28. What should I do if the State sends me a request for discovery?

If the State sends you discovery requests, you must respond to those requests. (See Question 29 & Question 30 for more information.) If you do not respond, the court can hold you in contempt, which means the judge decides that you have failed to comply with the court’s rules. The judge can also impose penalties called "sanctions" if you do not respond to the State’s discovery requests. If you are sanctioned, you may have to pay a fine or complete another task the judge thinks is appropriate. 

If you think that the State’s request for discovery has nothing to do with the case, or that the State is asking for too much work on your part, you can serve written objections on the State. These objections can include (but are not limited to) the following: 

  1. The discovery request is duplicative, meaning that the State is asking for an unreasonable amount of information and for information that is repetitive;
  2. The discovery request is obtainable from an alternative source, meaning that the State is asking for information that it could get from another person or place more conveniently or less expensively;
  3. The discovery request is harassing, meaning that the State has issued this request not to get information, but solely to bother you;
  4. The discovery request is overbroad, meaning that the State is asking for too much information or too many documents without reasonable limitations on time, location, or subject of the information; 
  5. The discovery request invades your protected rights, meaning the State’s request violates your personal, constitutional, property, or privacy rights; or
  6. The discovery request is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, meaning the discovery request is not relevant to the seizure of property.

If, after your objection, the State still requires the information in its discovery request, it will file a Motion to Compel, asking the court to order you to give them the information/records requested. You can file a Response to the Motion to Compel by asserting the objections listed above.