CHAPTER 9 - 9-6 Signature and Verification

JurisdictionUnited States

9-6 Signature and Verification

The party's attorney or a pro se party must sign the interrogatory response.197 In addition, the responding party must sign most interrogatory answers under oath.198 The verification must be unqualified and cannot be made "to the best of [the party's] knowledge."199 There are two exceptions to the rule requiring an unqualified verification. First, the responding party may qualify its verification by stating that an answer was "based on information obtained from other persons."200 This conforms to the reality of how entities often gather responsive information. Second, "a party need not sign answers to interrogatories about persons with knowledge of relevant facts, trial witnesses, and legal contentions"201 because such matters generally are determined by the party's attorney's investigation or involve issues of strategy that are not within the responding party's personal knowledge.

Amended or supplemental interrogatory answers must be signed by the party under oath only if the original answers were required to be signed under oath.202 As a practical matter, a responding party seldom should have to deal with verification issues in connection with supplemental or amended interrogatory answers. Formal supplementation or amendment is required only with respect to the identification of persons with knowledge of relevant facts and trial witnesses.203 Parties normally will seek the identity of persons with knowledge of relevant facts and experts by means of Texas Rule 194 disclosures,204 which need not be verified.205 Also, a responding party need not verify interrogatory answers regarding persons with knowledge of relevant facts or trial witnesses.206 If any other discovery requires supplementation or amendment, the responding party's attorney simply can write a letter to the requesting party's attorney providing the additional or corrected information, thereby relieving the responding party from the obligation of formal supplementation or amendment, including verification.

"The failure to sign or verify answers is only a formal defect that does not otherwise impair the answers unless the party refuses to sign or verify the answers after the defect is pointed out."207



[197] Tex. R. Civ. P. 191.3(a), 197 cmt 2 to 1999 change.

[198] Double Diamond-Del., Inc. v. Alfonso, 487 S.W.3d 265, 272 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2016, no pet.) ("Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 197.2(d) requires that an individual responding to...

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