In any litigation the parties have the right to conduct discovery. However, in family court in South Carolina the Court has to specifically grant you permission to pursue discovery. Yet the opposing party in a divorce, custody, child support case, or other similar case has the right to see your basic financial information because the parties must file a financial disclosure form that is required by the rules.
What is “discovery?” It is a process by which a party can obtain information on relevant topics to the litigation from the opposing side(s). For example, in a car wreck case (also called auto accident case) you can obtain information about the other driver’s criminal record, driving record, employment history. What the law considers relevant to the discovery effort is really rather broad.
In a criminal case the rules generally require that the state/government provide a copy of the police report and related documents. In a DUI case these would include the breath test results or blood test results. Additionally, the state/government would have to provide you with a copy of any videotaped or electronically recorded video of the scene, the arrest, and the breath testing.
In some large, complex cases the discovery process can take an enormous amount of time and energy. The process can be expensive to be sides in such a case.
An important part of the discovery process in personal injury cases (also called bodily injury cases) is the Deposition. Basically, a deposition is the only opportunity that the opposing side’s lawyer has to ask you questions in person prior to the trial. It is normally conducted in a conference room, in the presence of a court reporter. The person being deposed is placed under oath at the start of the deposition. Usually a typed transcript of the deposition testimony is prepare after the event and can be used in the trial of the case.
While discovery can be burdensome, it is important to the fair resolution of cases
Please feel free to call me if you have any questions about lawsuits at (864) 834-8111.