Rule 34. Producing Documents, Electronically Stored Information, and Tangible Things, or Entering Onto Land, for Inspection and Other Purposes
(a) In General. A party may serve on any other party a request within the scope of Rule 26(b):
(1) to produce and permit the requesting party or its representative to inspect, copy, test, or sample the following items in the responding party’s possession, custody, or control:
(A) any designated documents or electronically stored information—including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound recordings, images, and other data or data compilations—stored in any medium from which information can be obtained either directly or, if necessary, after translation by the responding party into a reasonably usable form; or
(B) any designated tangible things; or
(2) to permit entry onto designated land or other property possessed or controlled by the responding party, so that the requesting party may inspect, measure, survey, photograph, test, or sample the property or any designated object or operation on it.
(1) Contents of the Request. The request:
(A) must describe with reasonable particularity each item or category of items to be inspected;
(B) must specify a reasonable time, place, and manner for the inspection and for performing the related acts; and
(C) may specify the form or forms in which electronically stored information is to be produced.
(2) Responses and Objections.
(A) Time to Respond. The party to whom the request is directed must respond in writing within 30 days after being served. A shorter or longer time may be stipulated under Rule 29 or be ordered by the court.
(B) Responding to Each Item. For each item or category, the response must either state that inspection and related activities will be permitted as requested or state the ground for objecting to the request, with specificity, including the reasons. The responding party may state that it will produce copies of documents or of electronically stored information instead of permitting inspection. The production must then be completed no later than the time for inspection specified in the request or another reasonable time specified in the response.
(C) Objections. An objection must state whether any responsive materials are being withheld on the basis of that objection. An objection to part of a request must specify the part and permit inspection of the rest.
(D) Responding to a Request for Production of Electronically Stored Information. The response may state an objection to a requested form for producing electronically stored information. If the responding party objects to a requested form—or if no form was specified in the request—the party must state the form or forms it intends to use.
(E) Producing the Documents or Electronically Stored Information. Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, these procedures apply to producing documents or electronically stored information:
(i) a party must produce documents as they are kept in the usual course of business or must organize and label them to correspond to the categories in the request. If producing the documents as they are kept in the usual course of business would make it unreasonably burdensome for the requesting party to correlate the documents being produced with the categories in its request for production, the responding party must (a) specify the records in sufficient detail to permit the requesting party to locate the documents that are responsive to the categories in the request for production, or (b) organize and label the records to correspond to the categories in the request;
(ii) if a request does not specify a form for producing electronically stored information, a party must produce it in a form or forms in which it is ordinarily maintained or in a reasonably usable form or forms; and
(iii) a party need not produce the same electronically stored information in more than one form.
(c) Nonparties. As provided in Rule 45, a nonparty may be compelled to produce documents, electronically stored information, and tangible things or to permit an inspection.
(d) Expenses of Copying Documents and/or Producing Electronically Stored Information. Unless the court orders otherwise, the requesting party must pay the responding party the reasonable cost of copying documents. If the responding party produces electronically stored information by a media storage device, the requesting party must pay the reasonable cost of the device.
Advisory Committee Note—2019 Amendment
The amendments generally conform Rule 34 to FRCP 34. The new provisions in Rule 34(b)(2)(E)(i) address a production of documents in the form kept in the usual course of business, often electronically, that is wholly unrelated to the document requests. If it would be unreasonably burdensome for the requesting party to correlate the documents, the requesting party can request that the responding party specify the correlation. The identification of responsive documents may be assisted by the use of Bates numbering. Rule 34(d) retains the former Nevada rule with provisions added to address electronically stored information.