United States District Court, D. Kansas
RANDALL A. and AMY L. SCHNEIDER, Plaintiffs,
CITIMORTGAGE, INC., et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
GARY SEBELIUS, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter comes before the court upon plaintiffs' Motion for
Finding of Violation of Rule 30(b)(6)(ECF No. 419).
Plaintiffs contend that Citigroup. Inc.'s
(“Citigroup's”) designee as a corporate
representative under Fed. R. Civ. 30(b)(6) was unprepared for
the deposition that occurred on June 13, 2017. For the
following reasons, this motion is denied.
Randall A. Schneider and Amy L. Schneider, bring claims
against defendants, CitiMortgage, Inc.
(“CitiMortage”); Citibank, National Association
(“Citibank”); Citigroup; and Primerica Financial
Services Home Mortgages, Inc. (“Primerica”), for
breach of contract and for violations of the Kansas Consumer
Protection Act. The claims involve defendants' alleged
misconduct in handling the Schneiders' residential
mortgage loan, and their 2010 loan refinance. The Schneiders
allege that they were wrongfully assessed overcharges and
fees and they were denied a loan refinance for which they
court has previously detailed the difficulties in discovery
in this case. The court will only address the problems that
relate to the instant deposition. In August 2014, plaintiffs
served their Rule 30(b)(6) notices. The defendants responded
with a motion to quash the deposition notices. On September 29,
2014, the court conducted a telephone conference on this
motion and other matters in the case. As a result of the
telephone conference, plaintiffs agreed to withdraw the Rule
30(b)(6) notices. The court then denied the motion to quash
as moot. On March 12, 2015, plaintiffs again filed
Rule 30(b)(6) notices. Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Conference
to address the disputes concerning the Rule 30(b)(6)
topics. Defendants then filed another motion for
protective order and/or to quash plaintiffs' deposition
notices. Defendants again raised issues of
overbreadth, undue burden and relevance.
January 28, 2016, the court denied plaintiffs' motion for
conference, finding that a telephone conference would not aid
the parties. In ruling on that motion, the court noted
that “[t]hroughout this litigation the parties have
failed to cooperatively resolve
disputes.” The court directed the parties to resolve
their disputes about plaintiffs' topics with some
additional guidance provided in the order. The court ordered
plaintiffs to file corrected Rule 30(b)(6) notices that
complied with the court's directives by February 22,
2016. The court directed plaintiffs to narrowly
tailor their topics to comply with the “reasonable
particularity” requirements of Rule
30(b)(6). The court also found that
plaintiffs' notice violated the court's prior orders
to limit discovery to the claims still at issue in the
case. The court noted that if the defendants
still sought a protective order after the plaintiffs'
renewed notice, the parties were to confer and promptly seek
to resolve their dispute. The court stated:
Only after the parties have conducted this second, good-faith
discussion will the court consider any additional motion on
the issue. If briefing is necessary, the defendants shall
list the topics for which they seek a protective order by
number. Then for each topic they shall be required to show
good cause why the court should issue a protective order
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c)'s enumerated
categories: annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue
burden or expense.
were held by the parties after the court's order of
January 28, 2016. The parties conferred in excess of six
hours in conferences on February 22, 2016, and March 2, 2016.
After the first conference, plaintiffs provided a revised
list, which the parties discussed at the second conference.
On March 3, 2016, plaintiffs served another list of topics
which included a number of new topics.
April 7, 2016, plaintiff filed a notice to take the
Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(b)(6) deposition of Citigroup's corporate
designee on April 25, 2016. The notice listed 20 topics
for examination. On April 22, 2016, Citigroup filed a
motion for protective order and a motion to
quash. Citigroup sought protection from and to
quash certain topics in plaintiffs' notice. On May 9,
2016, the court stayed the case after the parties sought
mediation. Mediation occurred on June 23, 2016. On
July 6, 2016, the court was advised that the mediation was
October 31, 2016, the court granted Citigroup's motion in
part and denied it in part.The court quashed fourteen of
the topics designated in plaintiffs' notice. The court
denied Citigroup's motion concerning the following
topics: 10, 42rr, 43ss, 44tt, 45uu and 46vv. The court
directed the parties to complete the Rule 30(b)(6) deposition
by December 31, 2016. On November 14, 2016, plaintiffs
filed a motion to review. The parties then consented to an
extension of time to extend the Rule 30(b)(6) depositions. On
December 19, 2016, the court granted the extension and
allowed the parties until forty-five (45) days following a
ruling by the district court on the aforementioned motion for
review and other matters to complete the Rule 30(b)(6)
February 17, 2017, Judge Crow denied plaintiffs' motion
for review. Various problems again arose in the efforts to
schedule the deposition of Citigroup's
representative.Upon the motion of the parties, the court
allowed until May 31, 2017, to complete the
deposition. The deposition was subsequently
scheduled for May 30, 2017. The deadline was then extended
to June 15, 2017, upon motion of the parties. The
deposition was scheduled for June 13, 2017.
produced Jason Cramer as its Rule 30(b)(6) representative.
Mr. Cramer is a director of CitiMortgage. He reports to the
chief operating officer of CitiMortgage.
deposition proceeded on the following six topics:
10. The role and relationship of CitiGroup, Inc. to each
Defendant (CitiMortgage, CitiBank, f.k.a. CitiCorpTrust Bank,
Primerica) and CitiAssurance (the PWP administrator or the
a.k.a., American Health and Life Insurance Company) during
the time of the Schneider's 2007 loan or 2010 refinance.
42rr. Whether and, if so, what involvement Citigroup had in
the servicing of the Loan.
43ss. Whether and, if so, what involvement Citigroup had in
communicating with the Schneiders following their application
in or around May 2010 to refinance the Loan with Citibank.
44tt. Whether and, if so, what involvement Citigroup had in
evaluating the Schneiders' application in or around May
2010 to refinance the Loan with Citibank.
45uu. The corporate structure as between CitiMortgage,
Citibank, and Citigroup, and Primerica in 2007 through 2010.
46vv. All sources of direct and indirect revenue and total
amount of revenue anticipated to be received by Citigroup in
connection with the Schneiders' initial refinance loan
application to Citibank in or around May 2010, if the
application had been approved, and the percentage of income
to be derived from the approved application.
their motion, plaintiffs raise a variety of arguments.
Plaintiffs suggest that Mr. Cramer was not prepared to
address “many” of the topics. They further
suggest that he was not provided with sufficient information
to answer their questions and, in some cases, was simply
“guessing” at the answers. Finally, they contend
that “much” of what Mr. ...