(a) Order for examination. When the mental or physical condition or attribute of a party or of a person in the custody or control of a party is in controversy, the court may order the party to submit to a physical or mental examination by a suitably licensed or certified examiner or to produce for examination the person in the party’s custody or control. The order may be made only on motion for good cause shown. All papers related to the motion and notice of any hearing must be served on a nonparty to be examined. The order must specify the time, place, manner, conditions, and scope of the examination and the person by whom the examination is to be made. The person being examined may record the examination by audio or video means unless the party requesting the examination shows that the recording would unduly interfere with the examination.
(b) Report. The party requesting the examination must disclose a detailed written report of the examiner within the shorter of 60 days after the examination or 7 days prior to the close of fact discovery, setting out the examiner’s findings, including results of all tests performed, diagnoses, and other matters that would routinely be included in an examination record generated by a medical professional. If the party requesting the examination wishes to call the examiner as an expert witness, the party must disclose the examiner as an expert in the time and manner as required by Rule 26(a)(4), but need not provide a separate Rule 26(a)(4) report if the report under this rule contains all the information required by Rule 26(a)(4).
(c) Sanctions. If a party or a person in the custody or under the legal control of a party fails to obey an order entered under paragraph (a), the court on motion may take any action authorized by Rule 37(b), except that the failure cannot be treated as contempt of court.
Advisory Committee Notes
Rule 35 has been substantially revised. A medical examination is not a matter of right, but should only be permitted by the trial court upon a showing of good cause. Rule 35 has always provided, and still provides, that the proponent of an examination must demonstrate good cause for the examination. And, as before, the motion and order should detail the specifics of the proposed examination.
The parties and the trial court should refrain from the use of the phrase “independent medical examiner,” using instead the neutral appellation “medical examiner,” “Rule 35 examiner,” or the like.
The committee has determined that the benefits of recording generally outweigh the downsides in a typical case. The amended rule therefore provides that recording shall be permitted as a matter of course unless the person moving for the examination demonstrates the recording would unduly interfere with the examination.
Nothing in the rule requires that the recording be conducted by a professional, and it is not the intent of the committee that this extra cost should be necessary. The committee also recognizes that recording may require the presence of a third party to manage the recording equipment, but this must be done without interference and as unobtrusively as possible.
The former requirement of Rule 35(c) providing for the production of prior reports on other examinees by the examiner was a source of great confusion and controversy. It is the committee's view that this provision is better eliminated, and in the amended rule there is no longer an automatic requirement for the production of prior reports of other examinations.
A report must be provided for all examinations under this rule. The Rule 35 report is expected to include the same type of content and observations that would be included in a medical record generated by a competent medical professional following an examination of a patient, but need not otherwise include the matters required to be included in a Rule 26(a)(4) expert report. If the examiner is going to be called as an expert witness at trial, then the designation and disclosures under Rule 26(a)(4) are also required, and the opposing party has the option of requiring, in addition to the Rule 35(b) report, the expert’s report or deposition under Rule 26(a)(4)(C). The rule permits a party who furnishes a report under Rule 35 to include within it the expert disclosures required under Rule 26(a)(4) in order to avoid the potential need to generate a separate Rule 26(a)(4) report later if the opposing party elects a report rather than a deposition. But submitting such a combined report will not limit the opposing party’s ability to elect a deposition if the Rule 35 examiner is designated as an expert.