January 22, 2019, 09:46Robert Schell
Time to Respond to Discovery Requests
I sent a copy of the notice of seizure and citations to the attorney representing the respondents on October 11, 2017. The attorney filed her acceptance of citation and waiver of service and answer on October 23, 2017. I served her by email with a request to produce documents on October 25, 2018.
The issue is how long do the respondents have to file their responses, 30 or 50 days.
I have taken the position that they only have 30 days since the discovery request was served after her answer. They take the position that they have 50 days since the discovery request was served before the date the answer was required to filed, first Monday past the expiration of 20 days, November 5, 2018.
The rule states that if the discovery is served before the answer is due, the respondent has 50 days. I have taken the position that the answer was not due, since it had already been filed. I have not found a case on point, although I did find dictum that stated, "Rule 194.3 clearly refers to the time allowed to respond to requests for disclosure if an answer has not yet been filed, not to the time for filing the answer itself." See Booker v. LVNV Funding LLC, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 876.
Please let me know if any of you have encountered this issue before and how you addressed it.
January 25, 2019, 14:11A. Diamond
The danger here is that it appears the other side collegially waived formal service of the citation for you and answered before their answer date, but that you could look like you are "playing gotcha" by being hypertechnical with them. Give them the 50 days and thank them for having the decency to waive need of formal service of the citation.
February 05, 2019, 11:02Robert S. DuBoise
Wholeheartedly agree Ann. Part of being in this profession is being courteous in matters such as this. In civil practice--like forfeitures--I will almost automatically to one extension of time for the opposing party to file responses. A lot of that is because I know that one day I will be in their shoes and will appreciate the same courtesy being given to me.