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Requests for Production
Requests for the production of documents are another form of discovery available to litigants in Georgia. This method of discovery allows one party to gather evidence by serving upon another party requests:
“1) To produce and permit the party making the request, or someone acting on his behalf, to inspect and copy any designated documents (including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, phono-records, and other data compilations from which information can be obtained, translated, if necessary, by the respondent through detection devices into reasonably usable form), or to inspect and copy, test, or sample any tangible things … which are in the possession, custody, or control of the party upon whom the request is served; or
2) To permit entry upon designated land or other property in the possession or control of the party upon whom the request is served for the purpose of inspection and measuring, surveying, photographing, testing, or sampling the property or any designated object or operation thereon….”
O.C.G.A. § 9-11-34 (a).
Similar to interrogatories, requests for production may be served upon the plaintiff after the commencement of an action and upon the defendant with or after service of the complaint and summons on the defendant. Generally, a party has 30 days in which to respond subject to a few exceptions. A defendant may respond 45 days from the date of service of process if the requests are included with the service of the Complaint for Divorce.
Practice Pointer - Why use Requests for Production?
Requests for production are valuable tools for litigants because not only can they be served upon parties to a case but also upon nonparties as well. For example, requests may be served upon individuals, firms, corporations, healthcare facilities, and medical practitioners who are not parties to the litigation. As such, they can become invaluable in tracking down bank account statements, retirement statements, cell phone records, etc.
In the event that one party chooses to serve requests to produce on a nonparty, the opposing party in the litigation must be served with a copy of the request as well. Additionally, according to Georgia law, parties should make all reasonable efforts to ensure that any responses to nonparty requests are made available to all parties in the litigation. O.C.G.A. § 9-11-34 (c).