Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. The Cheesecake Factory Inc et al

Filing 39

ORDER granting in part and denying in part Defendants' 22 Motion to Compel; granting in part and denying in part EEOC's 24 Motion to Quash Defendants' third-party subpoenas. The court DENIES Defendants' request for attor ney's fees. The EEOC shall complete its responses to Defendants' requests for production, interrogatories, and requests for admission in accord with the court's rulings herein within 10 days of the filing of this order. Signed by Judge James L. Robart. (PM)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 8 9 10 EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, ORDER ON MOTIONS RELATED TO DISCOVERY DISPUTES 11 Plaintiff, 12 13 14 CASE NO. C16-1942JLR v. THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY, INC., et al., Defendants. 15 16 I. INTRODUCTION 17 Before the court are two motions: (1) Defendants The Cheesecake Factory, Inc. 18 and The Cheesecake Factory Restaurants, Inc.’s (collectively, “Defendants”) motion to 19 compel responses to their first set of interrogatories, requests for production of 20 documents (“RFP”), and requests for admission (“RFA”) (Def. Mot. (Dkt. # 22)); and (2) 21 Plaintiff Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“the EEOC”) motion to quash 22 Defendants’ third-party subpoenas to Charging Party Oleg Ivanov’s prior employers ORDER - 1 1 (EEOC Mot. (Dkt. # 24)). The motions involve overlapping issues of privilege and 2 relevance, among other issues. The court has considered the motions, the parties’ 3 submissions related to the motions, other relevant portions of the record, and the 4 applicable law. Being fully advised, 1 the court grants in part and denies in part both 5 motions as detailed below. 6 II. 7 BACKGROUND The EEOC brings claims against Defendants under Title I and Title V of the 8 Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), as amended by the ADA 9 Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., for failure to provide 10 reasonable accommodation for a physical disability, disparate treatment, and retaliation. 11 (See generally FAC (Dkt. # 37).) Specifically, the EEOC alleges Defendants (1) failed to 12 accommodate Mr. Ivanov, a hearing impaired individual, because they did not provide 13 him with close-captioned orientation and training videos or an American Sign Language 14 (“ASL”) interpreter (“reasonable accommodation”), (2) terminated his employment 15 because of his physical disability (“disparate treatment”), and (3) retaliated against him 16 for requesting an accommodation for his hearing impairment (“retaliation”). (See 17 generally id.) 18 The EEOC requests the following remedies for Mr. Ivanov: (1) four days of back 19 pay, which the EEOC estimates at $480.00, excluding interest (7/20/17 Lee Decl. (Dkt. 20 // 21 22 1 Neither party requested oral argument. The parties have thoroughly briefed the issues, and oral argument would not help the court’s disposition of either motion. See Local Rules W.D. Wash. LCR 7(b)(4). ORDER - 2 1 # 25) ¶ 2); (2) garden variety compensatory damages for emotional distress—the proof of 2 which the EEOC has stipulated will consist only of Mr. Ivanov’s testimony (id. ¶ 3 (at 7); 3 see also FAC at 7-8 (Prayer for Relief ¶ D)); and (3) an award of punitive damages 4 (7/20/17 Lee Decl. ¶ 2). 5 A. 6 Defendants’ Interrogatories and RFPs On March 28, 2017, Defendants served interrogatories, RFPs, and RFAs on the 7 EEOC. (7/20/17 Hoag Decl. (Dkt. # 23) ¶ 2.) The discovery requests asked for 8 information and documents concerning Mr. Ivanov’s employment and medical history. 9 (See id. ¶ 3, Exs. A, B.) 10 1. RFPs and Interrogatories re: Medical Records and Information 11 In Interrogatory No. 2, Defendants ask the EEOC to identify “all medical 12 professionals or other persons who have diagnosed [Mr. Ivanov], or with whom [Mr. 13 Ivanov] has consulted, been treated by, or met with, concerning any condition, physical 14 or mental limitation, disease, ailment or impairment that you or [Mr. Ivanov] believe is or 15 was a disability from January 1, 2010 to the present.” 2 (Id. ¶ 3, Ex. A at 4.) 16 Interrogatory No. 11 requests that the EEOC “[i]dentify every professional—whether 17 medical doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, or counselor—from whom [Mr. 18 Ivanov] has 19 // 20 // 21 2 22 RFP No. 1 relates to Interrogatory No. 2. (See 7/20/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 3, Ex. A at 7 (“Produce all documents evidencing . . . your answer to Interrogatory No. 2 . . . .”).) ORDER - 3 1 sought treatment from January 2007 to the present, for emotional upset, stress, 2 depression, anxiety or any other mental or emotional condition.” 3 (Id. at 36.) 3 Other than a single audiological record and a letter marked “confidential” from 4 Mr. Ivanov’s medical provider, the EEOC provided Defendants with no documents or 5 information concerning Mr. Ivanov’s medical history or hearing impairment. (Id. ¶ 4, 6 Exs. A at 11-14, 36-42.) Instead, the EEOC objected to Defendants’ requests for 7 documents and information concerning Mr. Ivanov’s medical histories as irrelevant, 8 protected by the psychotherapist-patient privilege, and protected by privacy interests. (Id. 9 ¶ 4, Ex. A at 4-11, 36-42.) 10 2. RFA re: Other Disabilities 11 In their discovery requests, Defendants also asked the EEOC to admit or deny 12 whether it “claim[s] that [Mr. Ivanov] had any disability or impairment other than 13 deafness or hearing impairment during his employment with Defendants.” (Id. ¶ 3, Ex. B 14 at 9 (RFA No. 7).) The EEOC did not admit or deny the foregoing statement, but rather 15 “admit[ted] that Paragraph 15 of its Complaint . . . states that [Mr. Ivanov] ‘is an 16 individual with a disability and has a record of a disability,’ that ‘[h]e was born deaf,’ and 17 ‘[t]his permanent impairment to his special sense organs substantially limits several of 18 Mr. Ivanov’s major life activities including “hearing” and “communicating.”’” (Id. 19 // 20 21 3 22 RFP No. 9 relates to Interrogatory No. 11. (See 7/20/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 3, Ex. A at 39 (“Produce all documents evidencing . . . your answer to Interrogatory No. 11 . . . .”).) ORDER - 4 1 (quoting Compl. (Dkt # 1) ¶ 15).) 