Rule 91. Stipulations for Trial
(a) Stipulations Required:
(1) General: The parties are required to stipulate, to the fullest extent to which complete or qualified agreement can or fairly should be reached, all matters not privileged which are relevant to the pending case, regardless of whether such matters involve fact or opinion or the application of law to fact. Included in matters required to be stipulated are all facts, all documents and papers or contents or aspects thereof, and all evidence which fairly should not be in dispute. Where the truth or authenticity of facts or evidence claimed to be relevant by one party is not disputed, an objection on the ground of materiality or relevance may be noted by any other party but is not to be regarded as just cause for refusal to stipulate. The requirement of stipulation applies under this Rule without regard to where the burden of proof may lie with respect to the matters involved. Documents or papers or other exhibits annexed to or filed with the stipulation shall be considered to be part of the stipulation.
(2) Stipulations To Be Comprehensive: The fact that any matter may have been obtained through discovery or requests for admission or through any other authorized procedure is not grounds for omitting such matter from the stipulation. Such other procedures should be regarded as aids to stipulation, and matter obtained through them which is within the scope of subparagraph (1), must be set forth comprehensively in the stipulation, in logical order in the context of all other provisions of the stipulation.
(b) Form: Stipulations required under this Rule shall be in writing, signed by the parties thereto or by their counsel, and shall observe the requirements of Rule 23 as to form and style of papers, except that the stipulation shall be filed with the Court in duplicate and only one set of exhibits shall be required. Documents or other papers, which are the subject of stipulation in any respect and which the parties intend to place before the Court, shall be annexed to or filed with the stipulation. The stipulation shall be clear and concise. Separate items shall be stated in separate paragraphs, and shall be appropriately lettered or numbered. Exhibits attached to a stipulation shall be numbered serially; i.e., 1, 2, 3, etc. The exhibit number shall be followed by “P” if offered by the petitioner, e.g., 1–P; “R” if offered by the respondent, e.g., 2–R; or “J” if joint, e.g., 3–J.
(c) Filing: Executed stipulations prepared pursuant to this Rule, and related exhibits, shall be filed by the parties at or before commencement of the trial of the case, unless the Court in the particular case shall otherwise specify. A stipulation when filed need not be offered formally to be considered in evidence.
(d) Objections: Any objection to all or any part of a stipulation should be noted in the stipulation, but the Court will consider any objection to a stipulated matter made at the commencement of the trial or for good cause shown made during the trial.
(e) Binding Effect: A stipulation shall be treated, to the extent of its terms, as a conclusive admission by the parties to the stipulation, unless otherwise permitted by the Court or agreed upon by those parties. The Court will not permit a party to a stipulation to qualify, change, or contradict a stipulation in whole or in part, except that it may do so where justice requires. A stipulation and the admissions therein shall be binding and have effect only in the pending case and not for any other purpose, and cannot be used against any of the parties thereto in any other case or proceeding.
(f) Noncompliance by a Party:
(1) Motion to Compel Stipulation: If, after the date of issuance of trial notice in a case, a party has refused or failed to confer with an adversary with respect to entering into a stipulation in accordance with this Rule, or a party has refused or failed to make such a stipulation of any matter within the terms of this Rule, the party proposing to stipulate may, at a time not later than 45 days prior to the date set for call of the case from a trial calendar, file a motion with the Court for an order directing the delinquent party to show cause why the matters covered in the motion should not be deemed admitted for the purposes of the case. The motion shall (A) show with particularity and by separately numbered paragraphs each matter which is claimed for stipulation; (B) set forth in express language the specific stipulation which the moving party proposes with respect to each such matter and annex thereto or make available to the Court and the other parties each document or other paper as to which the moving party desires a stipulation; (C) set forth the sources, reasons, and basis for claiming, with respect to each such matter, that it should be stipulated; (D) show that opposing counsel or the other parties have had reasonable access to those sources or basis for stipulation and have been informed of the reasons for stipulation; and (E) show proof of service of a copy of the motion on opposing counsel or the other parties.
(2) Procedure: Upon the filing of such a motion, an order to show cause as moved shall be issued forthwith, unless the Court shall direct otherwise. The order to show cause will be served by the Clerk, with a copy thereof sent to the moving party. Within 20 days of the service of the order to show cause, the party to whom the order is directed shall file a response with the Court, with proof of service of a copy thereof on opposing counsel or the other parties, showing why the matters set forth in the motion papers should not be deemed admitted for purposes of the pending case. The response shall list each matter involved on which there is no dispute, referring specifically to the numbered paragraphs in the motion to which the admissions relate. Where a matter is disputed only in part, the response shall show the part admitted and the part disputed. Where the responding party is willing to stipulate in whole or in part with respect to any matter in the motion by varying or qualifying a matter in the proposed stipulation, the response shall set forth the variance or qualification and the admission which the responding party is willing to make. Where the response claims that there is a dispute as to any matter in part or in whole, or where the response presents a variance or qualification with respect to any matter in the motion, the response shall show the sources, reasons, and basis on which the responding party relies for that purpose. The Court, where it is found appropriate, may set the order to show cause for a hearing or conference at such time as the Court shall determine.
(3) Failure of Response: If no response is filed within the period specified with respect to any matter or portion thereof, or if the response is evasive or not fairly directed to the proposed stipulation or portion thereof, that matter or portion thereof will be deemed stipulated for purposes of the pending case, and an order will be entered accordingly.
(4) Matters Considered: Opposing claims of evidence will not be weighed under this Rule unless such evidence is patently incredible. Nor will a genuinely controverted or doubtful issue of fact be determined in advance of trial. The Court will determine whether a genuine dispute exists, or whether in the interests of justice a matter ought not be deemed stipulated.
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