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Sidlow v. Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 11, 2015

FAITH SIDLOW, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
NEXSTAR BROADCASTING, INC., Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO COMPEL (ECF Nos. 40, 42, 43, 44) THIRTY-DAY DEADLINE

STANLEY A. BOONE, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiffs Faith Sidlow and Richard Nitido ("Plaintiffs") filed a motion to compel further responses to discovery requests. Oral argument was held on Plaintiffs' motion to compel on June 10, 2015. (ECF No. 46.) Counsel Shelley Bryant appeared for Plaintiffs, and counsel Angelito Sevilla appeared for Defendant Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. ("Defendant"). Id. Having considered the moving, opposition and reply papers, the declarations and exhibits attached thereto, arguments presented at the June 10, 2015 hearing, as well as the Court's file, the Court issues the following order.

I.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiffs filed this action against Defendant alleging state law claims of retaliation and wrongful termination in violation of public policy in Fresno County Superior Court on April 1, 2014. (ECF No. 1-1.) On April 28, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a first amended complaint. (ECF No. 1-2.) On May 2, 2014, Defendant removed the action to the Eastern District of California pursuant to 29 U.S.C. ยง 1332. (ECF No. 1.) The District Judge granted Defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings, and Plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint on April 6, 2015 alleging two causes of action based on age discrimination: 1) disparate treatment and 2) disparate impact in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

On May 6, 2015, Plaintiffs filed a motion to compel further discovery responses. (ECF No. 40.) Defendant filed an opposition to the motion to compel on May 27, 2015. (ECF No. 42.) On June 3, 2015, the parties filed a joint statement of discovery disagreement and Plaintiffs filed a reply. (ECF No. 44.)

II.

LEGAL STANDARD

Motions to compel are governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37, which states, in pertinent part:

(a) Motion for an Order Compelling Disclosure or Discovery. (1) In General. On notice to other parties and all affected persons, a party may move for an order compelling disclosure or discovery. The motion must include a certification that the movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with the person or party failing to make disclosure or discovery in an effort to obtain it without court action.

Rule 37 states that "an evasive or incomplete disclosure, answer, or response must be treated as a failure to disclose, answer, or respond." Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(4).

"Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense.... Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Relevancy is broadly defined for the purposes of discovery, but it does have "ultimate and necessary boundaries." Gonzales v. Google, Inc., 234 F.R.D. 674, 680 (N.D. Cal. 2006) (citations omitted). "[I]n Title VII cases, courts should avoid placing unnecessary limitations on discovery." Jackson v. Montgomery Ward & Co., 173 F.R.D. 524, 526 (D.Nev.1997). "[L]iberal civil discovery rules give plaintiffs broad access to employers' records in an effort to document their claims. Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Atonio, 490 U.S. 642, 657 (1989) (superseded on other grounds by statute).

III.

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