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Stewart v. Credit One Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, D. Kansas

August 11, 2017

LUCRETIA L. STEWART, Plaintiff,
v.
CREDIT ONE BANK, N.A., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER ON MOTION TO COMPEL

          KENNETH G. GALE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Now before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Compel. (Doc. 43.) For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion is GRANTED.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff brings the present action alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq. (“FCRA”). Plaintiff contends that Defendant Credit One Bank, N.A. (“Defendant”) “willfully or negligently, violated” the FCRA “by failing to respond to reinvestigation requests and failing to supply accurate and truthful information.” (Doc. 1-1, at ¶ 27.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant “knew or should have known that its reporting and activities would (and will) damage Plaintiff and ability to enjoy life and utilize the credit rating and reputation property rights secured by honoring obligations to all of creditors.” (Id., at ¶ 31.)

         After Plaintiff served the discovery requests at issue, the parties engaged in various “meet & confer” efforts, as well as an informal telephone conference with the Court, which occurred on July 6, 2017. (Doc. 44, at 3.) Plaintiff filed the present motion on July 10, 2017, which Plaintiff asserts “reflects a narrowing of the originally propounded discovery requests . . . .” (Id.) Defendant's response in opposition followed on July 24, 2017. (Doc. 48.) A week after filing its responsive brief, Defendant provided Plaintiff with an additional production of documents, which Plaintiff argues in her reply brief was “insufficient.” (See Doc. 51, at 1.)

         Plaintiff's motion relates to Defendant's responses to Requests for Production Nos. 7, 10, and 13. (Doc. 43-1.) The Court will address each request in turn. Because neither party included Defendant's written discovery responses or supplemental discovery responses as exhibits to their briefing, the Court must merely rely on whatever arguments are made in the parties' briefs.

         DISCUSSION

         Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b) states that

[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at state in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant information, the parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.

         As such, the requested information must be nonprivileged, relevant, and proportional to the needs of the case to be discoverable. Within this framework, the Court will review the contested discovery responses.

         A. Employee Training Policies & Procedures (Request No. 7).

         Plaintiff's Request for Production No. 7 sought “documents regarding Credit One's training and evaluation of personnel who handle or process consumer disputes or requests for reinvestigation, including how often such personnel receive such training, and are evaluated.” (Doc. 43-1, at 4.) As a result of the “meet & confer” process, this request was initially narrowed to “documents regarding the training, evaluation, and job descriptions of the personnel who respond to FCRA consumer disputes/ACDVs received from consumer reporting agencies.” (Doc. 44, at 9.)

         Defendant's brief in opposition argued that Plaintiff failed to provide “authority to suggest that ‘how well trained and experienced [Defendant's] employees are, or how Defendant evaluates the performance of its consumer investigation personnel' is within the scope of evidence that could support a claim of a willful violation . . . .” (Doc. 48, at 4.) Defendant also argues that the request “is not narrowly tailored or proportional to the needs of the case” because it seeks information on all personnel who respond to any FCRA disputes, “rather than only the dispute at issue in this case.” (Id.)

         Defendant's recent supplemental production included “an additional portion of its FCRA dispute resolution manual, and also produced a list of job descriptions for various customer support specialist positions, which Plaintiff assumes would be the individuals responsible for responding to FCRA consumer disputes and ACDVs received by Defendant from the credit reporting agencies.” (Doc. 51, at 2.) Plaintiff now contends that “[l]acking from Defendant's supplemental production, however, is documentation relating to how those employees' performance was evaluated or graded.” (Id. (emphasis added).) Based on the arguments contained in ...


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