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Pellerin v. Wagner

United States District Court, D. Arizona

March 14, 2016

Devin Pellerin, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Caryn Wagner, et al., Defendants.

ORDER AND OPINION [RE: MOTIONS AT DOCKETS 66, 68, 69, AND 76]

JOHN W. SEDWICK SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

I. MOTIONS PRESENTED

Before the court are four motions to compel filed by plaintiffs Devin Pellerin, Angie Pellerin, X.X., and X.Y. (collectively, “Plaintiffs”). Plaintiffs’ first motion, at docket 66, seeks an order compelling defendant Caryn Wagner (“Wagner”) to provide further responses to various interrogatories pursuant to Rule 37(a)(3)(B)(iii). Wagner responds at docket 79; Plaintiffs reply at docket 81.

Plaintiffs’ second motion, at docket 68, seeks an order compelling Wagner to provide further responses to various requests for admission (“RFAs”). Wagner responds at docket 77; Plaintiffs reply at docket 82.

Plaintiffs’ third motion, at docket 69, seeks an order compelling defendant Arizona Department of Economic Security (“ADES”) to provide responses to several of Plaintiffs’ requests for production of documents (“RFPs”). ADES responds at docket 78; Plaintiffs reply at docket 83.

Plaintiffs’ fourth motion, at docket 76, seeks an order compelling third-party Iris Garcia Maes (“Maes”) to produce documents requested by subpoena. Maes’ non-opposition is at docket 85; Plaintiffs’ reply is at docket 86.

Oral argument was requested, but would not assist the court.

II. BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs’ six-count complaint alleges that Defendants violated their civil rights in the course of seizing the Pellerin children, X.X. and X.Y., from the Pellerin family home and placing them in foster care.[1] Plaintiffs allege that on June 13, 2013, a juvenile court returned X.X. and X.Y. to their parents.[2]

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Rule 26(b)(1) provides that

[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.”[3]

If a party fails to make disclosures or cooperate in discovery, the requesting party may move to compel.[4] “The party who resists discovery has the burden to show that discovery should not be allowed, and has the burden of clarifying, explaining, and supporting its objections.”[5] “Broad discretion is vested in the trial court to permit or deny discovery[.]”[6]

IV. DISCUSSION

A. Wagner’s Boilerplate Objections

Rule 33(b)(4) requires parties to state with specificity the grounds for objecting to an interrogatory. “Boilerplate, generalized objections are inadequate and tantamount to not making any objection at all.”[7] The same is true with regard to boilerplate objections to RFAs.[8] Plaintiffs argue that Wagner should be ordered to supplement her responses to interrogatories three, five, seven, and eight, [9] and RFAs nine through twelve, sixteen, seventeen, and twenty-four, without her boilerplate objections.[10]

Plaintiffs’ argument regarding Wagner’s boilerplate objections is well-taken; each of her objections to the above-referenced discovery requests is overruled. But, because Wagner did not withhold any information on account of these objections, this ruling does not, by ...


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