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Craig v. Kropp

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division

March 1, 2018

KATHRYN T. CRAIG and KOR ISLAND PROVISIONS, LLC, Plaintiffs,
v.
ROMAN KROPP, SHERRI KROPP and DYLAN KROPP, Defendants.

          ORDER

          CAROL MIRANDO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court upon review of Defendant's Motion to Compel Production Requested First Request for Production and Memorandum (Doc. 41). Defendant Roman Kropp seeks to compel Plaintiffs Kathryn T. Craig and KOR Island Provisions, LLC (“KOR”) to produce various financial documents, including tax returns, from January 1, 2011 or January 1, 2012 to July 6, 2017. Doc. 41. Plaintiffs oppose the requested relief. Doc. 42.

         On March 31, 2017, this case was removed from the Circuit Court for the Twentieth Judicial Circuit in and for Lee County, Florida. Doc. 1. Craig is the sole owner and manager of KOR, which she formed to own and operate a high-end retail furniture and furnishing store on Sanibel Island, Florida. Doc. 2 ¶¶ 1, 10. Craig met Kropp and his wife and son in 2010, who became her trusted friends and confidantes. Id. ¶¶ 9, 16-17. Kropp assisted with the operation of the furniture store, gained access to KOR's operating account and engaged in real estate transactions on behalf of KOR. Id. ¶¶ 11-14. In return, Kropp received monetary compensations and resided in the real property allegedly purchased for KOR on April 11, 2012 and located at 661 Cardium Street, Sanibel Island, Florida (“Property”) without paying any rent. Docs. 2 ¶¶ 14-15, 39 ¶ 75.

         Subsequently, Kropp on behalf of KOR managed a real estate project in Costa Rica. Doc. 2 ¶ 19. In 2016, Craig began to question Kropp's transparency in managing business on behalf of KOR, investigated into his transactions and allegedly found his acts of “treachery, ” including the purchase of the Property. Id. ¶¶ 20-21. Craig alleges Kropp used KOR's funds to purchase the Property for $325, 000, but wrongfully placed it under his name and later sold it for profit without her knowledge or consent. Id. ¶¶ 21(b)-(c). When Craig learned of this transaction and demanded the return of the funds realized by Kropp, he allegedly returned $320, 000 only. Id. ¶ 21(c). Based on various business transactions, including the sale of the Property, Craig brought eight claims against Kropp and his wife and son. Id. at 7-13.

         On June 15, 2017, the Court entered a Case Management and Scheduling Order, setting the discovery deadline to June 8, 2018, the mediation deadline to June 22, 2018, the deadline for dispositive motions to July 6, 2018 and a trial term to commence on November 5, 2018. Doc. 37 at 1-2. On July 6, 2017, Kropp served his First Request for Production to Plaintiffs to which Plaintiffs responded on August 7, 2018. Doc. 41 at 19-36. At issue here are Requests Nos. 21, 22, 23 and 24 and the following responses:

REQUEST 21: All tax returns or informational tax returns filed by KOR from January 1, 2012 through the date of this Request for Production.
RESPONSE: Plaintiffs object to Request No. 21, in that it is overly broad and seeks documents which are irrelevant, not designed to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, and which contain confidential private financial information which has no connection to the issues involving this case.
REQUEST 22: All tax returns filed by Craig from January 1, 2012 through the date of this Request for Production.
RESPONSE: Plaintiffs object to Request No. 22, in that it is overly broad and seeks documents which are irrelevant, not designed to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, and which contain confidential private financial information which has no connection to the issues involving this case.
REQUEST 23: All financial statements, balance sheets, profit and loss statements for Craig, and material, communications and documents relating thereto from January 1, 2012 through the date of this Request for Production.
RESPONSE: Plaintiffs object to Request No. 23, in that in that it is overly broad and seeks documents which are irrelevant, not designed to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, and which contain confidential private financial information which has no connection to the issues involving this case.
REQUEST 24: All material, communications and documents relating to disclosures and financial statements prepared by Craig in connection with her dissolution of marriage to Raymond Craig including any financial statement or disclosure made in connection with any modification of support or division of property from January 1, 2011 to the date of this Request for Production.
RESPONSE: Plaintiffs object to Request No. 24, in that it is overly broad, seeks documents which are irrelevant, not designed to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, protected by the work product and attorney/client privileges, and which contain confidential private financial ...

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