4 The EEOC continues to refuse to affirmatively state 2 that hearing impairment was Mr. Ivanov’s only disability during his employment with 3 Defendants. (Id. ¶ 10, Ex. H.) 4 Defendants believe that Mr. Ivanov may have a disability or disabilities in addition 5 to hearing impairment. Specifically, the EEOC produced partially redacted documents 6 indicating that Mr. Ivanov informed the EEOC, in connection with his employment by 7 Defendants, of a disability or disabilities in addition to his hearing impairment. (Id. ¶ 5, 8 Ex. C, D; see also 7/31/17 Hoag Decl. (Dkt. # 27) ¶ 9, Ex. 5.) The EEOC redacted these 9 documents based on the psychotherapist/patient privilege. (See 7/20/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 5, 10 Ex. E (attaching privilege log).) 11 3. RFPs and Interrogatories re: Employment History 12 Defendants also requested that the EEOC produce all employment records for Mr. 13 Ivanov from January 1, 2007, forward; all documents regarding each request for an 14 accommodation that Mr. Ivanov made to any employer from 2005 to the present; and 15 every written communication in which Mr. Ivanov notified an employer of any disability 16 from 2010, forward. (Id. ¶ 3, Ex. A at 11, 13, 15, 17, 49, 58.) The EEOC objected to 17 these requests on grounds of relevance, overbreadth, burdensomeness, proportionality, 18 the psychotherapist/patient privilege, Mr. Ivanov’s privacy interest in non-therapist 19 medical records, and because Defendants had never asked for these documents or 20 21 22 4 The EEOC also objects to Defendants’ RFA No. 7 on grounds of attorney work product and attorney/client privilege. (7/20/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 3, Ex. B at 9.) Neither party raises or briefs this issue, and therefore, the court does not address it. ORDER - 5 1 information during the interactive process of July 2014-September 2014. 5 (See id. at 13- 2 14, 17-20, 50-53, 58-61.) 3 Despite its objections, in supplemental discovery responses, the EEOC provided 4 Defendants with a list of Mr. Ivanov’s previous employers dating back to 2007. (Id. ¶ 9, 5 Ex. G at 13.) Mr. Ivanov’s prior employers include: (1) Shared Journeys (2004-February 6 15, 2008); (2) Aloha Inn (January-December, 2009); (3) Catholic Community Services of 7 Western Washington (“Catholic Community Services”) (January-December 2009); 6 and 8 (4) Puget Sound Regional Services (2012-May 31, 2014). (Id.; see also 7/31/17 Hoag 9 Decl. ¶ 7.) Mr. Ivanov has not been employed since his position with Defendants ended 10 on September 10, 2014. (Id. ¶ 9, Ex. G at 13.) The EEOC also stated in its supplemental 11 discovery responses that “it does not have any documents related to Mr. Ivanov’s 12 employment during the period 2007 until June 1, 2014[,] with an employer other than 13 Defendants,” but unilaterally narrowed Defendants’ request to those documents “that 14 relate to a request for an accommodation of [Mr. Ivanov’s] hearing impairment.” (Id. at 15 15.) As Defendants point out, this limitation excludes documents that relate to Mr. 16 Ivanov’s performance, attendance, and discipline. (Def. Mot. at 4.) The EEOC has not 17 5 18 19 20 21 22 The implementing regulations of the ADA state that in determining the appropriate reasonable accommodation, “it may be necessary for the covered entity to initiate an informal, interactive process with the qualified individual with a disability in need of the accommodation. This process should identify the precise limitations resulting from the disability and potential reasonable accommodations that could overcome those limitations.” 29 C.F.R. § 1630.2(o)(3). Although this federal regulation may have bearing on substantive arguments before the court, it is not a proper basis for objecting to discovery. 6 Catholic Community Services apparently owns or operates Aloha Inn. (See Ivanov Decl. (Dkt. # 33) ¶ 4 (“Catholic Community Services . . . owns the Aloha Inn.”); see also 7/31/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 7 (“Aloha Inn . . . is operated by Catholic Community Services . . . .”).) ORDER - 6 1 clarified whether any responsive documents—outside of its unilateral limitation—exist. 2 (Id. ¶ 11 & Ex. I.) 3 After meeting and conferring with counsel for the EEOC, on July 20, 2017, 4 Defendants filed the present motion to compel discovery responses from the EEOC. (See 5 Def. Mot.) 6 B. 7 Defendants’ Third-Party Subpoenas On July 7, 2017, Defendants notified the EEOC that they intended to issue third- 8 party subpoenas to Mr. Ivanov’s prior employers: Shared Journeys, Aloha Inn, and Puget 9 Sound Regional Services. (Lee Decl. ¶ 7.) Defendants seek the following documents 10 from each of these employers: 11 Any and all records, files, and documents . . . in the possession, custody, or control of Aloha Inn [or Shared Journeys or Puget Sound Regional Services, respectively] pertaining in any way to Oleg Ivanov . . . for the following for the time period January 1, 2007 through present. This request includes, but is not limited to, all personnel, disciplinary, and medical records, and any email correspondence with or about Mr. Ivanov. 12 13 14 (See id. ¶ 7, Ex. C at 9; EEOC Mot. at 6.) The EEOC reiterated its objections to the 15 production of these documents and conferred with Defendants’ counsel on the issue. 16 (Id. ¶¶ 8-9.) On July 14, 2017, Defendants served third-party subpoenas on the three 17 entities identified above and also served a substantively identical subpoena on Catholic 18 Community Services. (Id. ¶¶ 13-14 & Ex. F; 7/31/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 7.) After meeting 19 and conferring with counsel for Defendants, the EEOC filed it motion to quash 20 Defendants’ third-party subpoenas on July 20, 2017. (See EEOC Mot.) 21 // 22 ORDER - 7 1 III. 2 ANALYSIS The EEOC’s objections to Defendants’ discovery requests and to Defendants’ 3 third-party subpoenas are overlapping. Thus, the substantive issues underlying 4 Defendants’ motion to compel and the EEOC’s motion to quash are overlapping. 