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Prado-Guajardo v. Perez

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 24, 2017

DEYSSI JANNETH PRADO-GUAJARDO, Plaintiff,
v.
MARTIN GUZMAN PEREZ and El RAYO, Defendants. MARTIN GUZMAN PEREZ, Third-Party Plaintiff,
v.
SHAYNA DIAZ, Third-Party Defendant.

          ORDER DEFENDANT/THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF MARTIN GUZMAN PEREZ AND DEFENDANT MARTIN GUZMAN PEREZ D/B/A EL RAYO TRANSPORTATION'S (ERRONEOUSLY SUED AS EL RAYO) MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY AGAINST PLAINTIFF (ECF NO. 48)

          CAM FERENBACH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter concerns Plaintiff Deyssi Janneth Prado-Guajardo's personal injury suit against Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff Martin Guzman Perez and Defendant El Rayo (collectively, “Perez”) for negligently causing a vehicle accident in which Prado-Guajardo sustained injuries. Before the Court is Perez's Motion to Compel Discovery Against Plaintiff (ECF No. 48). Prado-Guajardo filed a Response to Defendants' Motion to Compel (ECF No. 49), and Perez filed a Reply (ECF No. 51). For the reasons stated below, Perez's Motion to Compel is granted.

         I. Background

         This action arises from a non-collision accident between Prado-Guajardo's motorcycle and Perez's semi-truck on December 5, 2013. See ECF No. 32. Due to injuries Prado-Guajardo sustained from this accident, which she alleges Perez caused, Prado-Guajardo filed a complaint against Perez for negligence and negligence per se on December 4, 2015 in Nevada District Court. See ECF No. 1 at 1. Perez removed the action to federal court on March 11, 2016. Id.

         In August 2016, Perez filed a Third-Party Complaint for indemnity and contribution against Third-Party Defendant Shayna Diaz. The Third-Party Complaint alleges that Diaz was the registered owner of the motorcycle that Prado-Guajardo operated and the insured under a motorcycle insurance policy on the day of the accident. Prado-Guajardo filed an amended complaint in February 2017, naming El Rayo as an additional defendant. See ECF No. 32 at 1.

         As part of discovery, on August 8, 2016, and January 26, 2017, Perez served Prado-Guajardo with Requests for the Production of Documents. See ECF No. 48-1 at 3, 26. Both requested, among other things, that Prado-Guajardo execute authorization and consent forms for Guzman to obtain Prado-Guajardo's employment, worker's compensation, insurance claims, and Medicare records. Id. at 8-9, 32-33. Prado-Guajardo objects to these requests on the ground that the requests are “not reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence” and that she is not making a claim for lost wages. The parties attempted, but could not resolve the matter. See ECF No. 47 at 9, 12; see also LR 26-7(c). On June 27, 2017, Guzman filed the instant motion to compel Prado-Guajardo to execute the authorizations submitted by Perez for Perez to obtain Prado-Guajardo's employment, worker's compensation, insurance claims, and Medicare records. See ECF No. 48.

         II. Legal Standard

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) governs discovery's scope and limits. It states:

Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of discovery is as follows: Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant information, the parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.

See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1).

         Fed. R. Civ. P. 34 governs the productions of documents. It provides, in pertinent part, that “[a] party may serve on any other party a request within the scope of Rule 26(b): (1) to produce … the following items in the responding party's possession, custody, or control: (A) any designated documents or electronically stored information … stored in any medium from which information can be obtained ….” See Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(a)(1)(A).

         If a party resists discovery, the requesting party may file a motion to compel. Rule 37 governs motions to compel. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(1). Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(3)(B)(iv) provides that a party seeking discovery may move for an order compelling production against another party when a party fails to produce documents requested under Fed.R.Civ.P. 34. A motion to compel must certify that the movant has “in good faith conferred or attempted to confer” with the party resisting discovery. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(1); see also LR 26-7(c).

         Parties resisting discovery carry the heavy burden of showing why discovery should be denied. See 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. See EnvTech, Inc. v. Suchard, Case No. 3:11-cv-523-HDM-WGC, 2013 WL 4899085 at* 5 (D. Nev. Sept. 11, 2013) (“it is well-settled that a party objecting to discovery must state its objection with specificity.”). To meet this burden, the objecting party must specifically detail the reasons why each request is improper. See 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. See Burlington N. & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. United States Dist. Court, 408 F.3d 1142, 1147 (9th Cir. 2005) (holding that boilerplate objections or blanket refusals in response to Rule 34 requests for production are insufficient); 7 James Wm. Moore, Moore's Federal Practice, § 34.13 (3d ed. 2017) (“An objection to a Rule 34 request must clearly set forth the specifics of the objection and how that objection relates to the documents being demanded. Generic, non-specific objections are improper.”).

         The court has broad discretion in controlling discovery and in determining whether discovery is burdensome or oppressive. See Little v. City of Seattle, 863 F.2d 681, 685 (9th Cir. 1988); see also 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).

         III. Discussion

         Perez's Motion to Compel concerns four ...


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