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Callidus Capital Corp. v. FCA Group

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

March 30, 2018




         Plaintiff Callidus Capital Corporation (“Callidus”) objects to the order (“order”) of Magistrate Judge David R. Grand (Dkt. # 100) that this court deny Plaintiff's Motion to Compel. (Dkt. # 84.) Plaintiff filed five objections (Dkt. # 101). Non-party Gibbs Dies Casting Corporation filed a Notice of Joinder/Concurrence in Plaintiff's objections. (Dkt. # 105.) Defendant Chrysler Group LLC, d/b/a, Fiat Chrysler Automotive (“FCA”) filed a response (Dkt. # 104). Non-parties Linamar USA Inc. and Admiral Tool & Manufacturing Co. filed responses to Plaintiff's objections (Dkt. # 103, 106.) The court will overrule Plaintiff's objections, and deny Plaintiff's motion for the reasons stated below and in the well-reasoned order of Judge Grand.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Judge Grand's order provides a detailed and accurate account of the relevant background facts. The court will presume familiarity with the order. (Dkt. # 100, Pg. ID 5217-20.)

         II. STANDARD

         The filing of timely objections to a Magistrate Judge's order regarding a nondispositive motion requires the court to “modify or set aside any part of the order that is clearly erroneous or is contrary to law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a); see also 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). “Clear error will be found only when the reviewing court is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.” Max Trucking, LLC v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Corp., 802 F.3d 793, 808 (6th Cir. 2015) (citing Anderson v. City of Bessemer City, 470 U.S. 564, 573 (1985)). The court may not reverse the finding of the Magistrate Judge “simply because it is convinced that it would have decided the case differently.” Kerman v. C.I.R., 713 F.3d 849, 867 (6th Cir. 2013) (citing Anderson, 470 U.S. at 573).

         “The filing of objections provides the district court with the opportunity to consider the specific contentions of the parties and to correct any errors immediately, ” United States v. Walters, 638 F.2d 947, 950 (6th Cir. 1981), enabling the court “to focus attention on those issues-factual and legal-that are at the heart of the parties' dispute, ” Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 147 (1985). As a result, “‘[o]nly those specific objections to the magistrate's report made to the district court will be preserved for appellate review; making some objections but failing to raise others will not preserve all the objections a party may have.'” McClanahan v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 474 F.3d 830, 837 (6th Cir. 2006) (quoting Smith v. Detroit Fed'n of Teachers Local 231, 829 F.2d 1370, 1373 (6th Cir. 1987)).


         The scope of discovery available to parties in a civil action is outlined in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26. As a general matter, “[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Even if a party's discovery request is non-privileged and relevant, it will not be granted if it constitutes discovery abuse. The court must limit discovery in a number of circumstances. Discovery is not permitted when “[it] is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or can be obtained from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive [or] (ii) the party seeking discovery has had ample opportunity to obtain the information by discovery in the action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C)(i-ii). Discovery is further prohibited when its burden or expense outweighs its likely benefit, considering the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, the parties' resources, the importance of the issues at stake in the action, and the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C)(iii). When any of these circumstances arise, the court must limit discovery “[o]n motion or on its own.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C).

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16 pertaining to pleadings and motions governs pretrial conferences, scheduling, and case management. Pursuant to Rule 16, the court “must issue a scheduling order, ” which must contain a “limit [on] the time to join other parties, amend the pleadings, complete discovery, and file motions.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(1) & (3). “A schedule may be modified only for good cause and with the judge's consent.” Id. at 16(b)(4). “On motion or on its own, the court may issue any just orders” if a party or its attorney fails to obey a scheduling or other pretrial order. Id. at 16(f)(1)(C).

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45 concerns trials and subpoenas and states in relevant part,

(B) Objections. A person commanded to produce documents or tangible things or to permit inspection may serve on the party or attorney designated in the subpoena a written objection . . .
If an objection is made, the following rules apply:
(i) At any time, on notice to the commanded person, the serving party may move the court for the district where compliance is required for an order compelling production or inspection.
(ii) These acts may be required only as directed in the order, and the order must protect a person who is neither a party nor a party's officer from significant expense resulting from compliance.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 45 (d)(2)(B)(i).

         This court's Practice Guidelines state “Generally, counsel will have about four months discovery for simple cases, about six months for standard cases, and about nine months for unusual or complex cases.” (See Discovery (ii) Judge Cleland's Practice Guidelines.) The original scheduling order for this case states, “Extensions of court-supervised discovery are not ordinarily granted in the absence of unusual circumstances.” (Dkt. # 16, Pg. ID 66.) The amended scheduling order for this case states, “The deadline for completing (not simply scheduling court-supervised discovery) is January 23, 2017.” (Dkt. # 65.)

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37 concerns a party's failure to make a disclosure or to cooperate in discovery. The Rule allows a party to “move for an order compelling disclosure or discovery” generally and also specifically allows a party to compel disclosure by another party who has failed ...

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