United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
AIDS HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION, INC.
CITY OF BATON ROUGE/PARISH OF EAST BATON ROUGE, THROUGH THE CITY OF BATON ROUGE DIVISION OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND SERVICES v.
RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant's Motion for Protective Order
Against Improperly Noticed Depositions (R. Doc. 66) filed on
June 22, 2018. The motion is opposed. (R. Doc. 73).
current deadline to complete non-expert discovery in this
action is June 29, 2018. (R. Doc. 60). On June 20, 2018,
Plaintiff served on Defendant seven depositions notices for
the Rule 30(b)(1) depositions of the following individuals:
Thomas Hickey (R. Doc. 66-3); Gail Grover (R. Doc. 66-4);
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome (R. Doc. 66-5); Joyce
Biagas (R. Doc. 66-6); Dr. Tamiara Wade, Ph.D. (R. Doc.
66-7); Shamell Lavigne (R. Doc. 66-8); and Paula Merrick
Roddy (R. Doc. 66-9). These deposition notices do not provide
a time or place for the depositions. On June 22, 2018,
Plaintiff served “revised deposition notices” for
the foregoing depositions to all take place on June 29, 2018,
the current deadline to complete discovery, offering to
“set them for a time after the discovery cutoff that is
convenient to the witnesses and all parties.” (R. Doc.
now seeks an order effectively quashing the seven deposition
notices on the following bases: (1) Plaintif failed to
provide reasonable notice of the depositions; (2) Plaintiff
failed to obtain leave to depose Ms. Lavigne a second time;
(3) the notices fail to set a time and place of the
depositions; (4) the notices violate Local Rule 26(d)(2)
because they purport to schedule depositions after the
deposition deadline; and (5) that the depositions fall
outside the scope of discovery and are intended to harass and
increase costs. (R. Doc. 66-1).
opposition, Plaintiff addresses the foregoing arguments as
follows: (1) Defendant has been on notice of Plaintiff's
intent to depose the foregoing individuals since at least May
10, 2018,  and the notice of the depositions was
otherwise reasonable; (2) Ms. Lavigne was formerly deposed
solely in her capacity as a Rule 30(b)(6) representative of
Defendant; (3) the revised deposition notices “clearly
set the depositions for June 29, 2018, starting at 9:00 a.m.
and thereafter every hour at the office of EBR's
counsel”; (4) the revised notices set the depositions
to take place on the discovery deadline, namely June 29,
2018; (5) and Defendant has not made any specific showing why
the depositions fall outside the scope of discovery or why a
protective order regarding the depositions is merited. (R.
26, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Compel (R. Doc. 71) and
Motion for Extension of Discovery Deadlines (R. Doc. 72). In
the Motion to Compel, Plaintiff seeks supplemental written
responses, supplemental productions of documents, and a
supplemental privilege log. In the Motion for Extension,
Plaintiff seeks an extension of the discovery deadline by 30
days in light of the production over 20, 000 documents by
Defendant on June 25, 2018. The deadline for filing responses
to these motions has not expired. LR 7(f).
reviewed the arguments of the parties, and the underlying
deposition notices, the Court concludes that Defendant's
Motion for Protective Order (R. Doc. 66) lacks merit.
the record indicates that Plaintiff served the original
deposition notices nine days prior to the discovery deadline,
and revised those deposition notices within seven days of the
discovery deadline to indicate that the depositions were
noticed to take place on the June 29, 2018. Plaintiff
represents that the individuals to be deposed all
“reside or work in East Baton Rouge Parish, which is
where the depositions would be conducted.” (R. Doc. 73
at 2 n.4). The Court does recognize, however, that under the
facts of this case and considering the number of non-party
witnesses, the time within which the depositions were noticed
is not sufficient. The Court is also aware that these
depositions should not have been a surprise to the defendant
based on prior communications between the parties. Given the
record, and as discussed more fully below, the Court will not
require the depositions to proceed on June 29, 2018,
effectively extending the notice period, but will not quash
the depositions on this basis.
Plaintiff represents that Ms. Lavigne was formerly deposed
solely in her capacity as a Rule 30(b)(6) representative.
Courts have recognized that a party may depose a particular
individual under both Rule 30(b)(1) and Rule 30(b)(6) in a
single action. See Sw. Bell Tel., L.P. v. UTEX
Commc'ns Corp., No. 07-435, 2009 WL 8541000, at *2
(W.D. Tex. Sept. 30, 2009) (citing cases). Plaintiff may
proceed with the deposition of Ms. Lavigne in her individual
capacity without seeking leave of court under Rule
while the initial notices of the depositions failed to set a
time and place of the depositions, the record indicates that
Plaintiff remedied this deficiency in its revised notices of
depositions by providing a time and place in compliance with
Rule 30(b)(1), .
given the revised notices of depositions, Plaintiff did not
seek to take depositions beyond the discovery deadline in
violation of the Scheduling Order or Local Rule 26(s)(2).
the record indicates that the depositions fall within the
scope of discovery as provided by Rule 26(b)(1). Defendant
has not made any specific showing that there is good cause
for the issuance of a protective order pursuant to Rule 26(c)
quashing the deposition notices on the basis of annoyance,
embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense.
See In re Terra Int'l, Inc., 134 F.3d 302, 306
(5th Cir. 1998) (quoting United States v. Garrett,
571 F.2d 1323, 1326 n.3 (5th Cir. 1978)); see also Salter
v. Upjohn Co., 593 F.2d 649, 651 (5th Cir. 1979)
(“It is very unusual for a court to prohibit the taking
of a deposition altogether and absent extraordinary
circumstances, such an order would likely be in
the foregoing, the Court will not issue a protective order
effectively quashing the deposition notices in their entirety
based on the instant motion. The Court will not, however,
require the depositions to proceed on June 29, 2018. Given
the record, the Court finds good cause for staying discovery
until the resolution of Plaintiff's Motion for Extension
of Discovery Deadlines (R. Doc. 72). After Defendant has had
an opportunity to file a response to that motion, which the
Court will order filed on an expedited basis pursuant to
Local Rule 7(f), the Court will provide a deadline to
complete the noticed depositions.
on the foregoing, IT IS ORDERED that
Defendant's Motion for Protective Order Against
Improperly Noticed Depositions (R. Doc. 66) is
DENIED, with the exception that the noticed
depositions shall not ...