5 (Compare Def. Mot., with EEOC Mot.) Those issues include: (1) the 6 psychotherapist/patient privilege (see Def. Mot. at 4-7; EEOC Mot. at 7-9); (2) Mr. 7 Ivanov’s privacy interest, if any, in his medical records and information concerning any 8 other disabilities that Mr. Ivanov may have (Def. Mot. at 8-10; EEOC Mot. at 7-9); (3) 9 the propriety of the EEOC’s response to Defendants’ RFA concerning Mr. Ivanov’s 10 disability or disabilities, and (4) the relevance of records from Mr. Ivanov’s prior 11 employers and the proportionality of Defendants’ third-party subpoenas, interrogatories, 12 and RFPs concerning Mr. Ivanov’s work history (Def. Mot. at 10-11; EEOC Mot. at 9- 13 11). In its analysis, the court will address these substantive issues and then summarize 14 how its various rulings apply to Defendants’ discovery requests and third-party 15 subpoenas. 16 A. 17 The Psychotherapist/Patient Privilege Defendants request that the EEOC identify and produce records from any medical 18 professional that has diagnosed or treated a condition that the EEOC or Mr. Ivanov 19 believes is or was a disability from January 1, 2010, to the present. (See 7/20/17 Hoag 20 Decl. ¶ 3, Ex. A at 4, 7. ) Defendants also request that the EEOC identify and produce 21 records from any psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker or counselor from whom Mr. 22 Ivanov sought treatment from January 2007 to the present for any mental or emotional ORDER - 8 1 condition. (See 7/20/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 3, Ex. A at 36, 39.) The EEOC objects to 2 Defendants’ interrogatories and RFPs related to Mr. Ivanov’s medical history in part on 3 grounds that these requests seek information or documents protected by the 4 psychotherapist/patient privilege. (See EEOC Resp. (Dkt. # 28) at 5-7.) The EEOC also 5 objects to Defendants’ third-party subpoenas to Mr. Ivanov’s former employers and 6 Defendants’ discovery requests related to Mr. Ivanov’s job history based on this 7 privilege. (See EEOC Mot. at 7; 7/20/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 3, Ex. A at 16, 18-19, 51-52, 59- 8 60; 7/31/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 8, Ex. 3.) Defendants argue that Mr. Ivanov waived the 9 psychotherapist/patient privilege by asserting emotional distress damages (Def. Mot. at 10 4-7: Def. Resp. (Dkt. # 26) at 5, n.4) and by revealing information or documents 11 concerning his therapy to his employers (Def. Resp. at 5). Defendants also argue that 12 the privilege does not apply to documents or information in the hands of Mr. Ivanov’s 13 prior employers because those employers did not serve as his psychotherapist or provide 14 diagnosis or treatment. (Id. at 4.) 15 Confidential communications between a licensed psychotherapist 7 and patient 16 during the course of diagnosis and treatment are protected from compelled disclosure 17 under Federal Rule of Evidence 501. 8 Jaffee v. Redmond, 518 U.S. 1, 15 (1996). As the 18 proponent of invoking the privilege, the EEOC bears the burden of establishing its 19 20 21 22 7 The privilege also extends to licensed social workers in the course of psychotherapy. Jaffee v. Redmond, 518 U.S. 1, 15 (1996). 8 Because this is a federal question case under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (see FAC ¶ 1), federal law provides the rules for decision, and federal common law governs any applicable privileges. Fed. R. Civ. P. 501; Religious Tech. Ctr. v. Wollerstein, 971 F.2d 364, 367 n.10 (9th Cir. 1992). ORDER - 9 1 necessary elements. United States v. Romo, 413 F.3d 1044, 1047 (9th Cir. 2005); 2 Speaker v. Cty. of San Bernadino, 82 F. Supp. 2d 1105, 1108 (C.D. Cal. 2000) (ruling 3 that the burden of proof for the psychotherapist-patient privilege is on the party seeking 4 to establish that the privilege exists). 5 The Ninth Circuit has recognized that “when a plaintiff puts his emotional 6 condition at issue during a trial, he waives privilege protecting his psychological 7 records.” Lahrichi v. Lumera Corp., 433 F. App’x 519, 521 (9th Cir. 2011) (citing 8 Maynard v. City of San Jose, 37 F.3d 1396, 1402 (9th Cir. 1994)). Although it is clear a 9 plaintiff may waive the privilege, the Ninth Circuit has provided little guidance on what 10 constitutes placing one’s emotional condition at issue. Thus, district courts have 11 adopted different approaches to determine whether the patient has waived the privilege 12 in the course of asserting certain claims or damages. Carrig v. Kellogg USA Inc., No. 13 C12-837RSM, 2013 WL 392715, at *2 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 30, 2013) (collecting cases 14 and describing alternative approaches). 15 Under a broad waiver standard, the privilege is waived whenever the patient 16 places his or her mental condition at issue. See EEOC v. Peters’ Bakery, 301 F.R.D. 17 482, 485 (N.D. Cal. 2014). More narrow approaches find waiver only when the patient 18 affirmatively relies on privileged communications or where the plaintiff seeks more than 19 “garden variety” emotional distress damages and alleges emotional distress that is 20 “complex” or has resulted in specific disorders. 9 See Stallworth v. Brollini, 288 F.R.D. 21 9 22 “Garden-variety emotional distress has been described . . . as . . . that which is ‘simple or usual.’ In contrast, emotional distress that is not garden variety ‘may be complex, such as that ORDER - 10 1 439, 443 (N.D. Cal. 2012) (collecting cases). Here, even though Mr. Ivanov seeks only 2 garden variety emotional damages, Defendants assert that broad waiver should apply 3 because “[n]early all the damages sought in this litigation are emotional distress 4 damages.” (Def. Mot. at 5.) In particular, Defendants assert that the court should apply 5 a broad waiver because emotional distress is the “crux” of Mr. Ivanov’s damages claim. 6 (Id. at 6 (citing EEOC v. Cal. Pyschiatric Transitions, 258 F.R.D. 391, 400 (E.D. Cal. 7 2009).) 