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Civil Procedure: Rule 29 - Refusal to Comply with Modes of Discovery

RULE 29
Refusal to Comply with Modes of Discovery

Section 1. Refusal to answer. — If a party or other deponent refuses to answer any question upon oral examination, the examination may be completed on other matters or adjourned as the proponent of the question may prefer. The proponent may thereafter apply to the proper court of the place where the deposition is being taken, for an order to compel an answer. The same procedure may be availed of when a party or a witness refuses to answer any interrogatory submitted under Rules 23 or 25.

If the application is granted, 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, it may require the refusing party or deponent or the counsel advising the refusal, or both of them, to pay the proponent the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining the order, including attorney's fees.

If the application is denied and the court finds that it was filed without substantial justification, the court may require the proponent or the counsel advising the filing of the application, or both of them, to pay to the refusing party or deponent the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred in opposing the application, including attorney's fees. (1a)

Section 2. Contempt of court. — 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, the refusal may be considered a contempt of that court. (2a)

Section 3. Other consequences. — 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, or an order under Rule 27 to produce any document or other thing for inspection, copying, or photographing or to permit it to be done, or to permit entry upon land or other property or an order made under Rule 28 requiring him to submit to a physical or mental examination, the court may make such orders in regard to the refusal as are just, and among others the following:

(a) An order that the matters regarding which the questions were asked, or the character or description of the thing or land, or the contents of the paper, or the physical or mental condition of the party, 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 in evidence designated documents or things or items of testimony, or from introducing evidence of physical or mental condition;

(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; and

(d) In lieu of any of the foregoing orders or in addition thereto, 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. (3a)

Section 4. Expenses on refusal to admit. — If a party after being served with a request under Rule 26 to admit the genuineness of any document or the truth of any matter of fact serves a sworn denial thereof and if the party requesting the admissions thereafter proves the genuineness of such document or the truth of any such matter of fact, he may apply to the court for an order requiring the other party to pay him the reasonable expenses incurred in making such proof, including attorney's fees. Unless the court finds that there were good reasons for the denial or that admissions sought were of no substantial importance, such order shall be issued. (4a)

Section 5. Failure of party to attend or serve answers. — If a party or an officer or managing agent of a party wilfully fails to appear before the officer who is to take his deposition, after being served with a proper notice, or fails to serve answers to interrogatories submitted under Rule 25 after proper service of such interrogatories, the court on motion and notice, may strike out all or any part of any pleading of that party, or dismiss the action or proceeding or any part thereof, or enter a judgment by default against that party, and in its discretion, order him to pay reasonable expenses incurred by the other, including attorney's fees. (5)

Section 6. Expenses against the Republic of the Philippines. — Expenses and attorney's fees are not to be imposed upon the Republic of the Philippines under this Rule. (6)
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