You are here

Want to share what you like about MassLegalHelp with us?


How do I get discovery?

Produced by Mariah Jennings-Rampsi, South Coastal Counties Legal Services, with funding from American College of Bankruptcy
Reviewed December 2019

Discovery includes:

  1. Request for Production of Documents: You can ask the plaintiff to produce documents that prove what they are claiming: like bills, their ledger and contract with you. See a sample Request for Production of Documents.
  2. Request for Interrogatories: You can ask the plaintiff to answer questions in writing about your case and the debt, like
    • “When did the debt occur?”
    • “How long has the company owned the right to collect the debt?”,
    • "How much did you pay to have the right to collect this debt?"
    • "Are you getting paid to collect this debt?  By who? How much?"
    • “What is the interest rate used to calculate the debt? has the interest rate changed over time?” and
    • Other questions you think would be helpful in your case. See a sample Request for Interrogatories.
  3. Request for Admissions: You write down a list of things that you think are true about the case. Send the statement to the plaintiff and ask if they agree or disagree. See a sample Request for Admissions.
  4. Depositions: You have the right to ask for a deposition where the plaintiff must answer your questions in person, under oath. If you need this type of discovery, you probably need a lawyer.

You can use any of the tools above. You do not have to use any of them.

To see how or why you might use discovery to help your case look at some sample discovery forms.

  1. Look over the sample forms and edit them to fit your case. Sign each of the forms you want to use.
  2. Look at the “certificate of service” on each form. This is where you certify or swear to the court that you have provided the plaintiff, with copies of the documents. Giving copies to the plaintiff’s attorney counts as “providing the plaintiff with copies of the documents”.
  3. Find the name and address of the plaintiff’s attorney on the complaint they sent to you. Put the same name and address that is on the complaint on the certificate of service.
  4. Write in the date you will be mailing the package of papers.
  5. Make a copy of the packet of papers you are sending.
    1. Send a copy of the package to the Plaintiff’s attorney.
    2. Keep a copy of everything yourself.
  6. The plaintiff should send a package of information to you. This information should be the plaintiff’s response to the Discovery requests you submitted. See What happens if the plaintiff does not give me responses to my discovery requests?

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

Ask a Law Librarian

If it's
9am - 12pm and 1pm - 4pm