What is the penalty for not turning in exhibit & witness list when requested by court?
Question Details: At Divorce Pre-Trial, Judge says "TRIAL SET 9-2-09 @ 9:00 AM. COURT ORDERS PARTIES TO FILE PTFD 10 DAYS PRIOR TO TRIAL. EACH WITNESS LIST & EXHIBITS 20 DAYS PRIOR TO TRIAL If my wife's attorney has not turned in the witness & exhibit list to court within the 20 days, what is the penalty? -
The laws on this issue vary from State to State and is usually in the discretion of the Judge. Normally when a deadline such as that is not met, the party in non-compliance could face a variety of sanctions which could result to a dismissal of the case if that side is the Plaintiff. However, normally the scenario is that at trial if the documents have not been submitted or submitted late, you can move to have those exhibits precluded from the trial and the witnesses precluded, meaning they cannot be entered into Evidence. Normally this will not occur and the Judge will in all likelihood allow the evidence in but give you time to respond or a postponement to study the witness list. There are many factors that go into the Judge's decision. If you have an attorney I suggest you talk to him about seeking to preclude. Otherwise, if you are representing yourself, research the Civil Rules and Procedures of your state as to the issue of preclusion to give you a better understanding. At trial, if the documents were not given, ask for them to be precluded. However, if you are going to do this, make sure that you have complied with the Judge's order as well.