2020 Georgia Code
Title 9 - Civil Practice
Chapter 11 - Civil Practice Act
Article 5 - Depositions and Discovery
§ 9-11-27. Depositions Before Action or Pending Appeal

Universal Citation: GA Code § 9-11-27 (2020)
  1. Before action.
    1. PETITION. A person who desires to perpetuate such person's own testimony or that of another person regarding any matter that may be cognizable in any court may file a verified petition in the superior court of the county where the witness resides. The petition shall be entitled in the name of the petitioner and shall show that the petitioner expects to be a party to litigation but is presently unable to bring it or cause it to be brought, the subject matter of the expected action and the petitioner's interest therein, the facts which the petitioner desires to establish by the proposed testimony and the petitioner's reasons for desiring to perpetuate it, the names or a description of the persons the petitioner expects will be adverse parties and their addresses so far as known, and the names and addresses of the persons to be examined and the substance of the testimony which the petitioner expects to elicit from each, and shall ask for an order authorizing the petitioner to take the depositions of the persons to be examined named in the petition, for the purpose of perpetuating their testimony.
    2. NOTICE AND SERVICE. The petitioner shall thereafter serve a notice upon each person named in the petition as an expected adverse party, together with a copy of the petition, stating that the petitioner will apply to the court at a time and place named therein for the order described in the petition. At least 20 days before the date of hearing the notice shall be served either within or outside the county in the manner provided for service of summons; but, if such service cannot with due diligence be made upon any expected adverse party named in the petition, the court may make such order as is just for service by publication or otherwise and shall appoint, for persons not served, an attorney who shall represent them and, in case they are not otherwise represented, shall cross-examine the deponent. The court may make such order as is just requiring the petitioner to pay a reasonable fee to an attorney so appointed. If any expected adverse party is a minor or an incompetent person and does not have a general guardian, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem.
    3. ORDER AND EXAMINATION. If the court is satisfied that the perpetuation of the testimony may prevent a failure or delay of justice, it shall make an order designating or describing the persons whose depositions may be taken and specifying the subject matter of the examination and whether the depositions shall be taken upon oral examination or written interrogatories. The depositions may then be taken by a certified court reporter, or as otherwise provided by the rules of the Board of Court Reporting, in accordance with this chapter; and the court may make orders of the character provided for by Code Sections 9-11-34 and 9-11-35. For the purpose of applying this chapter to depositions for perpetuating testimony, each reference therein to the court in which the action is pending shall be deemed to refer to the court in which the petition for such deposition was filed.
    4. USE OF DEPOSITION. If a deposition to perpetuate testimony is taken under this Code section or if, although not so taken, it would be otherwise admissible under the laws of this state, it may be used in any action involving the same parties and the same subject matter subsequently brought.
  2. Pending appeal. If an appeal has been taken from a judgment of a trial court or before the taking of an appeal if the time therefor has not expired, the court in which the judgment was rendered may allow the taking of the depositions of witnesses to perpetuate their testimony for use in the event of further proceedings in the trial court. In such case the party who desires to perpetuate the testimony may make a motion in the trial court for leave to take the depositions, upon the same notice and service thereof as if the action were pending in the court. The motion shall show the names and addresses of persons to be examined, the substance of the testimony which the movant expects to elicit from each, and the reasons for perpetuating their testimony. If the court finds that the perpetuation of the testimony is proper to avoid a failure or delay of justice, it may make an order allowing the depositions to be taken and may make orders of the character provided for by Code Sections 9-11-34 and 9-11-35; and thereupon the depositions may be taken before a certified court reporter, or as otherwise provided by the rules of the Board of Court Reporting, and used in the same manner and under the same conditions as are prescribed in this chapter for depositions taken in actions pending in court.
  3. Perpetuation by action. This Code section does not limit the power of a court to entertain an action to perpetuate testimony.

(Ga. L. 1966, p. 609, § 27; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1315, § 2.)

Cross references.

- Provisions regarding perpetuation of testimony, § 24-13-150 et seq.

U.S. Code.

- For provisions of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 27, see 28 U.S.C.


Purpose of subsection (a) of O.C.G.A. § 9-11-27 is to provide for perpetuation of testimony in situations where, for one reason or another, testimony might be lost to a prospective litigant unless steps are taken immediately to preserve and protect such testimony. Worley v. Worley, 161 Ga. App. 44, 288 S.E.2d 854 (1982).

Precomplaint deposition not authorized.

- O.C.G.A. § 9-11-27 does not authorize the grant of a petition to take a precomplaint deposition to acquire information for preparation of an affidavit required by O.C.G.A. § 9-11-9.1. St. Joseph Hosp. v. Black, 225 Ga. App. 139, 483 S.E.2d 290 (1997).

Cited in Dep't of Pub. Safety v. Ragsdale, 308 Ga. 210, 839 S.E.2d 541 (2020).


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 23 Am. Jur. 2d, Depositions and Discovery, §§ 4, 84 et seq.


- 26B C.J.S., Depositions, §§ 3 et seq., 59 et seq., 81 et seq., 109 et seq., 146. 27 C.J.S., Discovery, §§ 29 et seq., 54 et seq. 35A C.J.S., Federal Civil Procedure, § 607 et seq.


- Making copies of record or writings part of deposition, 59 A.L.R. 530.

Taking deposition as judicial proceeding as regards law of privilege in libel and slander, 90 A.L.R. 66.

Service of notice of time and place of examination of party witness as sufficient to require his attendance without subpoena for purposes of deposition, 112 A.L.R. 449.

Introduction of deposition by party other than the one at whose instance it was taken, 134 A.L.R. 212.

Appearance by guardian ad litem without service of summons, 164 A.L.R. 529.

Appealability of order pertaining to pretrial examination, discovery, interrogatories, production of books and papers, or the like, 37 A.L.R.2d 586.

Sufficiency of showing of grounds for admission of deposition in criminal case, 44 A.L.R.2d 768.

Effect of death of appellant upon appeal from judgment of mental incompetence against him, 54 A.L.R.2d 1161.

Right to take depositions in perpetual remembrance for use in pending action, where statute does not expressly grant or deny such right, 70 A.L.R.2d 674.

Statements of parties or witnesses as subject of pretrial or other disclosure, production, or inspection, 73 A.L.R.2d 12.

Production and inspection of premises, persons, or things in proceeding to perpetuate testimony, 98 A.L.R.2d 909.

Discovery, in products liability case, of defendant's knowledge as to injury to or complaints by others than plaintiff, related to product, 20 A.L.R.3d 1430.

Restricting access to records of disciplinary proceedings against attorneys, 83 A.L.R.3d 749.

Discovery or inspection of state bar records of complaints against or investigations of attorneys, 83 A.L.R.3d 777.

Accused's right to depose prospective witnesses before trial in state court, 2 A.L.R.4th 704.

Propriety of state court's grant or denial of application for pre-action production or inspection of documents, persons, or other evidence, 12 A.L.R.5th 577.

Right to perpetuation of testimony under Rule 27 of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 60 A.L.R. Fed. 924.

Construction and application of Fed. R. Civ. P. 27, 37 A.L.R. Fed. 2d 573.

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