United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
B. SMITH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
case comes before the Court without a hearing on Plaintiff,
Local Access, LLC's Motion to Compel Discovery and for
Sanctions (Doc. 136). Defendant, Peerless Network, Inc. has
filed a response in opposition (Doc. 148). The motion is due
to be GRANTED in part and otherwise
December, Local Access filed its Amended Complaint (Doc. 86)
and, on January 12, 2018, Peerless filed its Answer,
Affirmative Defenses, and Counterclaims (Doc. 94). On January
26, 2018, Local Access served its Third Request for
Production to Peerless (Doc. 136-1 - “subject
requests”), seeking “the documents that Peerless
believes support the claims and defenses it asserted in its
Answer and Counterclaim” (Doc. 136 at 2). On February
26, 2018, Peerless served its response to the subject
requests (Doc. 136-2).
to the service of the response, the Court held a hearing on
numerous discovery motions filed by the parties (Doc. 131).
In a sealed Order, the Court, among other rulings, directed
Peerless to produce its invoices to all third party carriers
(not end user customers) from August 5, 2015 to the present
March 5, 2018, after the briefing on the instant motion and
subsequent to the discovery hearing, Local Access filed its
Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 135). This motion to compel
followed on March 12, 2018 (Doc. 136).
filed its Answer to Second Amended Complaint and Amended
Affirmative Defenses and Counterclaims on March 26, 2018
(Doc. 146), the same day that it responded to the motion to
compel (Doc. 148). Also on March 26, 2018, Peerless served
Amended Responses and Objections to Local Access's Third
Requests (“amended responses”) (Doc. 148-1) and,
it represents, provided additional documents (Doc. 148 at 3).
the motion asserts that Peerless has failed to produce a
single document in response to the subject requests (Doc. 136
at 2), Peerless contends that, with the exception of
privileged documents, it agreed to produce responsive
documents and has since produced a significant quantity of
those documents to Local Access (Doc. 148 at
1-3). Peerless also contends that some of Local
Access' requests have been mooted by amendments to the
pleadings and the service, on March 26, 2018, of the amended
response to the subject requests (Id., at 3, 18-19).
Noting these subsequent developments, I directed the filing
of a status report as to the motion (Doc. 160) and Plaintiff
responded that “[d]espite Peerless's arguments to
the contrary, Peerless has not complied with Local
Access's Third Set of Requests for Documents and has not
produced all of the documents which it represented to this
Court that it would or has produced” and, therefore,
the issues set forth in the motion to compel remain (Doc.
scope of discovery is well known:
Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of
discovery is 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
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). The rules “strongly favor
full discovery whenever possible.” Farnsworth v.
Procter & Gamble Co., 758 F.2d 1545, 1547 (11th Cir.
1985). That said, relevancy is key. “The discovery
process is designed to fully inform the parties of the
relevant facts involved in their case.” U.S. v.
Pepper's Steel & Alloys, Inc., 132 F.R.D. 695,
698 (S.D. Fla. 1990) (citing Hickman v. Taylor, 329
U.S. 495, 501 (1947)). “The overall purpose of
discovery under the Federal Rules is to require the
disclosure of all relevant information so that the ultimate
resolution of disputed issues in any civil action may be
based on a full and accurate understanding of the true facts,
and therefore embody a fair and just result.”
Oliver v. City of Orlando, No.
6:06-cv-1671-Orl-31DAB, 2007 WL 3232227, at * 1 (M.D. Fla.
Oct. 31, 2007) (citing United States v. Proctor
& Gamble Co., 356 U.S. 677, 682 (1958)).
“[R]equiring relevance to a claim or defense
‘signals to the court that it has the authority to
confine discovery to the claims and defenses asserted in the
pleadings, and signals to the parties that they have no
entitlement to discovery to develop new claims or defenses
that are not already identified in the pleadings.'”
Builders Flooring Connection, LLC v. Brown Chambless
Architects, No. 2:11CV373-MHT, 2014 WL 1765102, at *1
(M.D. Ala. May 1, 2014) (quoting GAP Report of Advisory
Committee to 2000 amendments to Rule 26). “As the
Advisory Committee Notes say, ‘[t]he Committee intends
that the parties and the court focus on the actual claims and
defenses involved in the action.'” Liese v.
Indian River Cty. Hosp. Dist., 701 F.3d 334, 355 (11th
Cir. 2012) (quoting the GAP Report).
can seek the production of information within the scope of
Rule 26(b). See Fed. R. Civ. P. 34. A party
objecting to a request for production must: (1) “state
with specificity the grounds for objecting to the request,
including the reasons;” (2) “state whether any
responsive materials are being withheld on the basis of that
objection;” and (3) “[a]n objection to part of a
request must specify the part and permit inspection of the
rest.” Rule 34(b)(2). The rules leave no place for
boilerplate style objections. Siddiq v. Saudi Arabian
Airlines Corp., No. 6:11-cv-69-Orl-19GJK, 2011 WL
6936485, at *3 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 7, 2011) (quoting
Milinazzo v. State Farm Ins. Co., 247 F.R.D. 691,
695 (S.D. Fla. 2007)).
Access takes issue with Peerless's responses to Requests
36-59 to the extent Peerless has objected based on: (1)
attorney-client or work product privilege; (2) overbreadth or
undue burden; (3) mootness due to the filing of amended
pleadings or production by other parties; and (4) withholding
of documents that it intends to use for impeachment purposes.
Local Access also asserts that Peerless's claim that
documents have already been produced is not a sufficient
response, unless Peerless identifies, by Bates number, which
produced documents relate to the particular requests.
response, Peerless stands by its objections, points to its
past production of documents and compliance with the Order at
hearing, and notes the ongoing nature of the production.
Peerless also argues that the Court previously ruled that it
did not need to identify which documents it was producing
that were responsive to each request. I treat each matter in
and work product
characterized by Local Access, the requests “seek[ ]
the documents that Peerless believes support the claims and
defenses it asserted in its Answer and ...