As amended through September 8, 2023
Rule 202 - Depositions before Suit or to Investigate Claims202.1 Generally.
A person may petition the court for an order authorizing the taking of a deposition on oral examination or written questions either:(a) to perpetuate or obtain the person's own testimony or that of any other person for use in an anticipated suit; or(b) to investigate a potential claim or suit.202.2 Petition
The petition must:(b) be filed in a proper court of any county: (1) where venue of the anticipated suit may lie, if suit is anticipated; or(2) where the witness resides, if no suit is yet anticipated;(c) be in the name of the petitioner;(d) state either: (1) that the petitioner anticipates the institution of a suit in which the petitioner may be a party; or(2) that the petitioner seeks to investigate a potential claim by or against petitioner;(e) state the subject matter of the anticipated action, if any, and the petitioner's interest therein;(f) if suit is anticipated, either: (1) state the names of the persons petitioner expects to have interests adverse to petitioner's in the anticipated suit, and the addresses and telephone numbers for such persons; or (2) state that the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of persons petitioner expects to have interests adverse to petitioner's in the anticipated suit cannot be ascertained through diligent inquiry, and describe those persons;(g) state the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the persons to be deposed, the substance of the testimony that the petitioner expects to elicit from each, and the petitioner's reasons for desiring to obtain the testimony of each; and(h) request an order authorizing the petitioner to take the depositions of the persons named in the petition.202.3 Notice and Service.(a)Personal service on witnesses and persons named. At least 15 days before the date of the hearing on the petition, the petitioner must serve the petition and a notice of the hearing - in accordance with Rule 21a - on all persons petitioner seeks to depose and, if suit is anticipated, on all persons petitioner expects to have interests adverse to petitioner's in the anticipated suit.(b)Service by publication on persons not named.(1)Manner. Unnamed persons described in the petition whom the petitioner expects to have interests adverse to petitioner's in the anticipated suit, if any, may be served by publication with the petition and notice of the hearing. The notice must state the place for the hearing and the time it will be held, which must be more than 14 days after the first publication of the notice. The petition and notice must be published once each week for two consecutive weeks in the newspaper of broadest circulation in the county in which the petition is filed, or if no such newspaper exists, in the newspaper of broadest circulation in the nearest county where a newspaper is published.(2)Objection to depositions taken on notice by publication. Any interested party may move, in the proceeding or by bill of review, to suppress any deposition, in whole or in part, taken on notice by publication, and may also attack or oppose the deposition by any other means available.(c)Service in probate cases. A petition to take a deposition in anticipation of an application for probate of a will, and notice of the hearing on the petition, may be served by posting as prescribed by Section 33(f)(2) of the Probate Code. The notice and petition must be directed to all parties interested in the testator's estate and must comply with the requirements of Section 33(c) of the Probate Code insofar as they may be applicable.(d)Modification by order. As justice or necessity may require, the court may shorten or lengthen the notice periods under this rule and may extend the notice period to permit service on any expected adverse party.202.4 Order.(a)Required findings. The court must order a deposition to be taken if, but only if, it finds that: (1) allowing the petitioner to take the requested deposition may prevent a failure or delay of justice in an anticipated suit; or(2) the likely benefit of allowing the petitioner to take the requested deposition to investigate a potential claim outweighs the burden or expense of the procedure.(b)Contents. The order must state whether a deposition will be taken on oral examination or written questions. The order may also state the time and place at which a deposition will be taken. If the order does not state the time and place at which a deposition will be taken, the petitioner must notice the deposition as required by Rules 199 or 200. The order must contain any protections the court finds necessary or appropriate to protect the witness or any person who may be affected by the procedure.202.5 Manner of Taking and Use.
Except as otherwise provided in this rule, depositions authorized by this rule are governed by the rules applicable to depositions of non-parties in a pending suit. The scope of discovery in depositions authorized by this rule is the same as if the anticipated suit or potential claim had been filed. A court may restrict or prohibit the use of a deposition taken under this rule in a subsequent suit to protect a person who was not served with notice of the deposition from any unfair prejudice or to prevent abuse of this rule.