United States District Court, D. Nevada
FOLEY, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Compel (ECF No. 37), filed on September 1, 2017. Plaintiff
filed his Response (ECF No. 46) on September 18, 2017.
Defendant filed her Reply (ECF No. 53) on September 21, 2017.
The Court conducted a hearing in this matter on September 29,
2017. Defendant filed her Supplement to her Motion to Compel
(ECF No. 61) on October 17, 2017. Plaintiff filed his
Response to the Supplement (ECF No. 64) on October 20, 2017.
Also before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Compel
(ECF No. 75), filed on November 21, 2017. Plaintiff filed his
Response (ECF No. 76) on December 4, 2017 and Defendant filed
her Reply (ECF No. 77) on December 8, 2017.
matter arises from Plaintiff's allegations of defamation,
intentional infliction of emotional distress, tortious
interference with business relationship, and assault stemming
from a real property transaction between Plaintiff and
Defendant. See Complaint (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff
alleges that Defendant published defamatory statements
regarding his real estate transactions on a website causing
him emotional distress and interference with his business
relationships. Id. Defendant asserts counterclaims
against Plaintiff including fraud, breach of contract, breach
of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, defamation, and
invasion of privacy claims. See Amended Counterclaim
(ECF No. 70). Defendant alleges that Plaintiff made
fraudulent misrepresentations regarding real property in
Arizona that he sold to Defendant, that Plaintiff breached
their contract and the implied covenant of good faith and
fair dealing by failing to transfer a warranty deed, and that
Plaintiff published defamatory statements regarding
requests an order compelling Plaintiff to respond to
Defendant's requests for production. Plaintiff produced
redacted income tax returns and Defendant argues that
Plaintiff should produce income tax returns that include paid
preparer information and deductions. Defendant further
requests profit and loss statements for Summit Ventures, LLC,
bank statements, advertisements, documents containing
communications about obtaining Plaintiff's services,
documents containing defamatory statements, and property
26(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides
that “[p]arties 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,
and the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues,
and whether the burden and expense of the proposed discovery
outweighs its likely benefit. Information within the scope of
discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be
intent of the 2015 amendments to Rule 26(b) was to encourage
trial courts to exercise their broad discretion to limit and
tailor discovery to avoid abuse and overuse, and to actively
manage discovery to accomplish the goal of Rule 1
“‘to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive
determination of every action and proceeding.'”
Roberts v. Clark County School District, 312 F.R.D.
594, 601-04 (D. Nev. 2016). The court, quoting Chief Justice
Roberts' 2015 Year-End Report, states:
The 2015 amendments to Rule 26(b)(1) emphasize the need to
impose “reasonable limits on discovery through
increased reliance on the common-sense concept of
proportionality.” The fundamental principle of amended
Rule 26(b)(1) is “that lawyers must size and shape
their discovery requests to the requisites of a case.”
The pretrial process must provide parties with efficient
access to what is needed to prove a claim or defense, but
eliminate unnecessary and wasteful discovery. This requires
active involvement of federal judges to make decisions
regarding the scope of discovery.
312 F.R.D. at 603. See also Nationstar Mortgage v.
Flamingo Trails No. 7, 316 F.R.D. 327, 331 (D.Nev.
party opposing discovery has the burden of showing that it is
irrelevant, overly broad, or unduly burdensome. Graham v.
Casey's General Stores, 206 F.R.D. 251, 253-4
(S.D.Ind. 2000); Fosbre v. Las Vegas Sands Corp.,
2016 WL 54202, at *4 (D.Nev. Jan. 5, 2016); Izzo v.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2016 WL 593532, at *2 (D.Nev.
Feb. 11, 2016). When a request is overly broad on its face or
when relevancy is not readily apparent, however, the party
seeking discovery has the burden to show the relevancy of the
request. Desert Valley Painting & Drywall, Inv. v.
United States, 2012 WL 4792913, at *2 (D.Nev. Oct. 9,
2012) (citing Marook v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins.
Co. 259 F.R.D. 388, 394-95 (N.D. Iowa 2009)). The 2015
amendments to Rule 26(b) have not changed these basic rules,
although they must now be applied with a greater emphasis on
regarding a party's financial condition may be obtained
if it is relevant to the claims or defenses in the case.
Wynn Las Vegas v. Zoggolis, 2014 WL 2772241, *4-5
(D.Nev. June 17, 2014); Pacific Coast Steel v.
Leany, 2011 WL 4572008 (D.Nev. September 30, 2011);
Dawe v. Corrections, USA, 2008 WL 1849802, *5-9
(E.D.Cal. April 23, 2008); and iSmart International Ltd.
v. I-Docsecure, LLC, 2006 WL 2263910, *2-3 (N.D.Cal.
August 8, 2006). Where inquiry into a party's financial
condition is of only marginal relevance and based on
speculative assertions, however, the court may in its
discretion deny such discovery. Brady v. Conseco,
Inc., 2009 WL 5218046, *2 (N.D.Cal. December 29, 2009);
Sarbacher v. Americold Realty Trust, 2011 WL
2470681, *3 (D.Idaho June 20, 2011).
has already produced his income tax returns, but has redacted
sections identifying the paid preparer, Summit Ventures'
reductions, and personal identifying information. Defendant
does not dispute that Plaintiff may redact personal
identifying information including EINs, social security
numbers, and names of dependents. Plaintiff argues that he is
not required to hire a licensed tax preparer and that
Defendant's request is harassing and invasive.
See Response (ECF No. 64), 2. He further represents
that he provided 2015 and 2016 tax returns for Summit
Ventures because those are the only years in which Summit
Ventures filed its taxes. Id. at 3. Plaintiff's
financial condition is relevant to the claims and defenses in
this case and he is instructed to produce his tax returns in
their entirety, but he may redact social ...