Close Close

Your Missouri Courts Header Image

Clerk Handbooks

Supreme Court Rules

Section/Rule:61.01
Subject: Rule 61 - Rules of Civil Procedure - Rules Governing Civil Procedure in the Circuit Courts - Enforcement of Discovery: Sanctions Publication / Adopted Date:March 29, 1974
Topic:Failure to Make Discovery: SanctionsRevised / Effective Date:January 1, 2001


61.01. Failure to Make Discovery: Sanctions

(a) Failure to Act - Evasive or Incomplete Answers. Any failure to act described in this Rule may not be excused on the ground that the discovery sought is objectionable unless the party failing to act has filed timely objections to the discovery request or has applied for a protective order as provided by Rule 56.01(c).

For the purpose of this Rule, an evasive or incomplete answer is to be treated as a failure to answer.

(b) Failure to Answer Interrogatories. If a party fails to answer interrogatories or file objections thereto within the time provided by law, or if objections are filed thereto which are thereafter overruled and the interrogatories are not timely answered, the court may, upon motion and reasonable notice to other parties, make such orders in regard to the failure as are just and among others the following:

(c) Failure to Answer Request for Admissions. If a party, after being served with a request to admit the genuineness of any relevant documents or the truth of any relevant and material matters of fact, fails to file answers or objections thereto, as required by Rule 59.01, the genuineness of any relevant documents or the truth of any relevant and material matters of fact contained in the request for admissions shall be taken as admitted. If a party fails to admit the genuineness of any document or the truth of any matter as requested under Rule 59.01, and if the party requesting the admissions thereafter proves the genuineness of the document or the truth of the matter, the party requesting the admissions may apply to the court for an order requiring the other party to pay the reasonable expenses incurred in making that proof, including reasonable attorney's fees. The court shall make the order unless it finds that: (1) the request was held objectionable pursuant to Rule 59.01, (2) the admission sought was of no substantial importance, (3) the party failing to admit had reasonable grounds to believe that such party might prevail on the matter, or (4) there was other good reason for the failure to admit.

(d) Failure to Produce Documents, and Things or to Permit Inspection. If a party fails to respond that inspection will be permitted as requested, fails to permit inspection, or fails to produce documents and tangible things as requested under Rule 58.01, or timely files objections thereto that are thereafter overruled and the documents and things are not timely produced or inspection thereafter is not timely permitted, the court may, upon motion and reasonable notice to other parties, make such orders in regard to the failure as are just and among others the following:

(e) Failure to Appear for Physical Examination. If a party fails to obey an order directing a physical or mental or blood examination under Rule 60.01, the court may, upon motion and reasonable notice to the other parties and all persons affected thereby, make such orders in regard to the failure as are just, and among others, it may take any action authorized under Rules 61.01(d)(1), (2), and (4). Where a party has failed to comply with an order requiring the production of another for examination, the court may enter such orders as are authorized by this Rule 61.01, unless the party failing to comply shows an inability to produce such person for examination.

(f) Failure to Attend Own Deposition. If a party or an officer, director or managing agent of a party or a person designated under Rules 57.03(b)(4) and 57.04(a), to testify on behalf of a party, fails to appear before the officer who is to take his deposition, after being served with notice, the court may, upon motion and reasonable notice to the other parties and all persons affected thereby, make such orders in regard to the failure as are just and among others, it may take any action authorized under paragraphs (1), (2), (3) and (4) of subdivision (d) of this Rule.

(g) Failure to Answer Questions on Deposition. If a witness fails or refuses to testify in response to questions propounded on deposition, the proponent of the question may move for an order compelling an answer. The proponent of the question may complete or adjourn the deposition examination before applying for an order. In ruling upon the motion, the court may make such protective order as it would have been empowered to make on a motion pursuant to Rule 56.01(c).

If the motion is granted, the court, after opportunity for hearing, shall require the party or deponent whose conduct necessitated the motion or the party or attorney advising such conduct or both of them to pay to the moving party the reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining the order, including attorney's fees, unless the court finds that the opposition to the motion was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.

If the motion is denied, the court, after opportunity for hearing, shall require the moving party or the attorney advising the motion or both of them to pay to the party or deponent who opposed the motion the reasonable expenses incurred in opposing the motion, including attorney's fees, unless the court finds that the making of the motion was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.

If the motion is granted in part and denied in part, the court may apportion the reasonable expenses incurred in relation to the motion among the parties and persons in a just manner.

If the motion is granted and if the persons ordered to respond fail to comply with the court's order, the court, upon motion and reasonable notice to the other parties and all persons affected thereby, may make such orders in regard to the failure as are just, and among others, it may take any action authorized under Rule 61.01(d).

(h) Objections to Approved Discovery. If objections to Rule 56.01(b)(6) approved interrogatories or requests for production are overruled, the court may assess against such objecting party, attorney, or attorney's law firm, or all of them, the attorney's fees reasonably incurred in having such objection overruled. If such fees are not paid within sixty days, the court may enter such other appropriate orders against the disobedient party, including an order striking pleadings, dismissing the action, or entering a judgment by default.

(Adopted March 29, 1974, eff. Jan. 1, 1975. Amended June 1, 1993, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; Sept. 28, 1993, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.)