I been sued for small claim court. small claim court has dismissed the case already but plaintiff went to circuit court (appeal). I received a "INTERROG/REQ FOR PROD" from plaintiff (Under Tennessee rule 33 & 34). He requested following things:

1 - my name, date of birth, place where I work, job title, where I lived in last 10 years

Question: Aren't these my personal identify information? Under which privacy law I can decline to provide my date of birth, and last 10 year residential history?

2 - plaintiff has requested to provide him call history or any communication I had with other defendant?

Question: am I obliged to provide it?


Case is about verbal contract. However, there was no verbal contract at all. Plaintiff presented a contract in small claim court with a company where he had put my name without my knowledge and I never provide consent that when he signs the contract with a company, he can put my name on it. Even small claim court judge said, this is illegal and she can send plaintiff to jail for this. However, judge dismissed the case. Under law this is forgery, can I counterclaim for this criminal act if the case is about civil breach of contract? Can I deny to provide him all personal information on the grounds that he already committed forgery.

2 Answers 2


No, you are not obligated to provide the requested information.

You're out of trial court and into the court of appeals, where the civil discovery rules have basically no effect.

If the case gets kicked back to the trial court, you would likely be required to respond truthfully.

To cover your bases and look responsible, the most proper thing to do would probably be to respond to the discovery requests, but answer with nothing but an objection to the requests on the basis that the Rules of Civil Procedure do not apply after the case has been dismissed. At that point, the burden is on the other party to make a motion to compel, which he probably won't do. And if he does, I'd expect the court to deny it summarily based on the dismissal.

  • I went to court and judge said in her court, rule 33 34 of TN do apply. So I have to reply to plaintiff's intero/prod questions. It's a general session appeal. I am not sure if it is still an appeal or trial as judge gave a trail date (that was struct by plaintiff for some other reasons). Is it still appeal or trial court now? Why did judge say that it does apply? Plaintiff claimed that he wants to get other defendant address out of me by getting text message exchange and email exchanges. Maybe in this case he can request?
    – AJW
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 15:04
  • You need to hire a lawyer.
    – bdb484
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 16:39
  • Hi @AJW. I generally think @bdb484’s got the right idea, and given what you’ve stated in the above paragraph, I wholeheartedly endorse his comment/reply. You haven’t presented enough info here for someone to make an intelligent recommendation. And I’m not saying you should, that should be a convo btwn you and an attorney. I’m saying there are so many variables at play, eg, what this contract or lack thereof was allegedly for could determine whether or not those discovery requests are reasonable and proportionate or not. And that’s not even getting started with the confusion over what court...
    – A.fm.
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 22:48
  • ...you are in, were in, will be in, should be in. No offense, but until you at least have a solid idea of the “what, when, where, how, who” of this situation, you’ve got a mess on your hands. Thus, speak to an attorney! Have to ask, though: you say he’s sued you for a contract dispute, even the judge said it was potentially fraudulent, and then you seem unhappy she dismissed the case “within 15 minutes.” I can’t say I know of many defendants unhappy with having a case dismissed. Just to be clear, the judge would/could not just start prosecuting him for fraud... that would begin with you...
    – A.fm.
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 22:55
  • ... filing a police report. (Sorry the long reply!)
    – A.fm.
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 22:55

There's nothing private about what you listed in #1; that's all publicly available information.

You can try to file an objection on the grounds of relevancy or proportionality, though we don't know the details of your case to say whether these would be appropriate or successful.

If this case has left small claims, you should be consulting with an attorney.

  • My date of birth is not publicly available (to the best of my knowledge). I added more information in my question. Could you please add answers to new details too? Thanks
    – AJW
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 15:41
  • If two persons exchange email/sms/text-messages, could one provide it in court without the consent of other party involved in exchange of such messages?
    – AJW
    Commented Sep 29, 2019 at 16:06
  • @AJW - Is your birth not registered in the local equivalent of the English "Register of Births, Deaths, and Marriages"? If so, your birth date is available by going through the records - this is tedious to find out, but easy to verify. Commented Sep 30, 2019 at 14:30
  • No, it is not available there.
    – AJW
    Commented Sep 30, 2019 at 15:02
  • @AJW You may not know where to find it, but your birthdate is, in fact, a matter of public record. Along with your addresses and employer, it is information that is available from a wide variety of sources.
    – bdb484
    Commented Sep 30, 2019 at 19:11

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