Civil Procedure: Rule 23 Depositions Pending Action
Section 1. Depositions pending actin, when may be taken. – By leave of court after jurisdiction has been obtained over any defendant or over property which is the subject of the action, or without such leave after an answer has been served, the testimony of any person, whether a party or not, may be taken, at the instance of any party, by deposition upon oral examination or written interrogatories. The attendance of witnesses may be compelled by the use of a subpoena as provided in Rule 21. Depositions shall be taken only in accordance with these Rules. The deposition of a person confined in prison may be taken only by leave of court on such terms as the court prescribes.
Section 2. Scope of examination. – Unless otherwise ordered by the court as provided by section 16 or 18 or this Rule, the deponent may be examined regarding any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the subject of the pending action, whether relating to the claim or defense of any other party, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of relevant facts.
Section 3. Examination and cross-examination. – Examination and cross-examination of deponents may proceed as permitted at the trial under sections 3 to 18 of Rule 132.
Section 4. Use of depositions. – At the trial or upon the hearing of a motion or an interlocutory proceeding, any part or all of a deposition, so far as admissible under the rules of evidence, may be used against any party who was present or represented at the taking of the deposition or who had due notice thereof, in accordance with any one of the following provisions:
(a) Any deposition may be used by any party for the purpose of contradicting or impeaching the testimony of deponent as a witness;
(b) The deposition of a party or of any one who at the time of taking the deposition was an officer, director, or managing agent of a public or private corporation, partnership, or association which is a party may be used by an adverse party for any purpose;
(c) The deposition of a witness, whether of not a party may be used by any party for any purpose if the court finds: (1) that the witness is dead; or (2) that the witness resides at a distance more than one hundred (100) kilometers from the place of trial or hearing, or is out of the Philippines, unless it appears that his absence was procured by the party offering the deposition; or (3) that the witness is unable to attend or testify because of age, sickness, infirmity, or imprisonment; or (4) that the party offering the deposition has been unable to procure the attendance of the witness by subpoena; or (5) upon application and notice, that such exceptional circumstances exist as to make it desirable, in the interest of justice and with due regard to the importance of presenting the testimony of witnesses orally in open court, to allow the deposition to be used; and
(d) If only part of a deposition is offered in evidence by a party; the adverse party may require him to introduce all of it which is relevant to the part introduced, and any party may introduce any other parts.
Section 5. Effect of substitution of parties. – Substitution of parties does not affect the right to use depositions previously taken, and, when an action has been dismissed and another action involving the same subject is afterward brought between the same parties or their representatives or successors in interest, all depositions lawfully taken and duly filed in the former action may be used in the latter as if originally taken therefor;
section 6. Objections to admissibility. – Subject to the provisions of section 29 of this Rule, objection may be made at the trial or hearing to receiving in evidence any deposition or part thereof for any reason which would require the exclusion of the evidence if the witness were then present and testifying.
Section 7. effect of taking depositions. – A party shall not be deemed to make a person his own witness for nay purpose by taking his deposition.
Section 8. Effect of using depositions. – The introduction in evidence of the deposition or any part thereof for any purpose other than that of contradicting or impeaching the deponent makes the deponent the witness of the party introducing the deposition, but this shall not apply to the use by an adverse party of a deposition as described in paragraph (b) of section 4 of this rule.
Section 9. Rebutting deposition. – At the trial or hearing any party may rebut any relevant evidence contained in a deposition whether introduced by him or by any other party,
Section 10. Persons before whom depositions may be taken within the Philippines. – Within the Philippines, depositions may be taken before any judge, notary public, or the person referred to in section 14 hereof.
Section 11. Persons before whom depositions may be taken in foreign countries. – In a foreign state or country, depositions may be taken (a) on notice before a secretary of embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice-consul, or consular agent of the Republic of the Philippines; (b) before such person or officer as may be appointed by commission or under letters rogatory; or (c) the person referred to in section 14 hereof.
Section 12. Commission or letters rogatory. – A commission or letters rogatory shall be issued only when necessary or convenient, on application and notice, and on such terms and with such direction as are just appropriate. Officers may be designated in notices or commissions either by name or descriptive title and letters rogatory may be addressed to the appropriate judicial authority in the foreign country.
