Rule 194.2 Initial Disclosures

What are "Initial Disclosures?"

As of January 1, 2021, The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure adopted significant changes for civil cases. The goal was to make cases more efficient and cost-effective. Initial disclosures are no longer part of the formal discovery process and must be exchanged without either party requesting the information.

Both parties must file a response to initial disclosures no later than 30 days after an answer is filed or a general appearance is made by the opposing party (often a waiver of service). There are no longer any excuses for not exchanging the information and failure to exchange can have serious repercussions to a party’s case.

Rule 194.2 details initial disclosures and must include the following information:

  1. The names of the parties involved
  2. The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any other potential parties
  3. The legal theories and factual bases of the responding party’s defenses
  4. Computation of each category of damages claimed by the responding party, as well as the evidence that backs that computation
  5. The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of anyone connected to the case, with a statement describing their connection
  6. A copy of information that the responding party can use to support their claims
  7. Any indemnity and insuring agreements described in Rule 192.3(f)
  8. Settlement agreements described in Rule 192.3(g)
  9. Witness statements described in Rule 192.3(h)
  10. Medical records and bills supporting allegations of physical or mental injury
  11. Medical records and bills obtained by virtue of an authorization furnished by the requesting party
  12. The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of anyone who may be a responsible third party

There are further instructions for certain types of cases, in particular family cases.

In a suit for divorce, annulment, or to declare a marriage void, a party must provide to the other party the following, for the past two years or since the date of marriage, whichever is less:

(A) all deed and lien information on any real property owned and all lease information on any real property leased;

(B) all statements for any pension plan, retirement plan, profit-sharing plan, employee benefit plan, and individual retirement plan;

(C) all statements or policies for each current life, casualty, liability, and health insurance policy; and

(D) all statements pertaining to any account at a financial institution, including banks, savings and loans institutions, credit unions, and brokerage firms.

In a suit in which child or spousal support is at issue, a party must, without awaiting a discovery request, provide to the other party:

(A) information regarding all policies, statements, and the summary description of benefits for any medical and health insurance coverage that is or would be available for the child or the spouse;

(B) the party's income tax returns for the previous two years or, if no return has been filed, the party's Form W-2, Form 1099, and Schedule K-1 for such years; and

(C) the party's two most recent payroll check stubs.

There is a lot of information that can be required, so it is important that you start collating your documents as soon as possible. If you are in the process of filing a case, it is a good idea to start the process even prior to filing your petition. If you are responding to a petition, you must start the process immediately to ensure you have all the necessary information ready on time.

Deitchle+Simone requires all clients to ensure they have everything back to us at least 7 days prior to the 30-day deadline. This gives us time to review your answers and documentation before we serve the response to the opposing party.