(1) A party may serve a request for production upon an adverse party either with the petition or at any time after the service of a petition. If a party wishes to serve a request for production with the petition, the party shall furnish sufficient copies to the court for service with the petition. The request may be:

(a) to produce and permit the party making the request, or the party's agent, to inspect and copy any designated documents or records, or to copy, test, or sample any tangible things, which may be relevant and which are in the possession, custody, or control of the party upon whom the request is served; or

(b) to permit entry upon designated land or other property in the possession or control of the party upon whom the request is served for the purpose of inspection and measuring, surveying, photographing, testing, or sampling the property or any designated object or operation thereon, within the limits of relevancy.

(2) Proof of service of requests for production and responses thereto must be filed with the court simultaneously with the service of discovery on the other party. Requests for production and answers thereto must not be filed except by leave of court. When a motion is filed making reference to a request for production, the party filing the motion shall also submit the request for production, the response thereto, and the documents produced pursuant to the response. Requests for production and responses thereto may be used at trial to the extent allowed by the Montana Rules of Evidence and the Montana Rules of Civil Procedure.

(3) The party upon whom a request for production is served shall serve a written response within the time set forth in ARM 24.5.320 unless the court lengthens or shortens the time. A response must not be due in less than 30 days from the service of the petition. The response must state, with respect to each item or category, that inspection and related activities will be permitted as requested, unless the request is objected to, in which event the reasons for objection must be stated. For a partial objection, the part subject to objection must be specified.

(4) If the request is for production of the file of a party and objection is made to such production on the grounds of privilege or work product, the objecting party shall produce all documents other than those specific documents which are subject to objection. Where the objection is only to part of a document, the document must be produced with the portions subject to objection redacted. The objecting party shall also provide in its response a list of documents which are subject to objections, specifically identifying:

(a) the type of document;

(b) the number of pages of the document;

(c) the general subject matter of the document;

(d) the date of the document;

(e) where the document is a communication, the author of the document, the address of the author, and the relationship of the author and the addressee;

(f) whether the objection extends to the entire document or only to portions of the document; and

(g) the specific privilege, including work product, which is being claimed as to each document.

(5) Where the objecting party asserts that this minimal information would encroach upon the attorney-client privilege or the work product doctrine, the party must state how disclosure of the information would violate the privilege or doctrine.

(6) The court rules upon objections based on claims of attorney-client privilege or work product only upon the filing of a motion to compel, at which time the following procedure applies:

(a) along with the response brief, the objecting party shall furnish the court with a copy of the original response to the request for production and the original or a copy of all documents which are identified in the motion to compel;

(b) where only parts of the document are subject to an objection, the objecting party shall identify those parts; and

(c) the court will review the documents in camera and sustain or overrule each objection.

(7) If the request is intended to obtain the production of documents which are not in the adverse party's possession but are within the adverse party's custody or control, unless otherwise ordered by the court, the adverse party may, in lieu of providing the documents, provide an authorization or a release as necessary to obtain such documents from all persons or entities physically possessing the documents.

History: 2-4-201, MCA; IMP, 2-4-201, 39-71-2901, MCA; NEW, 1983 MAR p. 1715, Eff. 11/26/83; TRANS, from ARM 2.52.324, 1989 MAR p. 2177, Eff. 12/22/89; AMD, 1990 MAR p. 847, Eff. 5/1/90; AMD, 1994 MAR p. 675, Eff. 4/1/94; AMD, 1996 MAR p. 557, Eff. 2/23/96; AMD, 2014 MAR p. 2829, Eff. 3/1/15.