Unless otherwise limited by order of the court in accordance with these rules, the methods and scope of discovery are as follows:
The court may act upon its own initiative after reasonable notice or piirsuant to a motion under Rule.
A party may obtain without the required showing a statement concerning the action or its subject matter previously made by that party. Upon request, a party or other person may obtain without the required showing a statement concerning the action or its subject matter previously made by that person who is not a party. If the request is refused, the person may move for a court order. The provisions of Ruleapply to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the motion. For purposes of this paragraph, a statement previously made is (1) a written statement signed or otherwise adopted or approved by the person making it, or (2) a stenographic, mechanical, electrical, or other recording, or a transcription thereof, that is a substantially verbatim recital of an oral statement by the person making it and contemporaneously recorded.
Minn. R. Civ. P. 26.02
Amended effective July 1, 2013; amended effective July 1, 2018.
Advisory Committee Comment-2006 AmendmentThe amendment to Rule 26.02 is simple but potentially quite important. The rule is amended to conform to Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b) as amended in 2000. Although the proposed changes were expected to create as many problems as they solved, see, e.g., John S. Beckerman, Confronting Civil Discovery's Fatal Flaws, 84 Minn. L. Rev. 505, 537-43 (2000); Jeffrey W. Stempel & David F. Herr, Applying Amended Rule 26(b)(1) in Litigation: The New Scope of Discovery, in 199 F.R.D. 396 (2001), the change in the scope of discovery, to limit it to the actual claims and defenses raised in the pleadings, has worked well in federal court, and most feared problems have not materialized. See generally Thomas D. Rowe, Jr., A Square Peg in a Round Hole? The 2000 Limitation on the Scope of Federal Civil Discovery, 69 Tenn. L. Rev. 13, 25-27 (2001); Note, The Sound and the Fury or the Sound of Silence?: Evaluating the Pre-Amendment Predictions and Post-Amendment Effects of the Discovery Scope-Narrowing Language in the 2000 Amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1), 37 Ga. L. Rev. 1039 (2003). Courts have simply not found the change dramatic nor given it a draconian interpretation. See, e.g., Sanyo Laser Prod., Inc. v. Arista Records, Inc., 214 F.R.D. 496 (S.D. Ind. 2003 ).The narrowing of the scope of discovery as a matter of right does not vitiate in any way the traditional rule that discovery should be liberally allowed. It should be limited to the claims and defenses raised by the pleadings, but the requests should still be liberally construed. See, e.g., Graham v. Casey's General Stores, 206 F.R.D. 251, 253 (S.D. Ind. 2002 ) ("Even after the recent amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26, courts employ a liberal discovery standard.").Advisory Committee Comment-2007 AmendmentRule 26.02(b)(2) is a new provision that establishes a two-tier standard for discovery of electronically stored information. The rule makes information that is not "reasonably accessible because of undue burden or cost" not normally discoverable. This rule is identical to its federal counterpart, adopted in 2006. The rule requires that it be identified in response to an appropriate request, but if it is identified as "not reasonably accessible," it need not be produced in the absence of further order. It is not strictly exempt from discovery, as the court may, upon motion that "shows good cause," order disclosure of the information. The rule explicitly authorizes the court to impose conditions on any order for disclosure of this information, and conditions that either ease the undue burden or minimize the total cost or cost borne by the producing party would be appropriate.Rule 26.02(f)(2) is a new provision that creates a uniform procedure for dealing with assertions of privilege that are made following production of information in discovery. The rule creates a mandatory obligation to return, sequester, or destroy information that is produced in discovery if the producing party asserts that it is subject to a privilege or work-product protection. The information cannot be used for any purpose until the privilege claim is resolved. The rule provides a mechanism for the receiving party to have the validity of the privilege claim resolved by the court. The rule does not create any presumption or have any impact on the validity of the claim of privilege, nor does it excuse the inadvertent or regretted production. If the court determines that that production waived an otherwise valid privilege, then the information should be ordered for production or release from sequestration of the information. Advisory Committee Comment-2018 Amendments Rule 26.02 is emended to adopt the changes made to Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b) in 2015. The amendments are intended to improve the operation of the rule and to avoid some of the problems that were encountered under the former rule.