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Supreme Court Rules

Section/Rule:57.03
Subject: Rule 57 - Rules of Civil Procedure - Rules Governing Civil Procedure in the Circuit Courts - Interrogatories and Depositions Publication / Adopted Date:March 29, 1974
Topic:Depositions Upon Oral ExaminationRevised / Effective Date:January 1, 2007


57.03. Depositions Upon Oral Examination

(a) When Depositions May Be Taken. After commencement of the action, any party may take the testimony of any person, including a party, by deposition upon oral examination. Leave of court, granted with or without notice, must be obtained only if the plaintiff seeks to take a deposition prior to the expiration of 30 days after service of the summons and petition upon any defendant, except that leave is not required if a defendant has served a notice of taking deposition or otherwise sought discovery. The attendance of witnesses may be compelled by subpoena as provided in Rule 57.09. The attendance of a party is compelled by notice as provided in subdivision (b) of this Rule. The deposition of a person confined in prison may be taken only by leave of court on such terms as the court describes.

(b) Notice of Examination: General Requirements; Special Notice; Production of Documents and Things; Deposition of Organization.

The notice shall state the time and place for taking the deposition and the name and address of each person to be examined, if known. If the name is not known, a general description sufficient to identify the person or the particular class or group to which the person belongs shall be stated.

If a subpoena duces tecum is to be served on the person to be examined, the designation of the materials to be produced as set forth in the subpoena shall be attached to or included in the notice.

A party may attend a deposition by telephone.

(c) Non-stenographic Recording - Video Tape. Depositions may be recorded by the use of video tape or similar methods. The recording of the deposition by video tape shall be in addition to a usual recording and transcription method unless the parties otherwise agree.

(d) Record of Examination; Oath; Objections. The officer before whom the deposition is to be taken shall put the witness on oath or affirmation and shall personally, or by someone acting under the officer's direction and in the officer's presence, record the testimony of the witness. The testimony shall be taken stenographically or recorded by any other means ordered in accordance with Rule 57.03(c). If requested by one of the parties, the testimony shall be transcribed.

All objections made at the time of the examination to the qualifications of the officer taking the deposition, to the manner of taking it, to the evidence presented, to the conduct of any party, or any other objection to the proceedings shall be noted by the officer upon the deposition. Evidence objected to shall be taken subject to the objections. In lieu of participating in the oral examination, parties may serve written questions in a sealed envelope on the party taking the deposition, and that party shall transmit them to the officer before whom the deposition is to be taken, who shall propound them to the witness, and the questions and answers thereto shall be recorded.

(e) Motion to Terminate or Limit Examination. At any time during the taking of the deposition, on motion of a party or of the deponent and upon a showing that the examination is being conducted in bad faith or in such manner as unreasonably to annoy, embarrass, or oppress the deponent or party, the court in which the action is pending or a court having general jurisdiction in the place where the deposition is being taken may order the officer conducting the examination to cease forthwith from taking the deposition, or may limit the scope and manner of the taking of the deposition as provided in Rule 56.01(c). If the order made terminates the examination, it shall be resumed thereafter only upon the order of the court in which the action is pending. Upon demand of the objecting party or deponent, the taking of the deposition shall be suspended for the time necessary to make a motion for an order. The provisions of Rule 61.01(g) apply to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the motion.

(f) Submission to Witness; Changes; Signing. When the testimony is fully transcribed, the deposition shall be submitted by the officer to the witness for examination and shall be read to or by him, unless such examination and reading are waived by the witness and by the parties. Any changes in form or substance which the witness desires to make shall be entered upon the deposition by the officer with a statement of the reasons given by the witness for making them; provided, however, that the answers or responses as originally given, together with the changes made and reasons given therefor, shall be considered as a part of the deposition. The deposition shall then be signed by the witness, unless the parties by stipulation waive the signing or the witness is ill or cannot be found, or is dead or refuses to sign. If the deposition is not signed by the witness, the officer shall sign it and state on the record the fact of the waiver or of the illness, or death or absence of the witness or the fact of the refusal to sign together with the reasons, if any, given therefor; and the deposition may then be used as fully as though signed, unless, on a motion to suppress, the court holds that the reasons given for the refusal to sign require rejection of the deposition in whole or in part.

(g) Certification, Delivery, and Filing; Exhibits; Copies.

(h) Failure to Attend or to Serve Subpoena; Expenses.