8 In this case, Mr. Ivanov’s primary claim for damages is based on his emotional 9 distress. The only other damages he seeks are four days of back pay, which amount to 10 approximately $480.00, and punitive damages. (EEOC Mot. at 3.) However, Mr. 11 Ivanov seeks damages for only “garden variety” emotional distress. (Id. at 3-4, 8.) He 12 does not allege complex emotional distress or that his emotional distress has resulted in 13 any specific psychiatric disorder, and the EEOC has stipulated that proof of Mr. 14 Ivanov’s emotional distress damages will consist solely of Mr. Ivanov’s testimony. (Id. 15 at 4-5 (“The EEOC . . . stipulated that it does not claim that Defendants’ actions resulted 16 in . . . any medically diagnosable condition . . . [and] it will not call a treating health care 17 provider to prove Mr. Ivanovo’s [sic] compensatory damages, but will instead rely on 18 his testimony.”).) The mere fact that Mr. Ivanov’s primary claim for relief is based on 19 emotional distress does not alter the court’s privilege considerations where the emotion 20 21 22 resulting in a specific psychiatric disorder.’” Fajardo v. Pierce Cty., No. C08-5136 RBL, 2009 WL 1765756, at *2 (W.D. Wash. June 19, 2009), on reconsideration in part, No. 3:08-CV-05136-RBL, 2009 WL 2243829 (W.D. Wash. July 22, 2009) (quoting Fitzgerald v. Cassil, 216 F.R.D. 632, 637 (N.D. Cal. 2003) (alterations in original). ORDER - 11 1 distress damages claim remains “garden variety.” See Peters’ Bakery, 301 F.R.D. at 2 485-86. Mr. Ivanov has made clear that he will not rely on any psychotherapist-patient 3 communications or expert psychotherapist testimony to prove his damages. (See EEOC 4 Mot. at 3 (stipulating that proof of Mr. Ivanov’s compensatory damages “will consist 5 only of Mr. Ivanov’s testimony”).) Applying either of the two more narrow standards, 6 the court concludes that Mr. Ivanov has not waived the privilege related to 7 psychotherapist-patient communications by asserting damages based on garden variety 8 emotional distress. 9 The foregoing analysis, however, does not end the court’s inquiry. The 10 psychotherapist-patient privilege does not apply to some of the information Defendants 11 seek in their discovery requests, and Mr. Ivanov has waived application of the privilege 12 in other instances. First, the court notes that the psychotherapist-patient privilege does 13 not apply to the names of Mr. Ivanov’s providers and the dates of his treatments. See In 14 Re Zuniga, 714 F.2d 632, 640 (6th Cir. 1983) (“[A]s a general rule, the identity of a 15 patient or the fact and time of his treatment does not fall within the scope of the 16 psychotherapist-patient privilege.”); Redon v. Ruiz, No. 13CV1765-WQH(KSC), 2015 17 WL 13229500, at *9 (S.D. Cal. Dec. 4, 2015); Korff v. City of Phoenix, No. 18 CV-13-02317-PHX-ESW, 2015 WL 4065070, at *2 (D. Ariz. July 2, 2015) (“The 19 [psychotherapist-patient] privilege does not protect the identity of the providers.”). 20 Thus, the EEOC must provide the names, business addresses, and phone numbers, for 21 Mr. Ivanov’s psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and counselors, along with 22 Mr. Ivanov’s dates of treatment, as requested in Interrogatories Nos. 2 and 11. ORDER - 12 1 Second, the privilege applies only to communications that occurred “in the course 2 of diagnosis or treatment.” See Jaffee, 518 U.S. at 15. The privilege does not attach to 3 Mr. Ivanov’s statements to an EEOC investigator because Mr. Ivanov did not make 4 those statements in the course of diagnosis and treatment but rather for purposes of 5 asserting his claim against Defendants. (See 7/20/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 5, Exs. C, D, E.) 6 Accordingly, the court concludes that the EEOC may not redact portions of Mr. Ivanov’s 7 statements to the EEOC on the basis of this privilege. 10 (See 7/20/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 5, 8 Exs. C, D.) 9 Likewise, the psychotherapist-patient privilege does not attach to statements or 10 information that Mr. Ivanov provided to his former employers because there is no 11 evidence that Mr. Ivanov provided the statements or information “in the course of 12 diagnosis or treatment.” See Jaffee, 518 U.S. at 15. In support of its argument, the 13 EEOC asserts that in addition to being an employee of the Aloha Inn, Mr. Ivanov was 14 also a resident (EEOC Mot. at 9; Ivanov Decl. ¶¶ 2-3), and Mr. Ivanov submits a sworn 15 declaration that the Aloha Inn is “an organization that helps homeless people obtain 16 housing” and “help[s] people with drug and alcohol issues.” (Id. ¶ 2). He further 17 testifies that “[t]he main reason [he] applied to the Aloha Inn . . . was because [he] 18 10 19 20 21 22 In its briefing, the EEOC assumes that the psychotherapist-patient privilege applies and argues that Mr. Ivanov did not “waive” the privilege because his disclosure to the EEOC was “inadvertent.” (EEOC Resp. at 11-12.) Yet, the EEOC submits no evidence in support of this argument—such as a declaration or other sworn testimony from Mr. Ivanov that he “misunderstood the EEOC’s Intake Questionnaire and inadvertently revealed medical information.” (See id. at 11.) As such, the EEOC’s position is speculative and lacks evidentiary foundation. Further, the fact that Mr. Ivanov voluntarily chose to provide the medical and/or mental health information at issue to the EEOC demonstrates that he did not intend to keep the information private and believed the information was relevant to his claim against Defendants. ORDER - 13 1 needed a place to live.” (Id. ¶ 3.) However, Mr. Ivanov does not testify that he received 2 services—either diagnosis or treatment—from a licensed psychotherapist, therapist, or 3 social worker at Aloha Inn. (See general id.) As such, there is no evidence that any of 4 his communications with the Aloha Inn or any of the documents that would be 5 responsive to Defendants’ third-party subpoenas are covered by the privilege. 6 Further, even if Mr. Ivanov provided the Aloha Inn with documents or 7 communications that were originally protected by the psychotherapist-patient privilege, 8 he waived the privilege by disclosing the documents or communications to a third-party. 9 See Jaffee, 518 U.S. at 15, n.14 (“Like other testimonial privileges, the patient may of 10 course waive the protection.”); United States v. Bolander, 722 F.3d 199, 223 (4th Cir. 11 2013) (“A patient may waive the psychotherapist-patient privilege by knowingly and 12 voluntarily relinquishing it.”); United States v. Hayes, 227 F.3d 578, 586 (6th Cir. 2000) 13 (noting that “a patient can waive the protections of the psychotherapist/patient privilege 14 by disclosing the substance of therapy sessions to unrelated third parties”); United States 15 v. Hudson, No. CRIM.A. 13-20063-01, 2013 WL 4768084, at *7 (D. Kan. Sept. 5, 2013) 16 (“Courts have consistently held that mental health records lose their privileged status if 17 the patient understands that they will be disclosed to a third party such as a current or 18 potential employer.”). 