Section 13. Disqualification by interest. – No deposition shall be taken before a person who is a relative within the sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity, or employee or counsel of any of the parties; or who is a relative within the same degree, or employee of such counsel; or who is financially interested in the action.
Section 14. Stipulations regarding taking of depositions. – If the parties so stipulate in writing, depositions may be taken before any person authorized to administer oaths, at any time or place, in accordance with these Rules, and when so taken may be used like other depositions.
Section 15. Deposition upon oral examination; notice, time and place. – A party desiring to take the deposition of any person upon oral examination shall give reasonable notice in writing to every other party to the action. The notice shall state the time and place for taking the deposition and the name and address of each person to be examined, if known, and if the name is not known, a general description sufficient to identify him or the particular class or group to which he belongs. On motion of any party upon whom the notice is served, the court may for cause shown enlarge or shorten the time.
Section 16. Orders for the protection of parties and deponents. – After notice is served for taking a deposition by oral examination upon motion seasonably made by any party or by the person to be examined and for good cause shown, the court in which the action is pending may make an order that the deposition shall not be taken, or that it may be taken only at some designated place other than that stated in the notice or that it may be taken only in written interrogatories, or that certain matters shall not be inquired into, or that the scope of the examination shall be held with no one present except the parties to the action and their officers or counsel, or that after being sealed the deposition shall be opened only by order of the court or that secret processes, developments, or research need not be disclosed, or that the parties shall simultaneously file specified documents or informatin enclosed in sealed envelope to be opened as directed by the court, or the court may make any other order which justice requires to protect the party or witness from annoyance, embarrassment or oppression.
Section 17. Record of examination; oath; objections. – The officer before whom the deposition is to be taken shall put the witness on oath and shall personally, or by some one acting under his direction and in his presence, record the testimony of the witness. The testimony shall be taken stenographically unless the parties agree otherwise. All objectins made at the time of the examination to the qualifications of the officer taking the deposition, or to the manner of taking it, or to the evidence presented, or to the conduct of any party and any other objection to the proceedings, shall be noted by the officer upon the deposition. Evidence objected to shall be taken subject to the objections. In lieu of participating in the oral examination, parties served with notice of taking a deposition may transmit wrtieen interrogatories to the officers, who shall propound them to the witness and record the answers verbatim.
Section 18. Motion to terminate or limit examination. – At any time during the taking of the depositin, on motion or petition of any party or of the deponent and upon a shwing that the examination is being conducted in bad faith or in such manner, as unreasonably to annoy, embarrass, or oppress the deponent or party, the court in which the action is pending or the Regional Trial Court of the place where the deposition is being taken may order the officer conducting the examinatin to cease forthwith from taking the deposition , or may limit the scope and manner of the taking of the deposition, as provided in section 16 of this Rule. If the order made terminates the examination, it shall be resumed thereafter only upon the order of the court in which the action is pending. Upon demand of the objecting party or deponent, the taking of the deposition shall be suspended for the time necessary to make a notice for an order. In granting or refusing such order, the court may impose upon either party or upon the witness the requirement to pay such costs or expenses as the court may deem reasonable.
Section 19. Submission to witness; changes; signing. – When the testimony is fully transcribed, the deposition shall be submitted to the witness for examination and sahll be read to or by him, unless such examination and reading are waived by the witness and by the parties. Any changes in form or substance which the wirness desires to make shall be entered upon the deposition by the officer with a statement of the reasons given by the witness for making them. The deposition shall then be signed by the witness, unless the parties by stiplation waive the signing or the witness is ill or cannot be found or refuses to sign. If the deposition is not signed by the witness, the officer shall sign it and state on the record the fact of the waiver or of the illness or absence of the witness or the fact of the refusal to sign together with the reason given therfor, if any, and the deposition may then be used as fully as though signed, unless on a motion to suppress under section 29(f) of this Rule, the court hold that the reasons given for the refusla to sign require rejection of the deposition in whole or in part.
Section 20. Certification and filing by officer. – The officer shall certify on the deposition that the witness was duly sworn to by him and that the deposition is a true record of the testimony given by the witness. He shall then securely seal the deposition in an envelope indorsed with the title of the action and marked “Deposition of (here insert the name of witness)” and shall promptly file it with the court in which the action is pending or send it by registered mail to the clerk thereof for filing.
