Do I need to serve a notice of motion to compel discovery before I file the actual motion?

Full Question:

I have a civil lawsuit in a court of common pleas. I have served first set of interrogatories, requests for admissions, and production of documents upon defendants attorney. They refused to answer any and all. My question is: Do I need to serve a notice of motion to compel discovery before I file the actual motion and what form do I use and time period until filed?
03/11/2009   |   Category: Discovery   |   State: Pennsylvania   |   #15563


A party has 30 days to object to or answer a discovery request. Please see the following PA statutes to determine applicability:

§ 41.134. Discovery motions.

(a) This section applies to motions filed to resolve disputes arising from the conduct of discovery under § § 41.118—41.121.

(b) A motion to compel discovery must contain as exhibits the discovery requests and answers giving rise to the dispute.

(c) A party may file a memorandum of law in support of its discovery motion or its response to a discovery motion. The supporting memorandum of law shall be filed at the same time the motion or response is filed.


(a) An application for sanctions under this rule shall be made by
motion, shall be made separately from other applications and shall
describe the specific conduct alleged to violate Rule 1023.1(c).

(b) No such motion shall be filed unless it includes a certification
that the applicant served written notice and demand to the attorney or
pro se party who signed or filed the challenged pleading, motion or other
paper. The certification shall have annexed a copy of that notice and
demand, which shall identify with specificity each portion of the
document which is believed to violate the provisions of this rule, set
forth the basis for that belief with specificity, include a demand that
the document or portion of the document, be withdrawn or appropriately
corrected. An application for sanctions may be filed if the challenged
paper, claim, defense, contention, allegation, or denial is not withdrawn
or appropriately corrected within twenty-eight days after service of the
written demand. If warranted, the court may award to the party prevailing
on the motion the reasonable expenses and attorney's fees incurred in
presenting or opposing the motion.

(c) A motion requesting sanctions under this rule shall be filed in the
trial court before the entry of final judgment.


(a) If, pursuant to Rule 206.1(a)(2), a court has designated applications
which are to proceed under Rule 206.1 et seq., the court must promulgate a
local rule, numbered Local Rule 206.1(a), listing those applications.

(b) Every court shall promulgate a local rule, numbered Local Rule
206.4(c), which describes the court's procedures for the issuance of a
rule to show cause.

(1) If a court has by local rule adopted the procedure of Rule 206.6
providing for the issuance of a rule to show cause as of course, Local
Rule 206.4(c) shall expressly

(i) state that the rule shall issue as a matter of course pursuant to
Rule 206.6, and

(ii) describe the steps that the moving party must take for the rule to

(2) Local Rule 206.4(c) shall also describe the manner by which the
court considers a petitioner's request for a stay of execution pending
disposition of a petition to open a default judgment.

(d) If a court follows the procedure of Rule 206.5 under which the
issuance of a rule to show cause is discretionary, Local Rule 206.4(c)

(1) shall describe the manner in which the request for the issuance of
the rule is scheduled, argued, and decided, and

(2) may impose requirements for the filing of briefs addressing whether
a rule to show cause should issue.

(e) In addition to the matters set forth in subdivision (b) or (c),
Local Rule 206.4(c) may impose requirements upon the moving party to

(1) transmit the original and/or copies of the petition and related
legal papers to a judge or other court personnel, and

(2) notify other parties of the date, time and location of a court

Note: Local Rule 206.4(c) shall not modify the provisions of Rules
206.1 through 206.2 governing the contents of a petition or answer, Rule
206.3 governing verification, or Rule 206.7 governing the procedure after
issuance of a rule to show cause.

Local Rule 206.4(c) shall not alter the form of the order of court
required by Rule 206.5(d), which sets forth the dates by which an answer
shall be filed and depositions shall be completed, and the date of the
final argument. Pursuant to the Note to Rule 206.5(d), the form of the
order may be modified to provide for an evidentiary hearing on disputed
issues of fact, the use of forms of discovery other than depositions, the
filing of briefs, and disposition without oral argument.


(a) The party upon whom the request is served shall within
thirty days after the service of the request

(1) serve an answer including objections to each numbered
paragraph in the request, and

(2) produce or make available to the party submitting the
request those documents and things described in the request to
which there is no objection.

(i) Where the documents may be identified only after review
of a larger group of documents, and the burden of identifying the
documents would be substantially the same for the party serving
the request as for the party served, the party served may afford
the party serving the request reasonable opportunity to identify
the documents, to examine or inspect them and to obtain copies.

(b) The answer shall be in the form of a paragraph by-paragraph
response which shall

(1) identify all documents or things produced or made

(2) identify all documents or things not produced or made
available because of the objection that they are not within the
scope of permissible discovery under Rule 4003.2 through
Rule 4003.6 inclusive and Rule 4011(c). Documents or things not
produced shall be identified with reasonable particularity
together with the basis for non-production;

(3) specify a larger group of documents or things from which
the documents or things to be produced or made available may be
identified as provided by subdivision (a)(2)(i);

(4) object to the request on the grounds set forth in
Rule 4011(a), (b), and (e) or on the ground that the request does not meet
the requirements of Rule 4009.11;

(5) state that after reasonable investigation, it has been
determined that there are no documents responsive to the request.

(c) The answer shall be signed and verified by the party making
it and signed also by the attorney making an objection if one is
set forth.

(d) If a request is reasonably susceptible to one construction
under which documents sought to be produced are within the
scope of the request and another construction under which the
documents are outside the scope of the request, the answering
party shall either produce the documents or identify with
reasonable particularity the documents not produced together with
the basis for non-production.


(a) A rule to show cause shall be issued as of course upon the filing
of the petition. The rule shall direct that an answer be filed to the
petition within twenty days after service of the petition on the

(b) The court may grant a stay of the proceedings.

(c) The petitioner shall attach to the petition a proposed order
substantially in the following form:



AND NOW, this _____ day of __________, _______, upon consideration of the
foregoing petition, it is hereby ordered that

(1) a rule is issued upon the respondent to show cause why the petitioner
is not entitled to the relief requested;

(2) the respondent shall file an answer to the petition within twenty days
of service upon the respondent;

(3) the petition shall be decided under Pa.R.C.P. No. 206.7;

(4) depositions shall be completed within ____ days of this date;

(5) argument shall be held on _______, _______ in Courtroom _____________
of the _______ County Courthouse; and

(6) notice of the entry of this order shall be provided to all parties by
the petitioner.



_______________________________ J.

Note: Paragraphs (4) and (5) are optional in a county adopting the
alternative procedure. This accommodates local procedures which do not fix
a hearing date until the answer and depositions have been filed.

In counties in which an evidentiary hearing is held, the order should
be modified by deleting paragraphs (4) and (5) and substituting new
paragraph (4) to read as follows:

(4) an evidentiary hearing on disputed issues of material fact shall be
held on ______ in Courtroom ______ of the ______ County Courthouse.

The court may provide in the order for disposition upon briefs rather than
oral argument.

The court has inherent power to permit forms of discovery other than

Ask Legal Question

Your Privacy is 100% Confidential!