Is Court Approval Required for Discovery to a Minor?

No, but it’s a tricky subject.  There are no specific requirements or prohibitions for minors in either the Nevada or federal rules.  Courts have, however, fashioned some restrictions within their broad discretion to regulate discovery.

Lamberth v. Clark Cty. Sch. Dist. was a wrongful death case arising from a student’s suicide that the parents alleged was due to bullying at school.[1]  The decedent’s six year old brother was with his parents when the body was discovered and became a named plaintiff.  CCSD sent interrogatories to the minor, the same set sent to the parents.  The minor responded to every interrogatory “that he has no knowledge at this time of any information beyond that set forth in the responses of [his parents] to this interrogatory.”  The minor’s attorney signed the interrogatories on his behalf.  It appeared the interrogatories had never even been presented to the minor for response.  CCSD moved to compel his responses.

The court’s analysis is lengthy and discusses the context in which courts have regulated discovery concerning children.  Everyone claims responding discovery is going to be traumatic, but few present actual evidence to support the argument.  Ultimately the motion to compel was granted, but with caveats to protect the minor.

[1] No. 2:14-cv-02044, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86572, 2015 WL 4076506 (D. Nev. July 1, 2015).