Section 21. Notice of filing. – The officer taking the deposition shall give prompt notice of its filing to all the parties.
Section 22. Furnishing copies. – Upon payment of reasonable charges therefor, the officer shall furnish a copy of the deposition to any party or to the deponent.
Section 23. Failure to attend of party giving notice. – If the party giving the notice of the taking of a deposition fails to attend and proceed therewith and another attends in person or by counsel pusuant to the notice, the court may order the party giving the notice to pay such other party the amount of the reasonably expenses incurred by him and his counsel in so attensing, including reasonable attorney’s fees.
Section 24. Failure of party giving notice to serve subpoena. – If the party giving the notice of the taking of a deposition of a witness fails to serve a subpoena upon him and the witness because of such failure does not attend, and if another party attends in person or by counsel because he expects the deposition of that witness to be taken, the court may order the party giving the notice to pay to such other party the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred by him andhis counsel in so attending, including reasonable attorney’s fees.
Section 25. Deposition ypon written interrogatories; service of notice and of interrogatories. – A party desiring to take the deposition of any person ypon written interrogatories shall serve them upon every other party with a notice stating the name and address of the person who is to answer them and the name or descriptive title and address of the officer before whom the deposition is to be taken. Within ten (10) days thereafter, a party so served may serve cross-interrogatories upon the party proposing to take the deposition. Within five (5) days thereafter, the latter may serve re-direct interrogatories upon a party who has served cross-interrogatories. Within three (3) days after being served with a re-direct interrogatories, a party may serve recross-interrogatories upon the party proposing to take the deposition.
Section 26. Officers to take responses and prepare record. – A copy of the notice and copies of all interrogatories served shall be delivered by the party taking the deposition to the officer designated in the notice, who shall proceed promptly in the manner provided by sections 17, 19 and 20 of this Rule, to take the testimony of the witness in response to the interrogatories and to prepare, certify, and file or mail the deposition; attaching thereto the copy of the notice and the interrogatories received by him.
Section 27. Notice of filing and furnishing copies. – When a deposition uon interrogatories is filed, the officer taking it shall promptly give notice thereof to all the parties, and may furnish copies to them or to the deponent upon payment of reasonable charges therefor.
Section 28. Orders for the protectin of parties and deponents. – After the service of the interrogatories and prior to the taking of the testimony of the deponent, the court in which the action is pending, on motin promptly made by a party or a deponent, and for good cause shown, may make any order specified in sections 15, 16 and 18 of this Rule which is appropriate and just or an order that the deposition shall not be taken before the officer designated in the notice or that it shall not be taken except upon oral examination.
Section 29. Effect of errors and irregularities in depositions. –
(a) As to notice. – All errors and irregularities in the notice for taking a deposition are waived unless writeen objection is promptly served upon the party giving the notice.
(b) As to disqualification of officer. – Objection to taking a deposition because of disqualification of the officer before whom it is to be taken is waived unless made before the taking of the deposition begins or as soon thereafter as the disqualificatin becomes known or could be discovered with reasonable diligence.
(c) As to competency or relevancy of evidence. – Objections to the competency of a witness or the competency, relevancy, or materiality of testimony are not waived by failure to make them bofore or during the taking of the deposition, unless the ground of the objection is one which might have been obviated or removed if presented at that time.
(d) As to oral examinatin and other particulars. – Errors and irregularities occurring at the oral examination in the manner of taking the deposition , in the form of the questions or answers; in the oath or affirmation, or in the conduct of the parties and errors of any kind which might be obviated, removed, or cured if promptly prosectued, are waived unless reasonable objection thereto is made at the taking of the deposition.
(e) As to form of written interrogatories. – Objections to the form of written interrogatories submitted under sections 25 and 26 of this Rule are waived unless served in writing upon the party propounding them within the time allowed for serving succeeding cross or other interrogatories and within three (3) days after service of the last interrogatories authorized.
(f) As to manner of preparation. – Errors and irregularities in the manner in which the testimony is transcribed or the deposition is parepared, signed, certified, selaed, indorsed, transmitted, filed, or otherwise dealt with by the officer under sections 17, 19, 20 and 26 of this Rule are waived unless a motion to suppress the deposition or some part thereof is made with reasonable promptness after such defect is, or with due diligence might have been, ascertained.
Source: University of the Philippines