Greer v. City of Wichita, Kansas et al
ORDER granting 64 motion to quash or for protective order. Signed by Magistrate Judge James P. O'Hara on 3/30/2017. (srj)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
Case No. 16-1185-EFM
CITY OF WICHITA, KANSAS, et al.,
Defendants Wichita Art Museum, Inc. and Patricia McDonnell have filed a motion
to quash or for protective order regarding the Rule 30(b)(6) deposition notice filed by
plaintiff (ECF No. 64). For the reasons set forth below, defendants’ motion is granted.
On March 10, 2017, plaintiff served Wichita Art Museum, Inc. with a deposition
notice pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(6), listing 20 topics for examination.1 Both
before and after this notice was served, plaintiff’s counsel communicated plaintiff’s intent
to seek a second Rule 30(b)(6) deposition to inquire about “the factual and legal basis of
[Wichita Art Museum, Inc.’s] defenses” once such defenses are asserted—i.e., after the
pending partial motion to dismiss (ECF No. 37) is ruled and Wichita Art Museum, Inc.
files its answer to the amended complaint.2
ECF No. 63. Wichita Art Museum, Inc. has identified Patricia McDonnell as its
ECF No. 64 at 14. Since the instant motion to quash or for protective order has
been fully briefed, plaintiff has filed a motion for leave to file a second amended
Defendants seek to stay the deposition until such time as plaintiff reasonably
anticipates being able to complete all necessary areas of inquiry in a single deposition,
arguing that a second deposition of the same corporate representative will cause
defendants undue burden and expense.3
Alternatively, defendants seek an order
precluding plaintiff from deposing Wichita Art Museum, Inc.’s corporate representative a
second time. Plaintiff counters that defendants’ motion is procedurally invalid insofar as
it seeks an advisory opinion with respect to a second deposition of Wichita Art Museum,
Inc. Additionally, plaintiff claims defendants have not met their burden of demonstrating
undue burden or expense.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c)(1) provides that “[t]he court may, for good cause, issue an
order to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue
burden or expense.” Defendants, as the parties seeking the protective order, must show
that good cause exists to warrant such an order.4 This requires “a particular and specific
demonstration of fact, as distinguished from stereotyped and conclusory statements.”5
complaint (ECF No. 75); defendants have notified the court that the motion is opposed.
As stated in the court’s March 13, 2017 order (ECF No. 65), the filing of
defendants’ motion automatically stays the deposition (noticed for March 14, 2017)
pending the court’s ruling on the motion.
Suture Express., Inc. v. Cardinal Health, 200, LLC, No. 12-2760, 2013 WL
6909158, at *2 (D. Kan. Dec. 31, 2013) (citing Layne Christensen Co. v. Purolite Co.,
271 F.R.D. 240, 244 (D. Kan. 2010)); Bryan v. Eichenwald, 191 F.R.D. 650, 651–52 (D.
Kan. 2000) (citing Sentry Ins. v. Shivers, 164 F.R.D. 255, 256 (D. Kan. 1996)).
Black & Veatch Corp. v. Aspen Ins. (UK) Ltd., No. 12-2350, 2014 WL 806122,
at *3 (D. Kan. Feb. 28, 2014); see also Bryan, 191 F.R.D. at 652 (citing Gulf Oil Co. v.
Bernard, 452 U.S. 89, 102 n.16 (1981)).
Although a close call, the court finds good cause to avoid proceeding in a manner
that virtually guarantees two separate Rule 30(b)(6) depositions in this case when one
should suffice. Indeed, as a practical matter, the court sees no reason for the deposition
to be taken immediately. The expert deadlines in this case have passed and no party has
filed a certificate of service with regard to such a disclosure. Thus, presumably the
deposition isn’t needed to provide information for an expert witness. More importantly,
there is no trial setting in this case, and a trial date will not be set until it is determined at
the pretrial conference whether it’s necessary to extend the dispositive motion deadline.
Thus, even if an answer is not filed prior to the June 9, 2017 discovery cutoff and the
June 22, 2017 pretrial conference, the court can extend the discovery deadline for this
limited purpose, and correspondingly extend the August 1, 2017 dispositive motion
On or before April 3, 2017, plaintiff shall elect to either: (1) proceed with the
deposition confined to the topics that were served previously,7 with the understanding
there’d be no questioning permitted on possible defenses (and with the further
understanding that, at least as the record currently stands, the court would be disinclined
to allow a second Rule 30(b)(6) deposition); or (2) defer the deposition, as defendants
have suggested, until after the presiding U.S. District Judge, Eric F. Melgren, rules the
pending partial motion to dismiss (ECF No. 37) and Wichita Art Museum, Inc. files its
See ECF No. 59.
See ECF No. 63.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated March 30, 2017, at Kansas City, Kansas.
s/ James P. O’Hara
James P. O’Hara
U.S. Magistrate Judge
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