Dole v. Nouveau Riche Corporation
ORDER denying without prejudice [23-24] Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment Debtor Exam. Signed by Magistrate Judge Lawrence O Anderson on 5/16/11.(TLJ)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
Nouveau Riche Corporation,
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion for Order for
Interrogatories, which the Court construes as a Motion for Judgment Debtor’s Examination
via Interrogatories. (Docs. 23-24) Judgment in favor of Plaintiff was entered on April 12,
2011, doc. 21, and there is no evidence that it has been paid. To aid in the enforcement of
the judgment, Plaintiff requests an order directing judgment debtor Nouveau Riche
Corporation to answer the interrogatories (written questions) pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 69
and A.R.S. § 12-1631. (Docs. 23, 24)
Federal Rule Civil Procedure 69(a)(2) provides that a “judgment creditor . . .
may obtain discovery from any person--including the judgment debtor--as provided in these
rules or by the procedure of the state where the court is located.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 69(a)(2).
While less conventional than an oral deposition, because Rule 33(a), Fed.R.Civ.P.,
authorizes a party to obtain discovery by way of written questions and answers by service
on any other party no more than 25 written interrogatories, including all discrete subparts,
Plaintiff, as a judgment creditor, may properly use interrogatories to obtain information from
Nouveau Riche Corporation, a judgment debtor. United States v. McWhirter, 376 F.2d 102,
106 (5th Cir. 1967) (“[w]e conclude that Rule 69(a) authorizes the government to propound
written interrogatories to the appellees under Rule 33.”). Thus, a judgment creditor may
propound discovery to a judgment debtor by interrogatories, requests for production and/or
inspection of documents. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 33, and 34. Odnil Music Ltd. v. Katharsis LLC,
2007 WL 1703763, * 2 (E.D.Cal., Jun 11, 2007). If a judgment debtor fails to respond to
properly crafted discovery, the court may compel responses and impose sanctions if the
debtor lacked substantial justification for failing to respond. Id. (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(b),
Nevertheless, Plaintiff’s proposed interrogatories are defective and provide
wholly inadequate instructions for compliance. (Doc. 24 at 2-5) First, Plaintiff’s proposed
interrogatories, including all discrete subparts, substantially exceed the 25 interrogatory limit
set forth in Rule 33(a), Fed.R.Civ.P. Plaintiff has also inappropriately combined a request
for the production of documents authorized by Rule 34, Fed.R.Civ.P., see no. 13, with
written interrogatories. They are separate discovery methods and should have separate
instructions for each. Moreover, no instructions are provided how Nouveau Riche
Corporation may file its answers under seal, consistent with the District Court’s Local Rules,
to protect the confidentiality of the proprietary information requested by Plaintiff. The form
of the interrogatories is also deficient because each interrogatory does not allow any space,
much less adequate space, to answer each interrogatory immediately after the interrogatory
itself. Finally, Plaintiff provides no information on how she intends to serve the requested
discovery on Nouveau Riche Corporation which has not appeared in the District Court.
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Judgment Debtor’s Examination
via Interrogatories, docs. 23-24, is DENIED without prejudice.
Dated this 16th day of May, 2011.
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