United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. JAMES, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Relator's Motion to Compel
Production of Responses to Relator's Fifth Requests for
Production to Defendant (ECF No. 239). Pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 37 and D. Kan. Rules 37.1 and 37.2,
Plaintiff asks the Court to order Defendant Lawrence Memorial
Hospital to withdraw its objections to RFP Nos. 69, 70, 72,
and 73 and provide all responsive documents. Defendant
opposes the motion. As set forth below, Plaintiff's
motion is granted.
served her Fifth Request for Production of Documents on July
28, 2017. On August 28, 2017, Defendant objected and
responded to the RFPs. Plaintiff's counsel sent a golden rule
letter on September 13, 2017, pointing out alleged
deficiencies in Defendant's responses and improprieties
with Defendant's objections. The parties conferred by
telephone on September 15, 2017 and exchanged letters
following the telephone conference. On the day Plaintiff
filed the instant motion (which was also the deadline to do
so), defense counsel sent an email informing Plaintiff's
counsel that Defendant was withdrawing three objections to
RFP No. 69. Two days after filing its response, Defendant
served supplemental responses to the RFPs in dispute, but the
only difference is that Defendant omitted the three
objections it had withdrawn to RFP No. 69.
on the parties' efforts, the Court finds they have
complied with the requirements of D. Kan. Rule 37.2. The
motion is ripe and the Court is prepared to rule on the
remaining disputes in Plaintiff's motion to compel.
Summary of the Parties' Arguments
challenges the propriety of Defendant's objections to
four document requests. The issues are largely similar to
those raised in earlier motions to compel, with one addition.
Defendant raises a new objection that three of the requests
are overbroad because they seek documents from 2007-2009.
According to Defendant, Plaintiff's allegations relate
only to Defendant's activities since 2010, making
Plaintiff entitled only to documents created in 2010 and
addresses Defendant's overbreadth objection by pointing
to language in the Second Amended Complaint which alleges
Defendant made false claims for Medicaid payments beginning
as early as 2007, thus justifying her request for documents
as of that time.
Whether the Discovery Sought is Relevant and
Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) sets out the general scope
of discovery and provides as follows:
Parties 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 stake 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.
is to be “construed broadly to encompass any matter
that bears on, or that reasonably could lead to other matter
that could bear on” any party's claim or
defense.Information still “need not be
admissible in evidence to be
discoverable.” When the discovery sought appears
relevant, the party resisting discovery has the burden to
establish the lack of relevancy by demonstrating that the
requested discovery (1) does not come within the scope of
relevancy as defined under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1), or (2) is
of such marginal relevancy that the potential harm occasioned
by discovery would outweigh the ordinary presumption in favor
of broad disclosure. Conversely, when the relevancy of the
discovery request is not readily apparent on its face, the
party seeking the discovery has the burden to show the
relevancy of the request. Relevancy determinations are generally
made on a case-by-case basis.
action, the Court finds that the relevancy of the discovery
called for by Plaintiff's Fifth Request for Production of
Documents is apparent on its face. The requests relate
directly to Plaintiff's allegations regarding Medicaid
payments. Although Defendant protests that Plaintiff has not
alleged Defendant is liable to any state Medicaid agency, the
Court previously demonstrated the fallacy of this
argument. The Court discusses below
Defendant's other objections, but with respect to
relevancy the Court overrules Defendant's objections to
RFP Nos. 72 and 73.
Specific Discovery Requests
Court considers the specific discovery requests and
objections not previously addressed.