19 In addition, the fact that the Aloha Inn may have required Mr. Ivanov to provide 20 information concerning diagnoses or treatments he received in the course of 21 psychotherapy in order to obtain housing benefits does not change the result. A patient 22 waives the privilege as to confidential communications he discloses to third-party ORDER - 14 1 providers for purposes of obtaining benefits. See id. at *4 (concluding that the defendant 2 waived the privilege after he “made the tactical decision to disclose information on 3 confidential psychotherapy sessions in an attempt to obtain disability benefits from the 4 State of Kansas”); In re Grand Jury Investigation, 114 F. Supp. 2d 1054, 1055-56 (D. 5 Or. 2000) (concluding that the patient waived the psychotherapist-patient privilege when 6 he submitted records to the Veterans Administration in support of his claim for benefits). 7 The EEOC makes an even weaker argument with respect to Mr. Ivanov’s other 8 former employers. At most, the EEOC speculates that “Mr. Ivanov might . . . have been 9 a client of Puget Sound Regional Services in addition to an employee,” and that he 10 “might have been a client of Catholic Community Services of Washington.” (EEOC 11 Mot. at 9-10.) The EEOC’s mere speculation that Mr. Ivanov may have been a client of 12 these entities does not meet its burden of establishing that (1) Mr. Ivanov communicated 13 with a licensed therapist, (2) his communications with the licensed therapist were 14 confidential, and (3) the communications were made during the course of diagnosis or 15 treatment. 11 See Romo, 413 F.3d at 1047. The court concludes that the EEOC may not 16 object on grounds of the psychotherapist-patient privilege to Defendants’ third-party 17 subpoenas or discovery requests related to Mr. Ivanov’s job history. 18 // 19 // 20 11 21 22 Further, after the EEOC filed its motion to quash, Defendants confirmed that Mr. Ivanov has never received social services from Puget Sound Regional Services. (7/31/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 6, Ex. 3.) The EEOC has not submitted any argument or evidence to the contrary. (See EEOC Reply (Dkt. # 32); see generally Ivanov Decl.) ORDER - 15 1 2 B. Privacy Interest in Medical Records The EEOC also objects to Defendants’ discovery requests concerning Mr. 3 Ivanov’s medical or mental health on the basis of Mr. Ivanov’s privacy interest in his 4 medical records and to Defendants’ third-party subpoenas to Mr. Ivanov’s former 5 employers on the same ground. (EEOC Resp. at 7-8; EEOC Mot. at 7-8.) 6 First, the court notes that under federal law, there is no physician-patient privilege 7 protecting medical records from discovery. In re Grand Jury Proceedings, 867 F. 2d 8 562, 564 (9th Cir.1989) (noting the Ninth Circuit’s refusal to adopt a physician-patient 9 privilege), abrogated on other grounds by Jaffee v. Redmond, 518 U.S. 1 (1996); In re 10 Grand Jury Proceedings, 801 F.2d 1164, 1169 (9th Cir. 1986) (citing Whalen v. Roe, 429 11 U.S. 589, 602 n.28 (1997) (“The physician-patient evidentiary privilege is unknown to 12 the common law.”)); Gilbreath v. Guadalupe Hosp. Found., Inc., 5 F.3d 785, 791 (5th 13 Cir. 1993). Further, although the Supreme Court addressed whether the Constitution 14 protects medical privacy in Whalen, 429 U.S. at 605-06, it “has never so held,” Seaton v. 15 Mayberg, 610 F.3d 530, 536-37 (9th Cir. 2010). 16 Nevertheless, the Ninth Circuit has recognized a constitutional right to the privacy 17 of medical information in a variety of contexts. Id. at 537-38 (citing cases) (“We have 18 recognized a constitutional right to privacy of medical information that Whalen did not, 19 but in contexts different from this case.”). Yet, the right to privacy in medical records 20 that the Ninth Circuit has recognized is not absolute. Id. at 538. Indeed, “privacy rights 21 can be waived.” Thomas v. Carrasco, No. 1:04-CV-05793-MJS PC, 2010 WL 4024930, 22 at *3 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 13, 2010), aff’d, 474 F. App’x 692 (9th Cir. 2012) (citing Doe v. ORDER - 16 1 Marsh, 105 F.3d 106, 111 (2d Cir. 1997) (holding that the plaintiff waived his right to 2 privacy by entering into a settlement agreement that he knew would become a matter of 3 public record)). 4 The Ninth Circuit has yet to address medical privacy rights in the context of a 5 discovery dispute involving a disability or failure to accommodate claim under the ADA, 6 but multiple district courts have held that the right to privacy of medical records is 7 waived when the plaintiff’s medical condition is “at issue” in a lawsuit. See id. (citing 8 Doe v. Marsh, 918 F. Supp. 580, 585 (N.D.N.Y. 1996) and other cases); see also Larson 9 v. Bailiff, No. 13cv2790 BAS(JLB), 2015 WL 4425660, at *5 (S.D. Cal. July 15, 2015) 10 (ruling that by placing his physical health at issue, the plaintiff waived any privacy right 11 in his medical records); Frye v. Ayers, No. CIVS990628LKKKJM, 2009 WL 1312924, at 12 *2 (E.D. Cal. May 12, 2009) (“By making these claims [which placed his medical 13 condition at issue], petitioner waived his privacy rights in his medical records.”); Barnes 14 v. Glennon, No. 9:05–CV–0153 (LEK/RFT), 2006 WL 2811821, at *4 (N.D.N.Y. Sept. 15 28, 2006) (ruling that the release of the plaintiff’s medical records “did not violate 16 Plaintiff's constitutional right to privacy since medical conditions were at the heart of the 17 argument presented by Plaintiff in his habeas corpus petition”); Ferrell v. Glen-Gery 18 Brick, 678 F. Supp. 111, 112-13 (E.D. Pa. 1987) (“[W]hen a party places his or her 19 physical or mental condition in issue, the privacy right is waived”). 