Parts one and two of this series explained what to do once you’ve been sued — i.e. filing an answer and affirmative defenses to the plaintiff’s complaint. In part three, we will discuss the next stages of litigation: the newly required initial disclosures.
Initial disclosures have been common in the federal court system for some time, but they have only been required in Michigan since January 1, 2020. Essentially, initial disclosures require each party to disclose to each other information they will rely on to prove their case.
Without limitation, this information includes:
- The factual basis of the party’s claims and defenses;
- The legal theories on which the party’s claims and defenses are based;
- The name and, if known, the address and telephone number of each individual likely to have discoverable information;
- And more.
Each party’s initial disclosure is due before discovery begins. If you are the plaintiff, you must provide your disclosures no later than 14 days after the defendant(s) answer(s) your complaint. If you are a defendant, your disclosures are due either 14 days after the plaintiff’s disclosures are due or 28 days after you file your answer, whichever is later. Thus, even if the plaintiff serves you their disclosures at the same time you are served with the complaint, you still have 28 days after you answer the complaint before your disclosures are due.
The Michigan Court Rules also provide for sanctions should a party fail to provide initial disclosures. The severity of these sanctions can vary depending on the specific violation; however, being sanctioned is never a good way to start off a lawsuit.
If you have been sued and need to understand your options, please contact Grewal Law PLLC to schedule a free consultation with a Michigan attorney.