Arnold et al v. MaxMind, Inc.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting Plaintiffs' oral motion to compel Defendant to respond to Request Nos. 1 and 2 of Plaintiffs' Second Request for Production of Documents, but delaying Defendant's production until fourteen (14) days after the Court rules on any dispositive motion relating to punitive damages, provided that Plaintiff's claim for punitive damages remains in the case. Signed by Magistrate Judge Teresa J. James on 8/18/2017. (ts)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
JAMES ARNOLD, et al,
Case No. 6:16-cv-01309-JTM-TJJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
During the August 10, 2017, telephone conference in this case, Plaintiffs made an oral
motion to compel Defendant to produce financial documents responsive to Plaintiffs’ Second
Request for Production of Documents Nos. 1-2. Plaintiffs contend that this discovery is relevant
to their claims for punitive damages and is discoverable. Defendant objected that Plaintiffs’
claim for punitive damages is spurious, production of the confidential financial documents could
cause business harm to Defendant, and production of the requested financial information is
In response to Plaintiffs’ oral motion, Defendant conceded that Plaintiffs’ Complaint has
alleged sufficient facts to meet the requisite showing that the claim is not spurious, while
continuing to assert that the claim is not likely to survive summary judgment. Defendant further
acknowledges that all documents sought by Plaintiffs’ requests fall within the scope of the
Amended Protective Order (ECF No. 47), and therefore production of the documents is unlikely
to cause harm to Defendant. The Court will consider Defendant’s first two objections withdrawn.
Defendant continues to assert, however, that while the requests might be relevant to a
punitive damages claim that is not spurious, the release of Defendant’s financial information is
premature before the claim is shown to be capable of surviving summary judgment. For the
reasons discussed below, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ oral motion subject to certain conditions.
Plaintiffs served their Second Request for Production of Documents on Defendant on
June 29, 2017. These requests include the following:
REQUEST NO. 1: Please produce copies of your state and federal income tax returns
for 2010 through 2016.
REQUEST NO. 2: Please produce copies of your monthly profit and loss statements
for 2010 through 2016.
Plaintiffs conferred with Defendant, as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(1) and D. Kan
37.2, and the Parties agreed to present Defendant’s objections to the Court by oral motion during
the August 10, 2017 telephone conference. Plaintiffs orally moved to compel production of
documents responsive to the two requests, and argument was heard. Defendant withdrew its
pending objections to the request except the objection that the request is premature.
The Court need not rule on whether Plaintiffs are entitled to obtain documents responsive
to Request Nos. 1 and 2, as Defendant has conceded the documents are discoverable. However,
Defendant continues to argue that the requests for production of its financial information are
premature. Defendant urges the Court to follow other courts that have postponed disclosure of a
defendant’s confidential and proprietary financial records until after a ruling on any summary
judgment motion challenging the plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages. In Heartland Surgical
Specialty Hospital, LLC v. Midwest Division, Inc,1 defendants made a similar objection to
producing their financial information relevant to punitive damages. Magistrate Judge Bostwick
granted the motion to compel production of the defendants’ financial information, but stayed
No. 05-2164-MLB-DWB, 2007 WL 950282, at *13 (D. Kan. Mar. 26, 2007).
production until after a dispositive motion ruling concerning the punitive damages claim. In his
ruling, he noted that courts in the District of Kansas have followed a “varied practice” in
determining whether to delay discovery of financial information relating to a punitive damages
While there are no motions pending, Defendant has represented that it intends to file a
motion for summary judgment on the issue of punitive damages.3 The Court further notes that
discovery in this matter remains open, and the parties have represented that depositions
potentially relevant to the issue of punitive damages have not been completed. The Court will
follow the procedure employed by Judge Bostwick in Heartland and stay production of the
requested financial information until after a ruling has been entered on any forthcoming motion
on the issue of punitive damages.
Delaying the production to a point closer to trial will also
result in Defendant producing more “current” information than would be produced now.4
The Court therefore stays production of Defendant’s responses to RFP Nos. 1 and 2 until
the District Judge determines whether Plaintiffs’ claims for punitive damages survive any
dispositive motion filed by Defendant. Thus, Defendant will not be required to produce the
financial documents and information ordered herein until fourteen (14) days following a ruling
on any dispositive motion filed by Defendant pertaining to the issue of punitive damages,
provided that Plaintiffs’ claims for punitive damages remain in the case.
The Scheduling Order deadline for the parties to file dispositive motions in this case is October
Learjet, Inc. v. MPC Prods., Corp., No. 05-1074-MLB-DWB, 2007 WL 2287836, at *4 (D.
Kan. Aug. 8, 2007).
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ oral motion to compel Defendant to
respond to Request Nos. 1 and 2 of Plaintiffs’ Second Request for Production of Documents is
GRANTED, subject to the terms of this order.
Defendant shall produce documents and
information responsive to Request Nos. 1 and 2 and in accordance with this order within
fourteen (14) days after the Court rules on any dispositive motion relating to punitive damages,
provided that Plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages remains in the case.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated this 18th day of August, 2017.
s/ Teresa J. James
TERESA J. JAMES
United States Magistrate Judge
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