20 Here, Mr. Ivanov has placed his medical condition at issue. The EEOC argues 21 that if Defendants had provided Mr. Ivanov with closed-captioned training or an ASL 22 interpreter, he would have arrived at work on time, understood Defendants’ written ORDER - 17 1 instructions regarding scheduling, and complied with Defendants’ work schedules. (See 2 EEOC Mot. at 2-3; see also generally FAC.) However, the argument that a certain 3 disability limited Mr. Ivanov’s ability to follow attendance policies goes directly to his 4 entire capacity to understand the schedules and arrive on time. As Defendants point out, 5 evidence that Mr. Ivanov violated Defendants’ attendance policies due to another 6 disability—such as dyslexia, for example, which could limit his ability to understand 7 written schedules or instructions—would be relevant to the EEOC’s failure to 8 accommodate claim. (Def. Resp. (Dkt. # 26) at 6 (citing Kelley v. Amazon.com, Inc., No. 9 12-CV-5132-TOR, 2013 WL 6119229, at *6 (E.D. Wash. Nov. 21, 2013) (“Given that 10 Plaintiff did not specifically advise [her employer] of a possible connection between her 11 deficient performance and her disabilities, [her employer] was not required to 12 accommodate Plaintiff as a matter of law.”) and Kubie v. Target Corp., No. 13 CIVA09CV00669ZlWKMT, 2009 WL 5216943, at *4 (D. Colo. Dec. 30, 2009) (ruling 14 that the defendant is entitled to production of the plaintiff’s medical records that 15 “contain[ed] substantial evidence that . . . [the plaintiff] was suffering from conditions 16 wholly unrelated to [the alleged disability]—conditions which . . . could have had an 17 impact on his work attendance”).) 18 In discovery materials that the EEOC already produced to Defendants, Mr. Ivanov 19 refers to discussions with Defendants’ managers where he mentioned unspecified health 20 issues that allegedly prevented him from working full time. (See 7/20/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 5, 21 Ex. C; see also 7/31/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 9, Ex. 5.) In addition, the EEOC has produced a 22 partially redacted document indicating that Mr. Ivanov may have informed the EEOC, in ORDER - 18 1 connection with his employment by Defendants, of a disability or disabilities other than 2 hearing impairment. (See 7/20/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 5, Ex. D.) Defendants are entitled to 3 discover what those health issues or other disabilities are and whether they affected Mr. 4 Ivanov’s ability to show up for work timely and adhere to Defendants’ work schedule. 5 Accordingly, the court concludes that Mr. Ivanov has waived any privacy interest in his 6 medical records related to his hearing impairment or any other disability. These records 7 are relevant, Mr. Ivanov has waived his privacy interest in them, and the EEOC must 8 produce them. 12 9 For the same reasons, the court concludes that EEOC has no basis for objecting to 10 Defendants’ third-party subpoenas to Mr. Ivanov’s former employers based on any 11 privacy interest in Mr. Ivanov’s medical records. As discussed above, to the extent Mr. 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 12 Although the parties’ briefing is unclear, evidence of other disabilities may be contained within Mr. Ivanov’s mental health records as well. For example, the EEOC partially redacted documents based on the psychotherapist-patient privilege indicating that Mr. Ivanov informed the EEOC, in connection with his employment by Defendants, of a disability or disabilities other than hearing impairment. (See 7/20/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 5, Exs. C, D, and E (attaching privilege log).) Mr. Ivanov’s claim for garden variety emotional distress damages did not waive his psychotherapist-patient privilege with respect to his mental health records. See supra § III.A. However, if his mental health records contain evidence concerning other disabilities, then the psychotherapist-patient privilege is waived, and Mr. Ivanov must produce records from his mental health practitioners. By asserting a claim for failure to accommodate a disability under the ADA, Mr. Ivanov has placed these records at issue if they contain evidence of diagnosis or treatment of an undisclosed disability. Sarko v. Penn-Del Directory Co., 170 F.R.D. 127, 130 (E.D. Pa. 1997) (ruling that the plaintiff in an ADA case who alleged defendant did not accommodate her clinical depression waived psychotherapist-patient privilege); Anderson v. Georgia-Pac. Wood Prod., LLC, No. 2:11CV110-MEF, 2012 WL 2998344, at *4 (M.D. Ala. July 23, 2012) (ruling that the plaintiff waived the psychotherapist-patient privilege in the ADA case because “alleging disability discrimination and retaliatory discharge inherently places at issue the nature and extent of his employment disability, as well as his ability to perform the essential functions of his job if provided accommodations for his chronic lung disease.”). ORDER - 19 1 Ivanov provided medical records to his former employers that relate to his hearing 2 impairment or any other disability, those records are relevant and Mr. Ivanov has waived 3 his privacy interest by asserting a claim for failure to accommodate under the ADA. In 4 addition, Mr. Ivanov also waived any privacy interest in the medical records he disclosed 5 to his former employers, who are third-parties to the relationship he has with his medical 6 providers. Gooden v. Carson, No. 2:05-CV-46-WCO, 2006 WL 1209923, at *7 (N.D. 7 Ga. Apr. 26, 2006) (finding that the “plaintiff’s own disclosure of the fact that his drug 8 test was positive shows that he cannot establish that he had a legitimate expectation of 9 privacy in this information”). 13 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 13 The EEOC also objected to Defendants’ third-party subpoenas on grounds of irrelevance, overbreadth, and proportionality. (See EEOC Mot. at 9-10.) The EEOC lacks standing to object to the subpoenas on these grounds. See Ford Glob. Techs., LLC v. New World Int’l, Inc., No. C15-1329JLR, 2015 WL 6507151, at *3 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 27, 2015) (ruling that if the subpoenaed non-party has not objected, the defendants lack standing to quash or modify a third-party subpoena on grounds of overbreadth or irrelevance); Rankine v. Roller Bearing Co. of Am., No. 12CV2065–IEG BLM, 2013 WL 3992963, at *4 (S.D. Cal. Aug. 5, 2013) (citing Wells Fargo & Co. v. ABD Ins., No. C 12-03856 PJH (DMR), 2012 WL 6115612, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 10, 2012) (“A party’s objection that a subpoena to a non-party seeks irrelevant information or would impose an undue burden are not grounds on which a party has standing to move to quash a subpoena when the non-party has not objected.”)); Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(d)(3). In addition, the EEOC objects to the production of these records based on Federal Rule of Evidence 404(a). (EEOC Mot. at 11.) This issue goes to admissibility of the