(a) When Depositions May Be Taken. Any party may take the testimony of any person, including the respondent, by deposition upon oral examination after the action is commenced. The attendance of witnesses may be compelled by subpoena as provided in Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.410. Unless a provision of this rule conflicts with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, the procedure for taking the deposition shall be the same as that provided in the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. The deposition of a person in custody, except the respondent, may be taken only by leave of court on such terms as the court prescribes.
(b) Notice; Court Orders; Visual Recording and Photographs at Depositions; Telephonic Depositions.
(1) A party desiring to take the deposition of any person upon oral examination must give reasonable notice in writing to every party to the action. The notice must state the time and place for taking the deposition and the name and address of each person to be examined. If a subpoena duces tecum is to be served on the person to be examined, the designation of the materials to be produced under the subpoena must be attached to or included in the notice.
(2) To protect deponents and the rights of the parties and to ensure compliance with statutes, the court may enter orders, including but not limited to the orders allowed by rule 4.280(c) and rule 4.310(d), upon motion of a party, the deponent, or on its own motion, for good cause shown.
(3) For deponents 18 years of age or older, a discovery deposition must not be visually recorded unless ordered by the court for good cause shown or upon the consent of the parties and the deponent. For deponents less than 18 years of age, a discovery deposition must be audio-visually recorded unless otherwise ordered by the court. No deponent may be photographed during a discovery deposition.
(4) On motion, the court may order that the testimony at a deposition be taken by telephone. The order may prescribe the manner in which the deposition will be taken. A party may also arrange for a stenographic transcription at that party’s own initial expense.
(c) Examination and Cross-Examination; Record of Examination; Oath; Objections. Examination and cross- examination of witnesses may proceed as permitted at trial. The officer before whom the deposition is to be taken shall put the witness on oath and shall personally, or by someone acting under the officer’s direction, and in the officer’s presence, record the testimony of the witness, except that when a deposition is taken by telephone, the witness shall be sworn by a person present with the witness who is qualified to administer the oath in that location. The testimony shall be taken stenographically or recorded by any means ordered in accordance with subdivision (b). If requested by one of the parties, the testimony shall be transcribed at the initial cost of the requesting party and prompt notice of the request shall be given to all other parties. All objections made at the time of the examination to the qualifications of the officer taking the deposition, the manner of taking it, the evidence presented, or the conduct of any party, and any other objection to the proceedings shall be noted by the officer upon the deposition. Any objection during a deposition shall be stated concisely and in a non-argumentative and non-suggestive manner. A party may instruct a deponent not to answer only when necessary to preserve a privilege, to enforce a limitation on evidence directed by the court, or to present a motion under subdivision (d). Otherwise, evidence objected to shall be taken subject to the objections.
(d) Motion to Terminate or Limit Examination. At any time during the taking of the deposition, on motion of a party or of the deponent and upon a showing that the examination is being conducted in bad faith or in such manner as unreasonably to annoy, embarrass, or oppress the deponent or party, or that objection and instruction to a deponent not to answer are being made in violation of rule 4.310(c), the court in which the action is pending or the circuit court where the deposition is being taken may order the officer conducting the examination to cease forthwith from taking the deposition or may limit the scope and manner of the taking of the deposition under rule 4.280(c). If the order terminates the examination, it shall be resumed thereafter only upon the order of the court in which the action is pending. Upon demand of any party or the deponent, the taking of the deposition shall be suspended for the time necessary to make a motion for an order.
(e) Witness Review. A transcript of the testimony shall be furnished to the witness for examination and shall be read to or by the witness unless the witness cannot be found or the examination and reading are waived by the witness and the parties. Any changes in form or substance that the witness wants to make shall be listed in writing by the officer with a statement of the reasons given by the witness for making the changes. The changes shall be attached to the transcript. It shall then be signed by the witness unless the parties waived the signing or the witness refuses to sign. Transcripts that are not signed by the witness after being made available for a reasonable time shall be signed by the officer, who shall state on the transcript the reason why the witness did not sign it, such as waiver, illness, absence, or refusal to sign. The deposition may then be used as fully as though signed unless a motion to suppress the deposition, or part of it, is made with reasonable promptness after the defect is, or with due diligence might have been, discovered and the court holds that the reasons given for the refusal to sign require rejection of the deposition wholly or partly.
(f) Filing; Exhibits.
(1) If the deposition is transcribed, the officer shall certify on each copy of the deposition that the witness was duly sworn by the officer and that the deposition is a true record of the testimony given by the witness. Documents and things produced for inspection during the deposition shall be marked for identification and annexed to and returned with the deposition upon the request of a party, and may be inspected and copied by any party except that the person producing the materials may substitute copies to be marked for identification if that person affords to all parties fair opportunity to verify the copies by comparison with the originals. If the person producing the materials requests their return, the officer shall mark them, give each party an opportunity to inspect and copy them, and return them to the person producing them and the materials may then be used in the same manner as if annexed to and returned with the deposition.
(2) The officer shall furnish a copy of the deposition to any party, or to the deponent, upon payment of reasonable charges. The cost of transcripts ordered by the state attorney or an indigent respondent shall be paid in the manner prescribed by law.
(3) A copy of a deposition may be filed only under the following circumstances:
(A) It may be filed by a party or the witness when the contents of the deposition must be considered by the court on any matter pending before the court. Prompt notice of the filing on the deposition shall be given to all parties unless notice is waived. A party filing the deposition shall furnish a copy of the deposition or the part being filed to other parties unless the party already has a copy.
(B) The court may order a copy of the deposition be filed by any party if the deposition is necessary to decide a matter pending before the court.
(g) Obtaining Copies. A party or witness who does not have a copy of the deposition may obtain it from the officer taking the deposition unless the court orders otherwise. If the deposition is obtained from a person other than the officer, the reasonable cost of reproducing the copies shall be paid to the person by the requesting party or witness.