Degelia v. Georgetown ISD
ORDER GRANTING 52 Motion to Quash; DENYING AS MOOT 55 Motion to Stay. Signed by Judge Andrew W. Austin. (td)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
J.D. B/N/F LUKE AND MENDY
Before the Court are Plaintiffs’ Motion to Quash Defendant’s Notice of Intent to Take Oral
Depositions of J.D. and of Luke and Mendy Degelia (Clerk’s Doc. No. 52) filed January 27, 2012;
Defendant’s Response in Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion to Quash Defendant’s Notices of Intent
to Take Oral Depositions of Plaintiffs (Clerk’s Doc. No. 54) filed February 2, 2012; and Plaintiffs’
Late Motion to Stay Defendant’s Notices of Intent to Take Oral Deposition of Plaintiffs (Clerk’s
Doc. No. 55), filed February 2, 2012. The District Court has referred both motions to the
undersigned for resolution.
The sole issue remaining in this case is whether the Plaintiffs were “prevailing parties” in a
Section 504 hearing, and if so, what amount of attorney’s fees they are entitled to. Notwithstanding
this, Defendants have recently noticed the depositions of all of the Plaintiffs, including ninth grade
student J.D. Plaintiffs thus move to quash the depositions, arguing they would subject Plaintiffs to
an undue burden and that no admissible evidence could be obtained from the depositions. They
argue that the hearing officer’s written decision is the only record the Court needs to review to
determine whether the Plaintiffs were prevailing parties, and there is nothing the Defendants could
learn from a deposition of the Plaintiffs on the prevailing party issue. With regard to the
reasonableness of attorney’s fees, should the Court find that the Plaintiffs are entitled to recover fees,
Plaintiffs argue that they do not have any discoverable information on that issue either, but rather
that would come from their attorneys.
The Defendant’s response is puzzling to say the least. It contends that because there is no
administrative hearing record in this case, the ordinary limitation on new evidence on appeal does
not apply, and thus contends that it is entitled to depose the Plaintiffs. But it completely fails to
explain what evidence depositions of the Plaintiffs would lead to that would be relevant to the only
question remaining before the Court—were the Plaintiffs prevailing parties. This is particularly true
with regard to the minor plaintiff, J.D., who, by the Court’s estimation, is a ninth grade student. The
situation is the same on the question of attorney’s fees. If there are any fact questions on that issue,
the relevant party to gather that information from would the Plaintiffs’ counsel, not the Plaintiffs.
Moreover, the Court’s Local Rules provide a detailed, post-judgment process to determine the
appropriate amount of fees, see Local Rule CV-7(i), and discovery on this issue is rarely necessary.
In short, the Defendant’s arguments in support of taking these depositions are baseless, and the
depositions would serve no purpose other than to harass the Plaintiffs and needlessly increase the
costs of this litigation.
It is therefore ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ Motion to Quash Defendant’s Notice of Intent to
Take Oral Depositions of J.D. and of Luke and Mendy Degelia (Clerk’s Doc. No. 52) is GRANTED,
the depositions of J.D., Mendy and Luke Degelia are HEREBY QUASHED, and Plaintiffs’ Late
Motion to Stay Defendant’s Notices of Intent to Take Oral Deposition of Plaintiffs (Clerk’s Doc. No.
55) is DENIED AS MOOT.
SIGNED this 7th day of February, 2012.
ANDREW W. AUSTIN
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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