Answer the Unobjectionable Part of the Discovery Request

An opposing attorney once argued that a party responding to written discovery may object to that discovery, but then must still answer the discovery in full despite the objection.  I responded that the responding party may object to the discovery and then respond to the unobjectionable sections of the discovery.  We did not reach an agreement and a motion to compel was filed.  Plaintiff argued my client “refuses to provide an answer as required,” but cited literally no authority for the argument.  Nor could she.

FRCP 33(b)(3) states “[e]ach interrogatory must, to the extent it is not objected to, be answered separately and fully in writing under oath.”  My client objected to certain interrogatories entirely and answered others to the extent they were not objectionable.  The same analysis applied to requests for production.  FRCP 34(b)(2)(C) states “[a]n objection to part of a request must specify the part and permit inspection of the rest.”  This is similar to Rule 33(b)(3)’s guidance for interrogatories that “[e]ach interrogatory must, to the extent it is not objected to, be answered separately and fully in writing under oath.”

The motion to compel was denied.