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Ask for Discovery

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, with assistance from legal services offices in Massachusetts
Reviewed January 2022

Get information to prepare for your trial

Discovery is the way to get the information you need from your landlord to prepare your case. When you ask for Discovery, your landlord must:

  • Answer your questions in writing.
  • Swear that everything they write is true.
  • Give you the documents that you need to prepare your case.

Act fast to get Discovery

You must ask for Discovery soon after you get the Summons and Complaint. See instructions on the next page about deadlines.

Sometimes, landlords do not answer your questions or provide the documents you ask for.  If your landlord does not give you the information you ask for in your Discovery, you can file a Motion to Compel. The Motion to Compel asks the court to order your landlord to respond to your Discovery. A Motion to Compel form and directions for using it are at the end of this booklet.

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You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

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