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Daisy Trust v. JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 18, 2017

DAISY TRUST, Plaintiff,
v.
JP MORGAN CHASE BANK., N.A., ET AL., Defendants.

          ORDER

          CAM FERENBACH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter involves a homeowner's association (“HOA”) foreclosure of a single family residence. Before the Court is JP Morgan Chase's (“Chase's”) motion to compel (ECF No. 93). No Opposition has been filed. For the reasons stated below, Chase's motion to compel is granted.

         BACKGROUND

         Defendant Claire Ali obtained a $278, 400 loan to purchase a home located at 8769 Country View Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada 89129. (ECF No. 84 at 1). The loan was secured by a deed of trust. Defendant Chase is the beneficiary of that deed of trust and Defendant MTC Financial, Inc. is the trustee. Id. at 2. As a result of Ali's failure to pay HOA fees, the HOA foreclosed and on September 5, 2012 Daisy Trust purchased the home for $8600 at a foreclosure sale. Id. Daisy Trust commenced this suit seeking quiet title, declaratory relief and to enjoin any party from foreclosing on the home. Id. MTC removed the action to this court and claimed Ali was joined as a sham defendant. Id. Daisy Trust moved to remand but the court denied the motion. Thereafter, the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion in Weeping Hollow Avenue Trust v. Spencer (holding former homeowner is not a fraudulently- joined party to a quiet title action in a HOA foreclosure because a former homeowner may challenge the foreclosure on equitable grounds). (ECF No. 93 at 2). Daisy Trust then moved for reconsideration of the order denying remand based on the change in controlling law. (ECF No. 84 at 3). The Court granted Daisy Trust's Motion to Reconsider in part setting aside its prior order concerning Ali being a fraudulently joined party and disregarding her citizenship for purposes of diversity jurisdiction. Id. at 11. The Court also determined there was insufficient evidence to establish the citizenship of Daisy Trust. Id. at 5. On December 6, 2016, U.S. District Judge Jones granted Defendants ninety days to proffer evidence of Daisy Trust's citizenship. Id. at 7, 11.

         The Court ordered that it was necessary to determine the nature of Daisy Trust, if there is a fiduciary relationship, and if so, the citizenship of the trustee; and if an unassociated entity, the citizenship of its members. Id. at 7-8. Chase then served jurisdictional interrogatories and requests for production on Daisy Trust on February 1, 2017. (ECF No. 93 at 3). Chase sought information related to Daisy Trust's form of trust, principal place of business, citizenship of trustees, members and beneficiaries and other pertinent facts. Id. The instant motion concerns Daisy Trust's response to Chase's written discovery, which Chase argues was insufficient.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) governs discovery's scope and limits. In pertinent part, Rule 26(b)(1) provides that “[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Rule 26 defines relevant information as any information that “appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” Id. Rule 26 is liberally construed. Seattle Times, Co. v. Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20, 34 (1984).

         Where-as here-a party resists discovery, the requesting party may file a motion to compel discovery. Rule 37 governs motions to compel. In pertinent part, it provides that a “party seeking discovery may move for an order compelling an answer, designation, production, or inspection” if a party fails to answer an interrogatory submitted under Rule 33” or “fails to respond” to a request under Rule 34. Before moving to compel, Rule 37 requires the movant to include a certification that the movant has “in good faith conferred or attempted to confer” with the party resisting discovery before seeking judicial intervention. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(1); see also ShuffleMaster, Inc. v. Progressive Games, Inc., 170 F.R.D. 166, 171 (D. Nev. 1996) (discussing the meet and confer requirement).

         Parties resisting discovery carry the heavy burden of showing why discovery should be denied. Blankenship v. Hearst Corp., 519 F.2d 418, 429 (9th Cir. 1975). The objecting party must show that the discovery request is overly broad, unduly burdensome irrelevant. Teller v. Dogge, No. 2:12-cv-00591-JCM, 2013 WL 1501445 (D. Nev. Apr. 10, 2013) (Magistrate Judge Foley) (citing Graham v. Casey's General Stores, 206 F.R.D. 251, 253-4 (S.D. Ind. 2000).

         To meet this burden, the objecting party must specifically detail the reasons why each request is improper. Walker v. Lakewood Condo. Owners Ass'n, 186 F.R.D. 584, 587 (C.D. Cal. 1999). Boilerplate, generalized objections are inadequate and tantamount to making no objection at all. Id. (citing Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc., 785 F.2d 1108, 1121 (3d Cir. 1986) (objecting party must show a particularized harm is likely to occur if the requesting party obtains the information that is the subject of the particular objections; generalized objections are insufficient)).

         Therefore, the party opposing discovery must allege (1) specific facts, which indicate the nature and extent of the burden, usually by affidavit or other reliable evidence, or (2) sufficient detail regarding the time, money and procedures required to comply with the purportedly improper request. Jackson v. Montgomery Ward & Co., Inc., 173 F.R.D. 524 (D. Nev. 1997) (citations omitted); Cory v. Aztec Steel Bldg., Inc., 225 F .R.D. 667, 672 (D. Kan. 2005).

         The court has broad discretion in controlling discovery, see Little v. City of Seattle, 863 F.2d 681, 685 (9th Cir. 1988), and in determining whether discovery is burdensome or oppressive. Diamond State Ins. Co. v. Rebel Oil. Inc., 157 F.R.D. 691, 696 (D. Nev.1994). The court may fashion any order which justice requires to protect a party or person from undue burden, oppression, or expense. United States v. Columbia Board. Sys., Inc., 666 F.2d 364, 369 (9th Cir.1982) cert. denied, 457 U.S. 1118 (1982).

         DISCUSSION

         Chase's motion to compel raises two questions: (1) whether Daisy Trust should be compelled to respond to Chase's discovery request and, if so, (2) whether the Court should order Daisy Trust to pay Chase's fees, costs, and expenses in ...


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