Lucky v. Detroit Property Exchange Company et al
ORDER granting in part and denying in part Plaintiff's 36 Motion to Compel--Signed by Magistrate Judge Anthony P. Patti. (MWil)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 2:19-cv-11122
District Judge Paul D. Borman
Magistrate Judge Anthony P. Patti
EXCHANGE COMPANY, et al.,
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF’S
MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY (ECF No. 36)
This matter came before the Court for consideration of Plaintiff’s motion to
compel discovery (ECF No. 36), Defendants’ response in opposition (ECF No. 40),
and the parties’ joint lists of unresolved issues (ECF Nos. 44 & 45). Judge Borman
referred this motion to me for a hearing and determination. (ECF No. 37.) As a
result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a hearing was held on October 15, 2020, via
Zoom technology, at which counsel appeared and the Court entertained oral
argument regarding the motion.
Upon consideration of the motion papers and oral argument, and for all of
the reasons stated on the record by the Court, which are hereby incorporated by
reference as though fully restated herein, Plaintiff’s motion to compel (ECF No.
36) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART as follows:
First, Plaintiff's "General Objections" are OVERRULED,
consistent with the Undersigned's Practice Guidelines for
Discovery. Objections must be specific and state an adequate
individualized basis. See Wesley Corp. v. Zoom T.V. Products,
LLC, No. 17-10021, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5068, 2018 WL
372700, at *4 (E.D. Mich. Jan. 11, 2018) (Cleland, J.) (“A
‘boilerplate’ objection is one that is invariably general; it includes,
by definition, ‘[r]eady-made or all-purpose language that will fit in
a variety of documents.’ Thus, ‘[a]n objection to a discovery
request is boilerplate when it merely states the legal grounds for
the objection without (1) specifying how the discovery request is
deficient and (2) specifying how the objecting party would be
harmed if it were forced to respond to the request.’”) (internal
citations omitted); Siser N. Am., Inc. v. Herika G. Inc., 325 F.R.D.
200, 209-10 (E.D. Mich. 2018) ("Boilerplate objections are legally
meaningless and amount to a waiver of an objection."); accord
Strategic Mktg. & Research Team, Inc. v. Auto Data Sols., Inc.,
No. 2:15-cv-12695, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48375, 2017 WL
1196361, at *2 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 31, 2017) ("Boilerplate or
generalized objections are tantamount to no objection at all and
will not be considered by the Court."); Auburn Sales, Inc. v.
Cypros Trading & Shipping, Inc., No. 14-cv-10922, 2016 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 80852, 2016 WL 3418554, at *3 (E.D. Mich. June 22,
2016) (This "Court has repeatedly found that the filing of
boilerplate objections is tantamount to filing no objections at all.").
Further, the Court notes that “litany style” boilerplate objections
made in response to particular requests, like those Defendants
employed, in part, are strongly disfavored and likewise
meaningless. Oleson v. Kmart Corp., 175 F.R.D. 560, 565 (D.
Kan. 1997). (“The litany of overly burdensome, oppressive, and
irrelevant does not alone constitute a successful objection to a
discovery request.”). And the correct standard for determining the
proper scope of discovery is stated in Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). The
standard that discovery is relevant if it is “reasonably calculated to
lead to admissible evidence,” cited by Defendants, is outdated. See
Cratty v. City of Wyandotte, 296 F.Supp.3d 854, 858-59 (E.D.
The Court further notes that an objection to a document request
“must state whether any responsive materials are being withheld
on the basis of that objection.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 34(b)(2)(C).
In accordance with the representation made by defense counsel on
the record, Defendants WAIVE any privilege objections to the
discovery requests at issue.
The Court addresses in this Order only those discovery requests it
can discern from what Plaintiff placed at issue in her motion to
compel, as well as those directly raised and addressed at oral
The Court finds Defendant Christian Segura’s answers to Requests
for Admission Nos. 2 and 3 (ECF No. 36-7, PageID.586-587)
The Court SUSTAINS Defendant Segura’s objection to Requests
for Admission Nos. 4, 5, 6, and 7 (ECF No. 36-7, PageID.587588) on the basis that Plaintiff’s use of the terms “agent” and
“negotiating” is vague and ambiguous.
Defendant Segura’s objection to Request for Admission No. 8
(ECF No. 36-7, PageID.588) is OVERRULED. Defendant
Segura is ordered to RESPOND to Request for Admission No. 8.
The Court SUSTAINS Defendant Segura’s objection to Request
for Admission No. 9 (ECF No. 36-7, PageID.588-589) on the
basis that Plaintiff’s use of the terms “mandatory disclosures” and
“agency relationship” is vague and ambiguous.
Request for Admission No. 10 (ECF No. 36-7, PageID.589) is
DEEMED ADMITTED. Regardless, the Court OVERRULES
Defendant Segura’s objections as they lack a good faith basis.
The Court ACCEPTS the corporate Defendants’ responses to
Request for Production No. 6 (ECF No. 36-5, PageID.467; ECF
No. 36-6, PageID.524) on the basis of defense counsel’s statements
in those responses and at the hearing. However, the Court
OVERRULES the corporate Defendants’ objections to Request
for Production No. 6 as they lack a good faith basis.
The corporate Defendants’ objections to Request for Production
No. 9 (ECF No. 36-5, PageID.468-469; ECF No. 36-6,
PageID.525-526) are OVERRULED, and each is required to
PRODUCE the documents requested.
The Court orders that the corporate Defendants SUPPLEMENT
their responses to Request for Production No. 11 (ECF No. 36-5,
PageID.469-470; ECF No. 36-6, PageID.527) narrowed to the
specific items identified in Request for Production No. 19 and as to
the named Defendants only (ECF No. 36-5, PageID.473-474; ECF
No. 36-6, PageID.531).
The Court OVERRULES the corporate Defendants’ objections to
Request for Production No. 12 (ECF No. 36-5, PageID.470; ECF
No. 36-6, PageID.527-528), as the unduly burdensome objection
lacks a good faith basis and is otherwise unsupported, and the tax
returns have not been shown to be privileged. The corporate
Defendants must PRODUCE the tax returns requested subject to
any protective order stipulated to by the parties.
The corporate Defendants must PRODUCE the documents
requested in Request for Production No. 19 (ECF No. 36-5,
PageID.473-474; ECF No. 36-6, PageID.531), but for the named
Defendants only. Plaintiff may subpoena non-parties for the
information requested if she so chooses.
The corporate Defendants must PROVIDE the information
requested in Interrogatory No. 6 (ECF No. 36-5, PageID.452453; ECF No. 36-6, PageID.509-510) for the named Defendants
only and narrowed to the specific items identified in Request for
Production No. 19 (ECF No. 36-5, PageID.473-474; ECF No. 366, PageID.531).
Compliance with the mandates of this Order must occur by November 3,
2020. Further, the Court will EXTEND the discovery cutoff to Friday, January
8, 2021, and the expert report deadline to Tuesday, December 1, 2020. Finally,
the Court awards no costs, neither party having prevailed in full. Fed. R. Civ. P.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: October 16, 2020
Anthony P. Patti
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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