 28 requiring him to submit to a physical or mental examination. including attorney’s fees. . including attorney’s fees (Sec. Upon demand of the objecting party or deponent. copying. 1. the court shall require the refusing party or deponent to answer the question or interrogatory and if it also finds that the refusal to answer was without substantial justification. and among others the following: (a) An order that the matters regarding which the questions were asked. or photographing or to permit it to be done. 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. to pay to the refusing party or deponent the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred in opposing the application. or the contents of the paper. the court may require the proponent or the counsel advising the filing of the application. 18). the court may make such orders in regard to the refusal as are just. the court may impose upon either party or upon the witness the requirement to pay such costs or expenses as the court may deem reasonable (Sec. the examination may be completed on other matters or adjourned as the proponent of the question may prefer. If the application is granted. If the application is denied and the court finds that it was filed without substantial justification. or an order under Rule 27 to produce any document or other thing for inspection. or from introducing evidence of physical or mental condition. to pay the proponent the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining the order. The same procedure may be availed of when a party or a witness refuses to answer any interrogatory submitted under Rules 23 or 25. (b) An order refusing to allow the disobedient party to support or oppose designated claims or defenses or prohibiting him from introducing in evidence designated documents or things or items of testimony. 2. Rule 29). In granting or refusing such order. (3) If any party or an officer or managing agent of a party refuses to obey an order made under section 1 of this Rule requiring him to answer designated questions. (2) If a party or other witness refuses to be sworn or refuses to answer any question after being directed to do so by the court of the place in which the deposition is being taken. Rule 29). for an order to compel an answer. or to permit entry upon land or other property. the taking of the deposition shall be suspended for the time necessary to make a notice for an order. or both of them. or the character or description of the thing or land. Written interrogatories to adverse parties Consequences of refusal to answer (1) If a party or other deponent refuses to answer any question upon oral examination.
is advised to file and serve a written request for admission on the adverse party of those material and relevant facts at issue which are. The party who fails to file and serve the request shall not be permitted to present evidence on such facts (Sec. the party to whom the request is directed files and serves upon the party requesting the admission a sworn statement either denying specifically the matter of which an admission is . which shall not be less than fifteen (15) days after service thereof. or rendering a judgment by default against the disobedient party. Consequences of failure to answer request for admission (1) The facts or documents are deemed admitted. within the personal knowledge of said adverse party. an order directing the arrest of any party or agent of a party for disobeying any of such orders except an order to submit to a physical or mental examination (Sec. or dismissing the action or proceeding or any part thereof. 6. or within such further time as the court may allow on motion. 2. 5. the rule imposes sanctions for his failure to serve written interrogatories by depriving him of the privilege to call the adverse party as a witness or to give a deposition pending appeal. within a period designated in the request. 2. Rule 25). unless allowed by the court or to prevent a failure of justice (Sec. 1). or ought to be. par. Under the Rules. and) (d) In lieu of any of the foregoing orders or in addition thereto. each of the matters of which an admission is requested shall be deemed admitted unless within a period designated in the request which shall not be less than 15 days after service thereof. which resolution shall be made as early as practicable (Sec. or staying further proceedings until the order is obeyed. This provision encourages the use of written interrogatories although a party is not compelled to use this discovery procedure. Rule 26). 3. Request for admission (Rule 26) (1) A party. par. Effect of failure to serve written interrogatories (1) A party not served with written interrogatories may not be compelled by the adverse party to give testimony in open court. (2) Objections to any request for admission shall be submitted to the court by the party requested within the period for and prior to the filing of his sworn statement as contemplated in the preceding paragraph and his compliance therewith shall be deferred until such objections are resolved. or to give deposition pending appeal. or within such further time as the court may allow on motion. 2). Implied admission by adverse party (1) Each of the matters of which an admission is requested shall be deemed admitted unless.(c) An order striking out pleadings or parts thereof. although not compelled by the Rules. the party to whom the request is directed files and serves upon the party requesting the admission a sworn statement either denying specifically the matters of which an admission is requested or setting forth in detail the reasons why he cannot truthfully either admit or deny those matters (Sec. Rule 29).
