Aileron Investment Management, LLC v. American Lending Center, LLC
ORDER granting 106 Motion for Protective Order. See order for details. Signed by Magistrate Judge Amanda Arnold Sansone on 1/10/2022. (SFC)
MANAGEMENT, LLC, a Florida
limited liability company,
Case No. 8:21-cv-146-MSS-AAS
AMERICAN LENDING CENTER,
LLC, a California limited liability
Defendant American Lending Center, LLC (ALC) moves for a
protective order quashing the portion of Plaintiff Aileron Investment
Management, LLC’s deposition notice requiring ALC’s corporate
representative to travel to Florida for the deposition. (Doc. 106). Aileron
responds in opposition. (Doc. 109).
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1), as amended effective December 1, 2015,
governs the scope of discovery in civil cases. The rule states:
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
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1).
Courts have discretion in controlling the discovery in a case. Mut. Serv.
Ins. v. Frit Industries, Inc., 358 F.3d 1312, 1322 (11th Cir. 2004). Under Fed.
R. Civ. P. 26(c)(1), “[a] party or any person from whom discovery is sought
may move for a protective order.” For good cause, the court may “issue an
order to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment,
oppression, or undue burden or expense.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c)(1). The party
seeking a protective order “carries the burden of showing good cause and/or
the right to be protected.” See Schneider v. Hertz Corp., No. 3:05-cv-1298-JMCR, 2007 WL 1231834, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Apr. 26, 2007) (citing United States
v. Garrett, 571 F.2d 1323, 1326 n.3 (5th Cir. 1978)). The burden
“contemplates a particular and specific demonstration of fact as distinguished
from stereotyped and conclusory statements.” Id.
On October 20, 2021, Aileron served a notice for ALC’s corporate
representative’s deposition at a location in this district. (Doc. 66, p. 3). ALC
moved to quash the portion of that notice requiring ALC’s corporate
representative to travel to Florida for the deposition. (Doc. 66). This court
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.
also stated “should a videoconference deposition become the only viable
option, the court would be willing to require a videoconference deposition of
unlimited duration to accommodate the significant number of documents and
Mandarin translation needs.” (Id. at 7).
The onset of the current Omicron COVID-19 variant presents such a
situation. Since this court’s December 16, 2021 order, the Omicron COVID-19
variant has become the predominant COVID-19 variant in Florida and the
United States. Caroline Catherman, Omicron now dominant in the U.S.;
experts predict COVID-19 hospitalizations in Central Florida, urge boosters,
Orlando Sentinel (Dec. 20, 2021), https://www.orlandosentinel.com/
coronavirus/os-ne-coronavirus-omicron-breakthrough-waningimmunity-20211220-fudd4a6ykfdmbbk7b4bjweeptq-story.html. The CDC
reports the Omicron variant “likely will spread more easily than the original
SARS-CoV-2 virus” and “breakthrough infections in people who are fully
vaccinated are likely to occur.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
Omicron Variant: What You Need to Know, Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, (Dec. 20, 2021), https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/
variants/omicron-variant.html. To that end, courts in this district have
temporarily paused jury trials and returned to conducting more hearings via
denied ALC’s motion on December 16, 2021. (Doc. 101). However, this court
The sudden rise of the Omicron variant, coupled with ALC’s corporate
representative’s unique familial situation, constitutes good cause for a
protective order as to the deposition of ALC’s corporate representative. Thus,
Aileron’s Motion for Protective Order (Doc. 106) is GRANTED. Aileron shall
take the videotaped deposition of ALC’s corporate representative via
videoconference for an unlimited duration.
The court also acknowledges the pending status of ALC’s motion to
quash 23 topics from Aileron’s deposition notice (Doc. 105) and advises an
order on this motion to quash may not be entered before the parties’
deposition date and time of 9:00 A.M. on January 12, 2022.
ORDERED in Tampa, Florida on January 10, 2022.
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