records at trial and not to their discoverability. Caballero v. Bodega Latina Corp., No. 217CV00236JADVCF, 2017 WL 3174931, at *9 (D. Nev. July 25, 2017) (“Admissibility is different than discoverability.”); United States ex rel. Brown v. Celgene Corp., No. CV 10-3165 GHK (SS), 2016 WL 6542730, at *8 (C.D. Cal. June 29, 2016) (“[D]iscoverability, even following the amendment of the Federal Rules in December 2015, and admissibility are separate inquiries.”); Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b) (“Information within the scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.”). The court declines to rule on admissibility at this stage of the proceedings. Accordingly, the EEOC’s “only cognizable basis for quashing the [s]ubpeona[s] are that [they] seek[] privileged and/or confidential information.” Ford Glob. Techs., 2015 WL 6507151, at *3 (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(d)(3) and Rankine, 2013 WL 3992963, at *4). Nevertheless, as described in Section III.D., the court limits the breadth of the subpoenas. See infra § III.D.; see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(2)(C) (“On motion or on its own, the court must limit the . . . extent of ORDER - 20 1 C. 2 RFA No. 7 In its response to Defendants’ RFA No. 7, the EEOC refused to admit or deny 3 whether it “claim[s] that [Mr. Ivanov] had any disability or impairment other than 4 deafness or hearing impairment during his employment with Defendants” (7/20/17 Hoag 5 Decl. ¶ 3, Ex. B (RFA No. 7) at 9), and the EEOC continues to refuse to affirmatively 6 state whether hearing impairment was Mr. Ivanov’s only disability during his 7 employment with Defendants (id. ¶ 10, Ex. H). 8 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 36(a)(4) provides, in pertinent part: “If a matter is 9 not admitted, the answer must specifically deny it or state in detail why the answering 10 party cannot truthfully admit or deny it.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 36(a)(4). Further, “[a] denial 11 must fairly respond to the substance of the matter.” Id. The EEOC’s response to 12 Defendants’ RFA No. 7—which does not admit, deny, or state why the EEOC cannot 13 truthfully admit or deny—does not “fairly respond[s] to the substance of the matter” and 14 violates this rule. See id. 15 As discussed above, the EEOC has produced evidence indicating that Mr. Ivanov 16 may be suffering from another disability other than impaired hearing. (See 7/31/17 Hoag 17 Decl. ¶ 9, Ex. 5; 7/20/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 5, Ex. C, D.) The court has already ruled that this 18 evidence is relevant and Mr. Ivanov has waived any psychotherapist-patient privilege or 19 medical privacy interest. (See supra §§ III.A, III.B.) Accordingly, the court orders the 20 // 21 22 discovery . . . if it determines that . . . the proposed discovery is outside the scope permitted by Rule 26(b)(1).”). ORDER - 21 1 EEOC to appropriately either admit or deny Defendants’ RFA No. 7 in accord with 2 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 36(a)(4). 3 D. 4 Mr. Ivanov’s Employment Records The EEOC objected to the production of records in its possession related to Mr. 5 Ivanov’s past employment on grounds of Mr. Ivanov’s psychotherapist-patient privilege 6 and the privacy interest in his medical records. (7/20/17 Hoag Decl. Ex. G (Int. Nos. 2, 7 11; RFP Nos. 1, 9).) The court has already addressed these issues and ruled that the 8 privilege and privacy interest are not proper objections to producing these documents. 9 See supra §§ III.A., B. 10 The EEOC, however, also objects to producing records from Mr. Ivanov’s former 11 employers—other than those “that relate to a request for an accommodation of his 12 hearing impairment”—on grounds of relevance, overbreadth, and proportionality. 13 (7/20/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 9, Ex. G (Int. Nos. 2, 11, RFP Nos. 1, 9).) As Defendants point 14 out, the EEOC’s unilateral limitation excludes documents that relate to Mr. Ivanov’s 15 performance, attendance, and discipline. (Def. Mot. at 4.) The scope of relevant 16 documents is not so limited. The EEOC’s failure to accommodate claim requires the 17 EEOC to show the Mr. Ivanov “required an accommodation to perform the essential 18 functions of his job on equal terms with nondisabled employees” and to establish that Mr. 19 Ivanov is qualified for the job and capable of performing it with reasonable 20 accommodation. McDaniels v. Grp. Health Co-op., 57 F. Supp. 3d 1300, 1314 (W.D. 21 Wash. 2014). Likewise, the discrimination and retaliation claims raise the issue of 22 whether Defendants’ reason for terminating Mr. Ivanov—his poor attendance and ORDER - 22 1 attitude—was pretextual. See Hernandez v. Hughes Missile Sys. Co., 362 F.3d 564, 568 2 (9th Cir. 2004). Records or documents related to Mr. Ivanov’s employment history, such 3 as descriptions of jobs he held, representations in his job applications, his past attendance, 4 his performance and disciplinary records, recorded communications with his managers or 5 co-workers, and all documents related to accommodations may contain information 6 relevant to those issues. Numerous courts have found such documents to be relevant. 7 See, e.g., Levitin v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., No. 2:12-CV-34, 2012 WL 6552814, at *3 8 (S.D. Ohio Dec. 14, 2012) (“[R]ecords reflecting Plaintiff’s performance reviews, 9 evaluations, complaints, and reasons for termination [from his former employers] fall 10 within the scope of permissible discovery [in a case involving a retaliation claim]. Such 11 records could bear on . . . the credibility of Plaintiff’s allegations relating to his 12 performance, his qualifications, and the legitimacy of Defendant’s proffered bases for the 13 performance ratings it assigned to Plaintiff.” (citing cases)). 14 The EEOC asserts that Defendants’ request for records from Mr. Ivanov’s former 15 employers is not “proportional to the needs of the case” under Federal Rule of Civil 16 Procedure 26 because he requests only an estimated $480.00 in back pay. (EEOC Mot. at 17 11.) Defendants’ request for records related to Mr. Ivanov’s former employment, 18 however, is not directed at the issue of back pay or reinstatement. (See Def. Resp. at 10.) 