papers. objects or tangible things. shall not be permitted to present evidence on such facts (Sec. (b) The motion must sufficiently describe the document or thing sought to be produced or inspected. place and manner of making the inspection and taking copies and photographs. and may prescribe such terms and conditions as are just. 1. books. Rule 27. of any designated documents. Moran. vs. or (b) Order any party to permit entry upon designated land or other property in his possession or control for the purpose of inspecting. surveying. Production of inspection of documents or things (Rule 27) (1) Upon motion of any party showing good cause therefor. photographs. 175) . within the personal knowledge of the latter. or photographing the property or any designated relevant object or operation thereon. which constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in the action and which are in his possession. 3). (e) The document or thing sought to be produced or inspected must not be privileged. measuring. 5). or ought to be. the court in which an action is pending may: (a) Order any party to produce and permit the inspection and copying or photographing. and (f) The document or thing sought to be produced or inspected must be in the possession of the adverse party or. (2) Requirements for the production or inspection of documents or things: (a) A motion must be filed by a party showing good cause therefor. (d) The document or thing sought to be produced or inspected must constitute or contain evidence material to the pending action. accounts. Lime Corp. by or on behalf of the moving party. Effect of failure to file and serve request for admission (1) A party who fails to file and serve a request for admission on the adverse party of material and relevant facts at issue which are. Effect of admission (1) Any admission made by a party pursuant to such request is for the purpose of the pending action only and shall not constitute an admission by him for any other purpose nor may the same be used against him in any other proceeding (Sec. letters. (c) The motion must be given to all the other parties. 59 Phil. not privileged. The order shall specify the time.requested or setting forth in detail the reason why he cannot truthfully either admit or deny those matters. custody or control. at least under his control (Sec.
4). (2) Rules governing the rights of parties on the report of the examining physician regarding the physical or mental condition of party examined: (a) The person examined shall. he may apply to the court of the province where the deposition is being taken for an order compelling answer. 1). (c) If the party examined refuses to deliver such report. on reasonable notice to all persons affected thereby. a like report of any examination previously or thereafter made. regarding the testimony of every other person who has examined or may thereafter examine him in respect of the same mental or physical examination(Sec. (b) A motion showing good cause must be filed. of the same physical or mental condition. be entitled to a copy of the detailed written report of the examining physician setting out his findings and conclusions. (d) If a physician fails or refuses to make such report. . upon request. (e) The party examined who obtains a reports of the examination or takes the deposition of the examiner waives any privilege he may have in that action or any other action involving the same controversy. 1 and 2). (c) If the court finds that the refusal was without substantial justification. the court may exclude his testimony if offered at the trial. (b) The party causing the examination to be made shall be entitled upon request to receive from the party examined. it may order the refusing party or the attorney advising him or both of them to pay the examining party the amount of reasonable attorney’s fees. the court on motion and notice may make an order requiring delivery.Physical and mental examination of persons (Rule 28) (1) Requirements of physical and mental examination of persons: (a) The physical or mental condition of a party must be in controversy in the action. (b) Thereafter. Consequences of refusal to comply with modes of discovery (Rule 29) (1) The following are the consequences of a plaintiff’s refusal to make discovery: (a) The examining party may complete the examination on the other matters or adjourn to the same (Sec. and (c) Notion of the motion must be given to the party to be examined and to all the other parties (Secs.
reasonable expenses incurred in making such proof. (g) The court may order the striking out of pleadings or party thereof (Sec. 3[b]). (h) The court may stay further proceedings until the order is obeyed. or render judgment by default against the disobedient party (Sec. 5). (j) The court may order the arrest of any party who refuses to admit the truth of any matter of fact or the genuineness of any document to pay the party who made the request and who proves the truth of any such matters or the genuineness of such document. (i) The court may dismiss the action or proceeding or any party thereof. 3[a]).(d) The refusal to answer may be considered as contempt of court (Sec.4) . including reasonable attorney’s fees (Sec. 3[c]). (e) The court may order that the facts sought to be established by the examining party shall e taken to be established for the purpose of the action in accordance with the claim of the party obtaining the order (Sec. 2). (f) The court may issue an order refusing to allow the disobedient party to support or oppose designated claims or defenses or prohibiting him from introducing in evidence designated documents or things or items of testimony (Sec.
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