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Jackson Harmon Enterprises, LLC v. Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

January 21, 2015

JACKSON HARMON ENTERPRISES, LLC, A Nebraska Limited Liability Company; Plaintiff,
v.
INSURANCE AUTO AUCTIONS, INC., An Illinois Corporation; Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

CHERYL R. ZWART, Magistrate Judge.

On August 4, 2014, the court entered a memorandum and order ruling on a motion to compel filed by the plaintiff and a motion for protective order filed by the defendant. (Filing No. 67). Pending before me is the plaintiff's second motion to compel, along with its request to extend the discovery deadlines, (Filing No. 78), and the defendant's second motion for protective order. (Filing No. 94). These second motions address topics that were not raised in the parties' prior motions: Neither party claims the court's prior order was violated.

For the reasons discussed below, the plaintiff's motion to compel and to continue the discovery deadlines, (Filing No. 78), will be denied. And the defendant's motion for an amended protective order, (Filing No. 94), will be granted.

ANALYSIS

The court's prior discovery order, (Filing No. 67), outlined the allegations underlying this case. That discussion will not be repeated herein.

1. Procedural Background.

The plaintiff's complaint was filed in state court on October 24, 2013. The plaintiff served discovery on the defendant the same day. (Filing No. 29-1, Filing No. 29-1). The plaintiff's complaint was removed to this forum on November 20, 2013. (Filing No. 1). On January 17, 2014, the parties completed a Rule 26(f) Report and jointly requested a written discovery deadline of May 15, 2014, and a deposition deadline of August 1, 2014. (Filing No. 12, at CM/ECF p. 8, ¶ E). The court adopted these suggestions, entering a final progression schedule on January 31, 2014 which ordered:

The deadline for completing written discovery under Rules 33 through 36 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is May 15, 2014. Motions to compel Rule 33 through 36 discovery must be filed by May 1, 2014.
...
The deposition deadline is August 1, 2014.

(Filing No. 14, at CM/ECF p. 14, ¶¶ 6, 9).

The defendant's initial discovery responses, served in February of 2014, (Filing No. 29-3; Filing No. 29-5; Filing No. 29-6)), raised objections but provided some of the requested information. The plaintiff was dissatisfied with the defendant's responses. As applied to this motion, the plaintiff asserted it was entitled to a response to Interrogatory 13, and that defendant's responses to Requests 5 and 6 were unacceptable. In a letter dated February 24, 2014, Plaintiff's counsel warned: "Please consider this our final request for compliance with the discovery requirements imposed by the Federal Rules, and our final attempt to resolve this matter without court involvement. If you do not supplement your responses within 7 days, we shall file a motion to compel." (Filing No. 29-9).

As applied to the pending motion to compel, Interrogatory 13 and Requests 5 and

6 demanded "Hauling Transfer" information and related documents, documentation of any business transacted between Plaintiff and Defendant at any time within the past 5 years, and all tow bills from Defendant to Plaintiff from January 1, 2010 to September 17, 2013. By letter dated March 4, 2014, the defendant responded that a request to identify all vehicles showing "hauling transfers" for the referenced dates and for all of IAA's locations was irrelevant and unduly burdensome. The defendant confirmed it had already produced the information for lot-to-lot transfers involving Midwest Towing. Defense counsel further noted, "We have asked our client to further address this interrogatory. As such, we are presently determining whether or not any further documents are responsive to this interrogatory, though further production, if any, will be limited to hauling transfers for the Omaha branch from March 8, 2010 to July 31, 2013." (Filing No. 29-10) (emphasis added). The letter from defense counsel did not promise production of further documents, nor did it promise that any further production would include every document the plaintiff requested-even as to hauling transfers for the Omaha branch.

On April 11, 2014, the defendant supplemented its discovery responses as follows:

INTERROGATORY NO. 13: Identify all vehicles which show "Hauling Transfer" in the ASAP program from March 8th, 2010 to July 31st, 2013 and for each such vehicle:
i) identify the Vendor that towed the vehicle to IAA; and
ii) identify the Vendor that performed the "Hauling Transfer".
ANSWER: Objection. This interrogatory is unduly burdensome, insufficiently limited in time and scope, and it seeks information that is irrelevant and, therefore, not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
SUPPLEMENTAL ANSWER: Subject to and without waiving its previous objections and answer to this interrogatory, documents regarding hauling transfers performed by plaintiff for IAA's Omaha branch are produced herewith as Bates Nos. IAA00242 -05565.

(Filing No. 93-1, at CM/ECF p. 17) (emphasis added).

REQUEST NO. 5: Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, all files and documents of INSURANCE AUTO AUCTIONS, INC., created or received from January 1, 2010 to September 17, 2013, which refer to, evidence, or relate to anyone or more of the following:
...
f)... 2 stop charges, as defined in the Complaint;
...
i)... any business transacted between Plaintiff and Defendant at any time within the past 5 years;
...
k)... all tow bills from Defendant to Plaintiff from January 1, 2010 to September 17, 2013.
RESPONSE: Objection. This Request and its subparts are overbroad, vague, ambiguous, and unduly burdensome with respect to the term "relate to." Defendant further objects because this Request and its subparts seek information that is irrelevant and, therefore, not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Defendant further objects to the extent this Request and its subparts seek information protected from disclosure under the attorney-client privilege and/or work product doctrine. Subject to and without waiving said objections, see[1]
a) March 8, 2010 Towing Services Agreement between Jackson Harmon Enterprises, LLC, OBA: Midwest Towing and IAA. (Bates Nos. IAA00001-IAA00003);
b) March 8, 2010 IAA/Tower Service Level Agreement (Bates Nos. IAA00004-IAA00008);
c) Exhibit A to the March 8, 2010 Towing Services Agreement between Jackson Harmon Enterprises, LLC, OBA: Midwest Towing and IAA. (Bates No. IAA00008);
d) Amended Exhibit A to the March 8, 2010 Towing Services Agreement between Jackson Harmon Enterprises, LLC, OBA: Midwest Towing and IAA, effective October 1, 2012. (Bates No IAA00010);
e) June 28, 2013 Notice of Termination (Bates Nos. IAA00011-IAA00012); f) Tow bills for Seconds Stops paid by Omaha Branch for 2009-2014 (Bates Nos. Bates Nos. IAA00013-IAA00072);
g) April 13, 2011 letter regarding Midwest Towing from Capitol Towing, Inc. (Bates Nos. IAA00073);
h) Spreadsheets regarding lot to lot transfers for Midwest Towing (Bates Nos. IAA0007 4-IAA00127);
i) KPI Tower Efficiency Reports for Midwest Towing through October 24, 2013(Bates Nos. IAA00128-IAA00131);
j) Spreadsheet regarding payments made to Midwest Towing from January 2010 to August 2013 (Bates ...

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