Northwest Home Designing, Inc v. Golden Key Construction, Inc. et al

Filing 109

ORDER granting 75 Defendants' Motion to Seal; granting 76 Defendants' Sealed Motion to Compel by Judge J Richard Creatura.(SC)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 7 8 9 NORTHWEST HOME DESIGNING, INC., Plaintiff, 10 11 12 13 v. GOLDEN KEY CONSTRUCTION, INC., et al., CASE NO. 11-cv-05289 RBL ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO SEAL AND MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY Defendant. 14 Defendants Golden Key Construction, Inc. and Doug Bateman’s Motion to Compel 15 Discovery (ECF No. 76) has been referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge (ECF No. 81). 16 In order to rule on that motion, this Court is also considering and ruling upon Defendants’ 17 Motion to Seal (ECF No. 75). This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 636(b)(1)(A) 18 and (B) and Magistrate Judge Rules MJR 1, MJR 3 and MJR 4. 19 The Court has reviewed Defendants’ Motion to Compel (ECF No. 76), the Declaration of 20 Paul Sutphen (ECF No. 77), the Declaration of Andy Gauen (ECF No. 78), Plaintiff Northwest 21 Home Designing, Inc.’s Response (ECF No. 96) the Declaration of Anthony J. Biller (ECF No. 22 97), Declaration of David E. Bennett (ECF No. 98), Defendants Doug Bateman and Golden Key 23 24 ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO SEAL AND MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY - 1 1 Construction, Inc.’s Reply (ECF No. 103) and the Supplemental Declaration of Andrew C. 2 Gauen (ECF No. 104) and Defendants’ Motion to Seal (ECF No. 75). 3 There being no opposition, and good cause having been shown, Defendants’ Motion to 4 Seal the Motion to Compel Discovery is GRANTED. 5 6 1. Timely filing. The deadline for filing motions related to discovery was May 22, 2012 (ECF No. 31). 7 This motion was not brought until June 7, 2012. While defendants’ discovery requests were 8 submitted in a timely fashion, and plaintiff initially responded in a timely fashion, the parties 9 were not able to resolve their differences prior to the expiration of the time for filing the motion, 10 despite good faith efforts. A case schedule may be modified upon a showing of good cause and 11 with the Court’s consent. Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4). Good cause having been shown, this Court 12 will consider defendants’ motion to compel even though it was untimely. 13 14 2. Amended Protective Order. The District Court entered a Protective Order in this case on October 7, 2011 (ECF No. 15 50), which was amended on December 16, 2011 (ECF No. 53). Plaintiff argues that the existing 16 Protective Order is insufficient to protect allegedly “highly confidential” information and seeks 17 defendants’ approval to yet another amendment to the Protective Order. Plaintiff’s proposed 18 protective order includes a reference to “highly confidential” documents that could only be 19 viewed by a limited category of persons even more restrictive than the original protective order. 20 Defendants correctly point out that the District Court does not generally favor protective orders, 21 unless there has been a specific showing by the parties as to the need for confidentiality. Local 22 Rule 5(g). While the parties have obtained a protective order in this case, plaintiff has failed to 23 show the need for any additional protection, nor has plaintiff sought a protective order under the 24 local rules. Therefore, plaintiff’s refusal to produce documents on the grounds that defendants ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO SEAL AND MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY - 2 1 were unwilling to sign a more restrictive protective order is unwarranted. Any documents 2 withheld by plaintiff on the grounds that an amended protective order had not been agreed to by 3 the parties should be produced forthwith. 4 5 3. Request for Production No. 15. Defendants have requested documents that would allow its expert to calculate lost profits 6 using plaintiff’s information stored in QuickBooks and File Maker Pro. Defendants have 7 presented a declaration from its expert demonstrating why this information is important (ECF 8 No. 77). Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 must be broadly construed to allow defendants to discover 9 information that may be relevant. This is not limited to information plaintiff may rely upon in 10 determining damages, but may also include information about plaintiff that defendants believe 11 may be helpful in disputing plaintiff’s claimed damages Therefore, defendants’ request for 12 production of these documents is GRANTED. 13 14 4. Request for Production No. 17. Defendants have requested an unredacted copy of a settlement agreement with NHD. 15 Plaintiff has shown no good cause for withholding such information. As noted above, any 16 concerns regarding confidentiality may be addressed by designating any such settlement 17 agreement as “confidential” under the existing Protective Order. Defendants’ motion with 18 regard to that settlement agreement is GRANTED. 19 20 5. Request for Production No. 19. Defendant has requested copies of “any and all agreements regarding the purchase and 21 sale of stock between Robert Mickey and Plaintiff or April Lord-Wittig.” (ECF No. 76). 22 Plaintiff has not produced a promissory note and security agreement attached to a stock purchase 23 agreement. This stock purchase agreement also makes reference to a real estate agreement 24 between Ms. Lord-Wittig and Mr. Mickey. Plaintiff has not produced this document, either. ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO SEAL AND MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY - 3 1 Plaintiff has objected to production of those documents because they were not specifically 2 requested, but has agreed that it would produce such documents if designated for “Attorneys’ 3 Eyes Only”. For the reasons stated above, this Court finds that the existing Protective Order is 4 sufficient and ORDERS plaintiff to produce the documents accordingly. Defendants’ motion 5 with regard to this request is GRANTED. 6 Because of the existing court schedule, plaintiff is ordered to comply with this Order to 7 Compel Discovery within fourteen (14) days of this Order. 8 9 Dated this 27th day of June, 2012. 10 11 A 12 J. Richard Creatura United States Magistrate Judge 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO SEAL AND MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY - 4