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Nyanjom v. Hawker Beechcraft, Inc.

United States District Court, District of Kansas

February 20, 2014

HAROLD M. NYANJOM, Plaintiff,
v.
HAWKER BEECHCRAFT, INC., Defendant.

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

KENNETH G. GALE U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE

Now before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel seeking supplemental responses to various interrogatories and request for production. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff’s motion is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, who was born in 1968, was formerly employed by Defendant. That employment was terminated on June 1, 2011.

Plaintiff, who represents himself pro se, filed the present case in the Southern District of New York alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) by his former employer in the termination of his employment, failure to accommodate his alleged disability, unequal terms and conditions of employment, and retaliation. (See generally Doc. 2.) The case was transferred to the District of Kansas on December 11, 2012, because the alleged wrongful employment practices occurred in Wichita. (Doc. 7.)

Defendant filed its bankruptcy Petition in the Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York on May 3, 2012. Pursuant to the Order of that Court, all Proofs of Claims were required to be filed by September 14, 2012. (Doc. 29.) The “Stipulation and Agreed Order Modifying the Plan Injunction with Respect to Certain Former Employee Claimant” filed in the Bankruptcy Court on May 17, 2013, had the limited purpose of allowing Plaintiff to liquidate the claims then pending in the present case. (Doc. 29-1.) The stipulation does not authorize additional or new claims against Defendant. (Id.)

The Court recently entered a Memorandum & Order (Doc. 116) denying Plaintiff’s Motion to Amend Complaint (Doc. 64). As a result, Plaintiff’s claims are limited to discrimination and retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).

ANALYSIS

I. Standards for Motions to Compel.

Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b) states that “[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the claim or defense of any party . . . Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” As such, the requested information must be both nonprivileged and relevant to be discoverable.

“‘Discovery relevance is minimal relevance,’ which means it is possible and reasonably calculated that the request will lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” Teichgraeber v. Memorial Union Corp. of Emporia State University, 932 F.Supp. 1263, 1265 (D. Kan. 1996) (internal citation omitted). “Relevance is broadly construed at the discovery stage of the litigation and a request for discovery should be considered relevant if there is any possibility the information sought may be relevant to the subject matter of the action.” Smith v. MCI Telecommunications Corp., 137 F.R.D. 25, 27 (D.Kan.1991). Stated another way, “discovery should ordinarily be allowed unless it is clear that the information sought can have no possible bearing on the subject matter of the action.” Snowden By and Through Victor v. Connaught Lab., 137 F.R.D. 325, 341 (D.Kan.1991), appeal denied, 1991 WL 60514 (D.Kan. Mar. 29, 1991).

The scope of discovery is broad, but not unlimited. If the proponent has failed to specify how the information is relevant, the Court will not require the respondent to produce the evidence. Gheesling v. Chater, 162 F.R.D. 649 (D. Kan. 1995). Within this framework, the Court will address each of Plaintiff’s discovery requests at issue.

II. Specific Discovery Requests.

A. Interrogatories Nos. 5, 6, and ...


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