As amended through October 13, 2023
Rule 4:9 - Production by Parties of Documents, Electronically Stored Information, and Things; Entry on Land for Inspection and Other Purposes; Production at Trial(a)Scope. Any party may serve on any other party a request (1) to produce and permit the party making the request, or someone acting on his behalf, to inspect, copy, test, or sample any designated documents or electronically stored information (including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, and other data or data compilations stored in any medium from which information can be obtained, translated, if necessary, by the respondent into reasonably usable form), or to inspect, copy, test, or sample any designated tangible things which constitute or contain matters within the scope of Rule 4:1(b) and which are in the possession, custody, or control of the party upon whom the request is served; or (2) to produce any such documents or electronically stored information to the court in which the proceeding is pending at the time of trial; or (3) 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 scope of Rule 4:1(b).(b) Procedure. (i) Initiation of the Request. The request may, without leave of court, be served upon the plaintiff after commencement of the action and upon any other party with or after service of the complaint upon that party. The request must set forth the items to be inspected either by individual item or by category, and describe each item and category with reasonable particularity. The request must specify a reasonable time, place, period and manner of making the inspection and performing the related acts. The request may specify the form or forms in which electronically stored information is to be produced.(ii) Response. The party upon whom the request is served must serve a written response within 21 days after the service of the request, except that a defendant may serve a response within 28 days after service of the complaint upon that defendant. The court may allow a shorter or longer time. 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, including an objection to the requested form or forms for producing electronically stored information, stating the reasons for the objection. If objection is made to part of an item or category, the part must be specified and production must be permitted as to the remaining parts. An objection must state whether any responsive materials are being withheld on the basis of that objection. If objection is made to the requested form or forms for producing electronically stored information - or if no form was specified in the request - the responding party must state the form or forms it intends to use. The party submitting the request may move for an order under Rule 4:12(a) with respect to any objection to or other failure to respond to the request or any part thereof, or any failure to permit inspection as requested. A motion under this Rule must be accompanied by a certification that the movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with other affected parties in an effort to resolve the dispute without court action.(iii) Organization, Reasonable Accessibility, and Forms of Production. Unless the parties otherwise agree, or the court otherwise orders: (A) Production of Documents. A party who produces documents for inspection must either produce them as they are kept in the usual course of business or organize and label them to correspond with the categories in the request.(B) Electronically Stored Information. (1) Responses to a request for production of electronically stored information are subject to the provisions of Rules 4:1(b)(7) and 4:1(b)(8).(2) If a request does not specify the form or forms for producing electronically stored information, or if a responding party objects to the requested form or forms of production, a responding party must produce the information as it is ordinarily maintained if it is reasonably usable in such form or forms, or must produce the information in another form or forms in which it is reasonably usable. A party need not produce the same electronically stored information in more than one form.(iv) Proceedings Under the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act. Production of documents and electronic records sought in Virginia pursuant to a subpoena issued under the authority of a foreign jurisdiction are subject to the provisions of the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act, Virginia Code §§ 8.01-412.8 through 8.01-412.15.(c)Proceedings on Failure or Refusal to Comply. If a party fails or refuses to obey an order made under section (b) of this Rule, the court may proceed as provided by Rule 4:12(b)(2). (d)Filing. Requests to a party pursuant to this Rule and responses or objections should be filed as provided in Rule 4:8(c).Amended January 30, 2004, effective 4/1/2004; amended September 30, 2004, effective 1/1/2005; amended dated February 28, 2006, effective immediately; amended dated October 31, 2008, effective 1/1/2009; amended by order dated June 1, 2009, effective 7/1/2009; amended October 31, 2018, effective 1/1/2019; amended by order dated September 3, 2020, effective 9/3/2020; amended by order dated November 23, 2020, effective 3/1/2021.