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Compelling Discovery

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, with assistance from legal services offices in Massachusetts
Reviewed January 2022

If your landlord does not respond to your Discovery, file a Motion to Compel

Your landlord has 10 days from the date they get your Discovery to answer your questions and give you the documents you ask for.  

If they do not respond or give you the information or documents you need within 10 days, or they object to your Discovery, you can file the Motion to Compel form in the booklet.

You have 5 business days from the date your landlord's response is due to file your Motion to Compel.

When do I file a Motion to Compel?

To figure out when to file and serve your Motion to Compel, fill in the following 3 dates:

  1. ____________ = Date your landlord got your discovery requests
  2. ____________ = 10 calendar days after your landlord got your discovery requests. This is your landlord's deadline to respond.
  3. ____________= 5 business days after your landlord’s deadline to respond. This is your deadline to file the Motion to Compel Discovery.

What can the court do?

In your Motion to Compel, you can ask the judge to:

  • Order the landlord to give you complete answers to your Discovery requests and put the case on hold until the landlord gives you answers to your Discovery requests.
  • End or "dismiss" the landlord's case and enter judgment in your favor. 
  • Stop the landlord from being able to give the court information or evidence related to your defenses or counterclaims.

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