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Sergio L. Ramirez, On Behalf of Himself and All Others Similar v. Trans Union

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


March 13, 2013

SERGIO L. RAMIREZ, ON BEHALF OF HIMSELF AND ALL OTHERS SIMILAR SITUATED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TRANS UNION, LLC,
DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jacqueline Scott Corley United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER RE: JOINT DISCOVERY DISPUTE STATEMENT (Dkt. No. 66)

Now pending before the Court is the parties' Joint Statement Regarding a Discovery Dispute (Dkt. No. 66) wherein Plaintiff seeks to compel responses to written discovery and an 23 order directing certain depositions to occur. Having carefully considered the parties' written 24 submissions, and with the benefit of oral argument on March 13, 2013, the Court GRANTS 25 Plaintiff's motion in part and DENIES is it in part. 26 27 28 4 of the pending motions to dismiss and motion to disqualify counsel and for sanctions (Dkt. 5

Accordingly, the motion to stay is denied. 7

Plaintiff moves to compel four depositions -- those of Michael O'Connell, Colleen Gill, 9 and Bharat Acharya, and a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 10 30(a)(2)(A)(i) authorizes a party to take up to ten depositions as a matter of course. Plaintiff 11 has taken six depositions and noticed a total of thirteen depositions. Defendant objects as 12 agrees. At oral argument, Plaintiff identified that the aforementioned four depositions have 14 the highest priority. Accordingly, the parties shall work together to schedule these 15 depositions as soon as possible. To the extent Plaintiff believes he needs more than 10 16 depositions, he should seek leave from the Court pursuant to Rule 30. 17 Plaintiff seeks additional responses regarding interrogatories 2, 4, 5-12, and 15. These 19 interrogatories fall within two general categories: (1) those that seek discovery regarding 20 numerosity, and (2) those that seek information regarding the identities of unnamed class 21 members. Defendant objects to these interrogatories as overbroad and alleges that the 22 interrogatories impermissibly seek certain consumer information, including names and 23 addresses, which it cannot provide under Section 1681b of the FCRA and Section 1785.11 of 24 the CCRAA. 25 26 interrogatories seek total figures relevant to Plaintiff's proposed classes (see Dkt. No. 1, ¶¶ 27 79-81). Specifically, Plaintiff seeks information regarding the number of individuals for 28 whom Defendant sold a consumer report which included an Office of Foreign Asset Control

DISCUSSION

A.Defendant's Request to Stay All Discovery

Defendant requests that the Court stay all discovery in this action pending disposition Nos. 51 & 52.) As the Court stated at oral argument, it intends to deny both motions. 6

B.Depositions

Plaintiff has not sought leave of the court to exceed the ten deposition limit. The Court United States District Court Northern District of California

C.Interrogatories

With respect to the interrogatories regarding numerosity (nos. 5, 7, 9, and 11), the (OFAC) record in the United States or California, and to whom Defendant sent a file 2 disclosure such as the one sent to Plaintiff on February 28, 2011 from February 9, 2010. 3

(Dkt. No. 66-2, Interrogatories 5 & 7.) Plaintiff seeks similar information regarding 4 individuals with the first name "Sergio" and the last name "Ramirez." (Dkt. No. 66-2, 5

Interrogatories 9 & 11.) Defendant objects to providing this information as overly 6 burdensome because it would have to manually compare the records regarding those 7 consumers for whom a consumer report was sold against its records regarding consumers to 8 whom Defendant sent a file disclosure. Under the proportionality analysis called for by 9

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 the Court must weigh Plaintiff's need for this information 10 against the burden on Defendant of providing this discovery. Here, although Defendant has 11 asserted burden, it has not offered any evidence regarding the burden in terms of cost or 12 hours; indeed, at oral argument Defendant conceded it did not know how long it would take

to compile the requested information. Plaintiff, on the other hand, contends that this 14 information is crucial to establishing numerosity and identifying those class members most 15 similarly situated to Plaintiff. Given Plaintiff's need for this information and in the absence 16 of evidence regarding any specific burden, the Court grants Plaintiff's request to compel 17 responses to these interrogatories. 18

19 members. "While the putative class members have a legally protected interest in the privacy 20 of their contact information and a reasonable expectation of privacy the [contact] information 21 sought by Plaintiff is not particularly sensitive." Artis v. Deere & Co., No. 10-5289, 2011 22

WL 2580621, at *4 (N.D. Cal. Jun. 29, 2011); see also In re Autozone Wage & Hour Empl. 23 17, 2011) (finding that disclosure of names and addresses of putative class members was not 25 such an invasion of privacy as to warrant an opt-out procedure). The Court is not persuaded 26 by Defendant's argument that it is prohibited from providing this information by Section 27 1681b of the FCRA and Section 1785.11 of the CCRAA as those provisions allow production 28 of the information pursuant to a court order. Accordingly, Defendant shall provide names and Interrogatory Nos. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 seek information regarding absent class Practices Litig., No. 10-md-02159 , 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132973, at *4-5 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 24 addresses, but not telephone numbers, in response to these interrogatories. As discussed at 2 oral argument, Plaintiff must obtain advance permission from the Court prior to sending any 3 communication to the absent class members. 4

5 additional issue. It seeks "every communication and every person who, within the previous 6 five years contacted you to question or dispute the erroneous inclusion of an OFAC alter on 7 their consumer report." (Dkt. No. 66-2.) Defendant objects to the Interrogatory as overbroad 8 and failing to seek information relevant to this case as Plaintiff does not claim that Defendant 9 failed to properly handle his request to remove OFAC information. Plaintiff asserts this 10 information is relevant because these individuals interacted with Defendant in the same way 11 as Plaintiff, and "presumably received the same form letters." As was highlighted at oral 12 argument, there is a dispute as to what Plaintiff's experience with Defendant was and whether his experience was typical. The experiences of others who like Plaintiff complained about the 14 Interrogatory 15 as well. 16

Plaintiff seeks confirmation that Defendant has produced all documents (responsive to 18 requests 18, 19, 22, 24, 26, and 27) concerning the policy and procedure changes that it made 19 after the Third Circuit's decision in Cortez v. Trans Union concerning the communication of 20

OFAC data to third parties and documents reflecting how this information was conveyed to 21 subscribers. Defendant shall review its production and produce any additional responsive 22 documents or confirm that it has produced all such documents. Defendant is not entitled to 23 produce what it believes is "enough" for the purposes of class certification. 24

Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff's request to compel certain discovery is GRANTED 26 in part and DENIED in part. The parties shall meet and confer to develop a schedule for 27 production of the discovery ordered. 28

Although Plaintiff groups Interrogatory 15 with the foregoing, it appears to raise an OFAC alert may be relevant to class certification. Accordingly, Defendant shall respond to 15

D.Requests for the Production of Documents

CONCLUSION

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20130313

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