19 Rather, these requests are directed at discovering information relevant to Mr. Ivanov’s 20 claims and Defendants’ defenses. Mr. Ivanov alleges hearing impairment (see FAC ¶ 15 21 (“[Mr. Ivanov] was born deaf.”)), and as already discussed, there is evidence that Mr. 22 Ivanov may have a second disability of unknown type (see 7/20/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 5, Ex. ORDER - 23 1 C; see also 7/31/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 9, Ex. 5). How Mr. Ivanov engaged with his former 2 employers concerning his hearing impairment and any other disability is relevant and 3 proportional to this ADA case. 4 Defendants’ requests for production of documents concerning Mr. Ivanov’s former 5 employers and third-party subpoenas to Mr. Ivanov’s former employers, however, are 6 overbroad in two respects. First, Defendants have not limited their subpoenas to and 7 requests for production of documents concerning Mr. Ivanov’s former employers to just 8 employment records. (EEOC Mot. at 9-10.) Mr. Ivanov was not only an employee of 9 Aloha Inn, but a resident as well. (Ivanov Decl. ¶ 3.) Mr. Ivanov’s other former 10 employers also provide social services. (7/20/17 Lee Decl. ¶¶ 10, 16.) Defendants have 11 failed to make any showing that documents concerning Mr. Ivanov that may be in the 12 possession of his former employers and that relate to solely to the provision of social 13 services—and not Mr. Ivanov’s employment—are relevant and proportional to this case. 14 Further, some of Defendants’ requests for employment records extend beyond ten 15 years. (Id. ¶ 3, Ex. A at 49 (RFP No. 14 extending back to 2005).) The court finds that 16 discovery requests for employment information or records extending more than ten years 17 in the past are not proportional to the needs of the case. See, e.g., Levitin, 2012 WL 18 6552814, at *4 (agreeing that the defendant’s offered temporal limit of ten years on 19 subpoenas to the plaintiff’s former employers was reasonable). The court therefore limits 20 Defendants’ discovery requests concerning employment records and third-party 21 subpoenas to Mr. Ivanov’s former employers to the past ten years. 22 // ORDER - 24 1 E. 2 Defendants’ Request for Attorney’s Fees Defendants request the fees they incurred in opposing the EEOC’s motion to 3 quash as sanctions for bringing an improvident motion. (Def. Resp. at 10-11.) “If the 4 motion is granted in part and denied in part, the court . . . may, after giving an 5 opportunity to be heard, apportion the reasonable expenses for the motion.” Fed. R. Civ. 6 P. 37(a)(5)(C). After ruling on this motion, and in light of the discretion granted by the 7 Rule’s language, the court orders that the parties bear their own attorney’s fees and costs 8 incurred in bringing this motion. Accordingly, the court denies Defendants’ request for 9 attorney’s fees. 10 F. Summary of Rulings Concerning Defendants’ Discovery Requests and ThirdParty Subpoenas 11 Because neither the psychotherapist-patient privilege, see supra § III.A., nor any 12 privilege based on Mr. Ivanov’s privacy interest in his medical records, see supra 13 § III.B., applies to (1) the information and records Defendants request in their third-party 14 subpoenas to Mr. Ivanov’s former employers or (2) Defendants’ discovery requests 15 regarding Mr. Ivanov’s former employers, the court denies the EEOC’s motion to quash 16 the subpoenas entirely and grants in part Defendants’ motion to compel responses to its 17 discovery requests concerning Mr. Ivanov’s employment history. The court, however, 18 limits Defendants’ third-party subpoenas and employment-related discovery requests to 19 employment records from the past ten years and excludes records related solely to social 20 // 21 // 22 ORDER - 25 1 services that Mr. Ivanov’s former employers may have provided him. 2 The court also grants in part Defendants’ motion to compel concerning 3 Defendants’ discovery requests related to Mr. Ivanov’s medical records. The EEOC must 4 respond to Defendants’ discovery requests on this topic but only as those records relate to 5 either Mr. Ivanov’s hearing impairment or any other condition that constitutes a disability 6 from January 1, 2010, to the present. 14 To the extent evidence of a condition that 7 constitutes a disability from January 1, 2010, to the present, is contained within Mr. 8 Ivanov’s mental health records, the EEOC must produce those records as well. See supra 9 § III.B., n.10. 10 The EEOC must provide the names, business addresses, and phone numbers, for 11 Mr. Ivanov’s psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and counselors, along with Mr. 12 Ivanov’s dates of treatment, but only back to January 1, 2010, as Defendants request in 13 Interrogatory No. 2, rather than back as far as 2007, as Defendants request in 14 Interrogatory No. 11. (See 7/20/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 3, Ex. A at 4, 36.) 15 In addition, the EEOC must remove redactions from internal EEOC documents it 16 produced to Defendants based on Mr. Ivanov’s psychotherapist-patient privilege or his 17 interest in medical privacy because these objections do not apply. (See 7/20/17 Hoag 18 Decl. ¶ 5, Exs. C, D); see supra §§ III.A., B. 19 // 20 // 21 22 14 The court limits these requests to January 1, 2010, to the present because this is the period of time to which Defendants refer in Interrogatory No. 2. (See 7/20/17 Hoag Decl. ¶ 3, Ex. A at 4.) ORDER - 26 1 2 Finally, the EEOC must either admit or deny Defendants’ RFA No. 7 in accord with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 36(a)(4). 3 4 IV. CONCLUSION Based on the foregoing analysis, the court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part 5 Defendants’ motion to compel (Dkt. # 22) and GRANTS in part and DENIES in part the 6 EEOC’s motion to quash Defendants’ third-party subpoenas (Dkt # 24). The court 7 DENIES Defendants’ request for attorney’s fees. The EEOC shall complete its responses 8 to Defendants’ requests for production, interrogatories, and requests for admission in 9 accord with the court’s rulings herein within 10 days of the filing of this order. 10 Dated this 6th day of September, 2017. 11 12 A 13 JAMES L. ROBART United States District Judge 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 ORDER - 27

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?