ORDER REGARDING DISCOVERY; ORDER DENYING
RESPONDENT'S MOST RECENT MOTIONS; ORDER DENYING CERTIFIED
COPIES; ORDER SETTING TRIAL
Court has before it the following motions:
(1) Motion To Exclude Witness (filed by
(2) Motion For Reinstating TTD Benefits, Taking
Depositions Of Witnesses, And Reconsider Decision For Denial
Of Lump Sum Advance (filed by respondent).
(3)Motion To Order The Petitioner To Submit Certified
Copies (filed by respondent).
both parties raise matters regarding depositions, I will
address those matters together.
is seeking an order barring respondent's husband from
attending and participating in any depositions which may be
taken. Based on Mr. Ryan's past involvement in this case,
there is good reason to believe that Mr. Ryan would inject
himself into any deposition he might attend. The Court doubts
that he would remain a silent observer, and has already ruled
that he cannot represent his wife. Petitioner's motion
will therefore be granted.
Ryan asks that the Court direct petitioner to depose its
witnesses prior to setting a trial date, but then asks that
the Court award her financial relief so that she can attend
any such depositions. The Court has no authority or funds to
finance Ms. Ryan's travel to Montana for depositions.
Ryan's lack of funds to attend depositions creates a
dilemma. Under this Court's rules, a deposition may be
submitted for the Court's consideration irrespective of
the availability of a witness. ARM 24.5.322 (10). Thus, Ms.
Ryan's impecuniousness creates the possibility that
petitioner could present its entire case through depositions
taken in the absence of Ms. Ryan, thereby effectively
depriving her of an opportunity for cross-examination.
However, ARM 24.5.322 (10), also allows for exceptions. The
(10) Regardless of the availability of a witness or party to
testify at trial, the circumstances of workers'
compensation cases make it desirable, in the interest of
justice, that a deposition of a witness or a party may be
used by any party for any purpose unless the
court restricts such usage upon a finding that the interests
of justice would be served thereby. [Emphasis
that allowing the wholesale admission of depositions under
the circumstances of this case would not serve the interests
of justice. The rule therefore shall not apply in this case,
and no deposition, other than a deposition of a party offered
by the opposing party, shall be admitted as evidence unless
the offering party strictly complies with Rule 804,
Mont.R.Evid. For purposes of Rule 804, if petitioner properly
notices a deposition and the witness is unavailable
to testify at trial, Ms. Ryan will be deemed to have been
afforded an opportunity to examine the witness even though
she does not actually attend the deposition.
this case was commenced by the petition of the insurer
against an unrepresented, out-of-state, and initially
reluctant claimant, I also find it appropriate to adopt
further limitations on the taking of depositions. At least 21
calendar days notice shall be given with respect to
depositions taken by petitioner. Further, Ms. Ryan's