United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana
PATRICK J HANNA UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
pending is the motion to compel that was filed by defendants
SMI Companies Global, Inc. and Vaughn S. Lane. (Rec. Doc.
39). The motion is opposed. Considering the evidence, the
law, and the arguments of the parties, and for the reasons
fully explained below, the motion is GRANTED IN PART and
DENIED IN PART.
business dispute, Whitney Bank is seeking to collect amounts
allegedly owed by the defendants pursuant to two promissory
notes executed by SMI and guaranteed by SMI's director,
officer, and shareholder, Mr. Lane. The bank is also seeking
recognition of the enforceability of the bank's security
interest in SMI's accounts receivables. The defendants
asserted counterclaims against the bank.
defendants propounded their second set of requests for the
production of documents on October 25, 2017. The bank
responded with objections and refused to produce documents
responsive to certain of the requests. This motion followed.
Civ. P. 26(b)(1) permits discovery regarding any
nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's
claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case.
Although Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(a)(1)(A) permits a party to request
the production of any documents or electronically stored
information, any such request must conform to the scope of
discovery set forth in Rule 26(b)(1). With these rules in
mind, this Court has reviewed the requests for production and
now rules as follows.
Request No. 1 requested the production of all written
procedures or guidelines for the bank's “Asset
Based Lending Department.” This Court finds this
request to be relevant, reasonable, and proportional.
Therefore, with regard to Request No. 1, the motion is
Request No. 2 sought the production of the forbearance
agreement typically used by the bank when dealing with
certain types of customers. This Court finds that any
agreements actually used in dealing with SMI are relevant and
discoverable but any other agreements not used by the bank in
its dealings with SMI are not relevant. Accordingly, with
regard to Request No. 2, the motion is denied.
Request No. 3 sought a copy of all written procedure used by
the bank's commercial lending department employees,
credit department employees, or special assets employees
applicable to any of the bank's commercial loan
customers. This Court finds Request No. 3 to be overly broad
and therefore not proportional to the needs of the case.
Accordingly, with regard to Request No. 3, the motion is
No. 4 sought the production of certain specified documents
that were used by certain listed bank employees “in the
origination, handling, or management of the SMI Companies
Global lines of credit at issue in this litigation.”
Because the information sought in this request is tailored to
the actual transactions involving the bank and SMI and
underlying this litigation, this Court finds it to be
relevant and discoverable. Accordingly, with regard to
Request No. 4, the motion is granted.
No. 6 seeks the production of job descriptions for certain
listed bank employees. This Court fails to discern the
relevance or importance of this request. Accordingly, with
regard to Request No. 6, the motion is denied.
No. 7 seeks the production of certain documents that might be
used by the bank in certain situations involving the release
of a customer's claims against the bank. This Court fails
to discern the relevance or importance of this request.
Accordingly, with regard to Request No. 7, the motion is
the other requests for production were answered and are not
currently at issue.
defendants also seek to recover expenses and fees incurred in
bringing this motion. Under Rule 37(a)(5)(C), a court is not
required to award attorneys' fees or costs when a motion
to compel is granted in part and denied in part. Accordingly,
to the extent that the defendants' motion seeks the