Answered By: Dennis Johnson, CJ, LE, & Paralegal Librarian
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2019     Views: 52

Tip: Check out the interrogatory sample and how to format a set of interrogatories in the Links & Files section below.


Definition: Written questions submitted to a party from his or her adversary to ascertain answers that are prepared in writing and signed under oath and that have relevance to the issues in a lawsuit. Interrogatories are a discovery device used by a party, usually a Defendant, to enable the individual to learn the facts that are the basis for, or support, a pleading with which he or she has been served by the opposing party. They are used primarily to determine what issues are present in a case and how to frame a Responsive Pleading or a Deposition.

Interrogatories need to state what are the facts of the case and include a caption. It is important to note that the captions vary by state and that you will have to refer to the rules of the court system in your state and to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to see the time requirement for answering Interrogatories and the number of questions you may ask.

You can find more information on the Justice Studies Guide, in the books below, see a sample, and see how to format a set of interrogatories in the Links & Files.



Interrogatories. (2010). In D. Batten (Ed.), Gale Encyclopedia of American Law (3rd ed., Vol. 5, pp. 500-504). Detroit, MI: Gale. Retrieved from

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