(a) In contested matters before the probate commissioner, all discovery disputes must first be heard by the probate commissioner, his or her designee, or a special master approved by the parties, unless otherwise ordered by the probate judge.
(1) Upon reasonable notice, the probate commissioner may direct the parties to appear for a conference with the probate commissioner concerning any discovery dispute. Unless otherwise directed, points and authorities need not be filed prior to a conference noticed by the probate commissioner. Counsel may not stipulate to vacate or continue a conference without the probate commissioner’s consent.
(2) The probate commissioner may shorten or extend any of the times provided for in Rule 2.20 on any discovery motion.
(3) Discovery motions may not be filed unless an affidavit of moving counsel is attached thereto setting forth that after a discovery dispute conference or a good faith effort to confer, counsel have been unable to resolve the matter satisfactorily. A conference requires either a personal or telephone conference between or among counsel as provided in Rule 2.34. Moving counsel must set forth in the affidavit what attempts to resolve the discovery dispute were made, what was resolved and what was not resolved, and the reasons therefor. If a personal or telephone conference was not possible, the affidavit shall set forth the reasons. If the responding counsel fails to answer the discovery, the affidavit shall set forth what good faith attempts were made to obtain compliance. If, after request, responding counsel fails to participate in good faith in the conference or to answer the discovery, the court may require such counsel to pay to any other party the reasonable expenses, including attorney fees, caused by the failure. When a party is not represented by counsel, the party shall comply with this rule.
(4) The probate commissioner may stay any disputed discovery proceeding pending resolution by the probate judge.
(5) Following the hearing of any discovery motion, the probate commissioner must prepare and file a report with a recommendation for the court’s order in accordance with Rule 4.05. Within 10 judicial days after being served with a copy of the report, any party may file with the clerk of court and serve on the other parties a written request for judicial review of the matter by the probate judge in accordance with Rule 4.06.
(6) Papers or other materials submitted for the probate commissioner’s in camera inspection must be accompanied by a captioned cover sheet complying with Rule 7.20 which indicates that it is being submitted in camera. All in camera submissions must also contain an index of the specific items submitted. A copy of the index must be furnished to all other parties. If the in camera materials consist of documents, counsel must provide to the probate commissioner an envelope of sufficient size into which the in camera papers can be sealed without being folded.
(b) In contested matters before the probate judge, all discovery disputes must first be heard by the discovery commissioner, and the parties shall resolve such disputes in accordance with Rule 2.34 unless otherwise ordered.
[Added; effective September 2, 2014.]