United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
ARNOLD SANS ONE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to
Compel Defendants to Produce Documents in Response to
Plaintiff's First Request for Production (Doc. 54),
Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Defendants to Fully Answer
Plaintiff's First Set of Interrogatories (Doc. 55), and
Defendants' responses in opposition thereto (Docs. 58,
Christopher Orloski filed this action against Defendants
Vincent House, Van Gogh's Palette, Inc., Ligia Gomez,
William McKeever, and Elliott Steele, alleging violations of
the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12112,
et seq (“ADA”) and the Rehabilitation Act of
1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794 for denying his membership
application to Vincent House, a nonprofit organization. (Doc.
instant motions, Plaintiff requests that the Court compel
Defendants to provide better responses to certain requests
for production of documents and interrogatories. (Docs. 54,
55). Defendants filed responses in opposition to
Plaintiff's motions, wherein Defendants assert that they
oppose certain discovery requests as well as aver that proper
responses to a number of requests have since been provided.
(Doc. 58, 61). This matter was scheduled for oral argument to
take place on October 24, 2017. (Doc. 63). Prior to the
hearing, Defendants hired new counsel, who then requested
(with the agreement of Plaintiff) that the hearing be
cancelled so that Defendants could have “a chance to
meaningfully meet and confer with Plaintiff to narrow the
issues.” (Docs.70, 72). The Court cancelled the
hearing, and directed that the parties confer and advise the
Court of the status of the motions. (Doc. 74). Thereafter,
Defendants notified the Court that they had resolved several
disputed discovery requests, but others remained unresolved.
(Doc. 76). The Court will address the motions to compel as to
the remaining, unresolved discovery requests
to compel discovery are committed to the sound discretion of
the trial court. See Commercial Union Ins. Co.
v. Westrope, 730 F.2d 729, 731 (11th Cir. 1984). Rule
26(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs the
scope of discovery. That rule provides, in relevant part,
[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 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.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). Here, the following discovery
requests and responses are still at issue: Plaintiff's
First Request for Production No. 1, and Plaintiff's First
Set of Interrogatories Nos. 1-3, 5, and 7.
Request for Production
Request for Production No. 1:
Copies of Van Gogh's Palette, Inc. Annual Reports with
all financials of the organization, fiscal years 2007 through
2017, with a comprehensive estimated budget for 2017.
Response: Defendants object to this
request as it is overbroad and not limited to the relevant
time period. Defendants further objects as this request seeks
information that is not reasonably related to the claims or
defenses of either party. Plaintiff has filed a claim wherein
he appears to allege he was improperly denied membership into
Vincent House. Defendants are unsure how any information
regarding the financials and 2017 budget of Van Gogh's
Palette, Inc. will prove or disprove Plaintiff's
allegations in this matter.
(Doc. 54-2, p. 2). Section 794 of the Rehabilitation Act
prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with a
disability under any “program or activity receiving
Federal financial assistance.” 29 U.S.C. § 794(a).
Whether Defendants receive federal funding is relevant to
bringing an action under the Rehabilitation Act. However,
Plaintiff's request is overbroad. The relevant period is
in this action is from 2015, when Plaintiff submitted his
application to Vincent House, to the present.
addition, only documents that indicate whether Defendants
receive federal funding are relevant to this action. Thus,
Plaintiff's motion to compel is granted only to the
extent that it seeks financial documentation indicating
whether Defendants have received federal funding for Vincent
House from the year 2015 to the present. This information, if
it exists, shall ...