United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Sherman Division
ISABEL TRANSITO MIRANDA, CESAR BAUTISTA, and CESAR ISLAS, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated Plaintiffs,
MAHARD EGG FARM, INC., and MAHARD PULLET FARMS, INC., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
L. MAZZANT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
October 15, 2019, the Court entered its Order granting in
part and denying in part Defendants' Motion to Compel
Discovery (Dkt. #20). In that Order, the Court directed
Plaintiffs to submit to the Court the unredacted notes and
record from Crime Victim Services and the Statement of
Plaintiff so that the Court could conduct an in
camera review of said documents. Having reviewed
Plaintiff's submissions, the Court hereby finds that the
Motion to Compel the unredacted notes and record from Crime
Victim Services is DENIED and the Motion to
Compel the Statement of Plaintiff is
full discussion of the facts related to this Order, see Dkt.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1), parties “may
obtain discovery regarding any non[-]privileged matter that
is relevant to any party's claim or defense . . .
.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Relevance, for the purposes
of Rule 26(b)(1), is when the request is reasonably
calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1); Crosby v. La. Health & Indem.
Co., 647 F.3d 258, 262 (5th Cir. 2011). The Court's
scheduling order requires that the parties produce, as part
of their initial disclosure, “documents containing,
information ‘relevant to the claim or defense of any
party.'” (Dkt. #12 at p. 2). Moreover, the Local
Rules of the Eastern District of Texas provide further
guidance suggesting that information is “relevant to
any party's claim or defense [if]: (1) it includes
information that would not support the disclosing
parties' contentions; . . . (4) it is information that
deserves to be considered in the preparation, evaluation or
trial of a claim or defense. . . .” Local Rule
CV-26(d). It is well established that “control of
discovery is committed to the sound discretion of the trial
court.” Freeman v. United States, 556 F.3d
326, 341 (5th Cir. 2009) (quoting Williamson v. U.S.
Dep't of Agric., 815 F.2d 368, 382 (5th Cir. 1987)).
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows a discovering
party, on notice to other parties and all affected persons,
to “move for an order compelling disclosure or
discovery.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(1). The moving party
bears the burden of showing that the materials and
information sought are relevant to the action or will lead to
the discovery of admissible evidence. Export Worldwide,
Ltd. v. Knight, 241 F.R.D. 259, 263 (W.D. Tex. 2006).
Once the moving party establishes that the materials
requested are within the scope of permissible discovery, the
burden shifts to the party resisting discovery to show why
the discovery is irrelevant, overly broad, unduly burdensome
or oppressive, and thus should not be permitted. Id.
Rule of Civil Procedure 34 governs requests for production of
documents, electronically stored information, and tangible
things. Rule 34 requires responses to “either state
that inspection and related activities will be permitted as
requested or state with specificity the grounds for objecting
to the request, including the reasons.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
34(b)(2)(B). “An objection [to the entire request] must
state whether any responsive materials are being withheld on
the basis of that objection.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(b)(2)(C).
On the other hand, “[a]n objection to part of a request
must specify the part and permit inspection of the
rest.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(b)(2)(C).
responding to each request with specificity, the responding
attorney must sign their request, response, or objection
certifying that the response is complete and correct to the
best of the attorney's knowledge and that any objection
is consistent with the rules and warranted by existing law or
a non-frivolous argument for changing the law. Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(g). This rule “simply requires that the attorney
make a reasonable inquiry into the factual basis of his
response, request, or objection.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(g)
advisory committee note (1983).
federal rules follow a proportionality standard for
discovery. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Under this requirement, the
burden falls on both parties and the court to consider the
proportionality of all discovery in resolving discovery
disputes. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1), advisory committee note
(2015). This rule relies on the fact that each party has a
unique understanding of the proportionality to bear on the
particular issue. Id. For example, a party
requesting discovery may have little information about the
burden or expense of responding. Id. “The
party claiming undue burden or expense ordinarily has far
better information-perhaps the only information- with respect
to that part of the determination.” Id. The
moving party “may well need to make its own showing of
many or all of the proportionality factors, including the
importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount
in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant
information, the parties' resources, and the importance
of the discovery in resolving the issues.” Samsun
Elecs. Am. Inc. v. Yang Kun “Michael” Chung,
325 F.R.D. 578, 592 (N.D. Tex. 2017).
requests that the Court compel the production of the
unredacted notes and record from Crime Victim Services and
the Statement of Plaintiff. The Court finds that the
unredacted notes and record from Crime Victim Services should
not be produced. As to the Statement of Plaintiff, the Court
is of the opinion that by accusing one of Mahard's
employees of sexual assault and explicitly including such
allegations as an argument for Mahard's requested relief,
Mahard has put the alleged conduct at issue. Accordingly, the
Court holds that Mahard is entitled to receive the Statement
of Plaintiff to review the contents contained within it.
Crosby, 647 F.3d at 262.
therefore ORDERED ...