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Perry v. Randstad General Partner LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 8, 2015

JUDITH PERRY, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
RANDSTAD GENERAL PARTNER (US) LLC, Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO COMPEL [28] AND GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO COMPEL [85]

MONA K. MAJZOUB, Magistrate Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs Judith Perry, Erin Lane, Suhaima Choudhury, and Aimee Dooling's Motions to Compel Discovery. (Docket nos. 28 and 85.) Defendant responded to Plaintiffs' Motions (docket nos. 31 and 89), and Plaintiffs replied to Defendant's Responses (docket nos. 33 and 91). The parties have also filed Joint Statements of Resolved and Unresolved Issues regarding both Motions. (Docket nos. 34, 88, and 90.) The Motions have been referred to the undersigned for consideration. (Docket nos. 29 and 86.) The undersigned has reviewed the pleadings and dispenses with oral argument pursuant to Eastern District of Michigan Local Rule 7.1(f)(2). The Court is now ready to rule pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 636(b)(1)(A).

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs initiated this matter on March 26, 2014, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, alleging that Defendant violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by misclassifying its staffing employee positions as exempt from the FLSA's overtime requirements, thereby not paying its staffing employees overtime wages for time worked in excess of forty hours per week. ( See docket no. 1.) Plaintiffs filed their first Motion to Compel Answers to Discovery on September 16, 2014. (Docket no. 28.) Defendant responded to Plaintiffs' Motion on October 3, 2014 (docket no. 31), and Plaintiffs replied to Defendant's Response (docket no. 33) on October 10, 2014. The parties filed two Joint Statements of Resolved and Unresolved Issues regarding Plaintiffs' first Motion on October 30, 2014, and April 6, 2015. (Docket nos. 34 and 88.) Plaintiffs filed their second Motion to Compel Production of Documents on April 1, 2015. (Docket no. 85.) Defendant responded to Plaintiffs' Motion on April 20, 2015, and Plaintiffs replied to Defendant's Response on April 30, 2015. (Docket nos. 89 and 91.) The parties filed a Joint Statement of Resolved and Unresolved Issues regarding Plaintiffs' second Motion to Compel on April 28, 2015. (Docket no. 90.) Also, on April 23, 2015, District Judge O'Meara conducted a motion hearing, at which he took Plaintiffs' Motion for Conditional Class Certification (docket no. 36) and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (docket no. 54) under advisement.

II. GOVERNING LAW

The scope of discovery under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is traditionally quite broad. Lewis v. ACB Bus. Servs., 135 F.3d 389, 402 (6th Cir. 1998). Parties may obtain discovery on any matter that is not privileged and is relevant to any party's claim or defense if it is reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). "Relevant evidence" is "evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence." Fed.R.Evid. 401. But the scope of discovery is not unlimited. "District courts have discretion to limit the scope of discovery where the information sought is overly broad or would prove unduly burdensome to produce." Surles ex rel. Johnson v. Greyhound Lines, Inc., 474 F.3d 288, 305 (6th Cir. 2007).

Rules 33 and 34 allow a party to serve interrogatories and requests for production of documents on an opposing party. Fed.R.Civ.P. 33, 34. A party receiving these types of discovery requests has thirty days to respond with answers or objections. Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(b)(2), 34(b)(2)(A). Rule 30 allows a party to conduct a deposition of any person without leave of the Court, subject to certain exceptions. Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(a)(1). If the party receiving discovery requests under Rules 33 or 34 fails to respond properly, or if the person whose deposition is sought under Rule 30 fails to properly comply with the rule, Rule 37 provides the party who sent the discovery or noticed the deposition the means to file a motion to compel. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(3)(B). If a court grants a Rule 37 motion to compel, or if discovery is received after a Rule 37 motion is filed, then the court must award reasonable expenses and attorney's fees to the successful party, unless the successful party did not confer in good faith before the motion, the opposing party's position was substantially justified, or other circumstances would make an award unjust. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(5)(A).

III. ANALYSIS

According to the parties' Joint Statements of Resolved and Unresolved Issues, the parties have been unable to resolve any of the issues raised in Plaintiffs' Motions to Compel. ( See docket nos. 34, 88, and 90.) Accordingly, the Court will fully address Plaintiffs' Motions below.

A. Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel [28][1]

1. Plaintiffs' First Set of Interrogatories, No. 2

Plaintiffs' Interrogatory no. 2 of their First Set of Interrogatories asks Defendant to "[e]xplain in detail the relationship between you and the following entities:

a. Randstad U.S. ...

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