United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
JUNE MEDICAL SERVICES, LLC, d/b/a HOPE MEDICAL GROUP FOR WOMEN, on behalf of its patients, physicians, and staff, ET AL.
REBEKAH GEE, in her official capacity as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, ET AL.
RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is Defendants' Second Motion to Compel (R. Doc.
121) filed on May 29, 2018. Plaintiffs filed their Opposition
(R. Doc. 134) on June 11, 2018, and Defendants filed their
Reply (R. Doc. 144) on June 14, 2018. Oral argument was held
on September 20, 2018. (R. Doc. 191).
initiated this litigation with the filing of their Complaint
(R. Doc. 1) on July 1, 2016. They filed a First Amended
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (R. Doc. 22)
on December 16, 2016, and a Second Amended Complaint for
Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (R. Doc. 88) on December 8,
2017. Defendants filed their Answer (R. Doc. 90) to
Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint on December 22,
seek declaratory and injunctive relief, challenging the
constitutionality of six bills passed by the Louisiana
Legislature during its 2016 Regular Session, as well as two
emergency regulations. (R. Doc. 1 at 2). Plaintiffs are
comprised of three medical doctors, appearing on behalf of
themselves and their patients, as well as June Medical
Services, LLC, d/b/a Hope Medical Group for Women
(“Hope”), a women's reproductive health
clinic in Shreveport, Louisiana. (R. Doc. 88 at 5).
assert that the six bills passed and two emergency
regulations impose unconstitutional requirements on women
seeking abortions, women's ability to obtain-and
doctors' ability to provide-certain types of abortions at
particular points past the last menstrual period, and the
availability of abortion services in Louisiana. Plaintiffs
assert that these bills and regulations violate their due
process and equal protection rights guaranteed by the
Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. (R. Doc. 88 at
Law and Analysis
otherwise limited by court order, the scope of discovery is
as follows: Parties may obtain discovery regarding any
non-privileged 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.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). The court must
limit the frequency or extent of discovery if it determines
that: “(i) the discovery sought is unreasonably
cumulative or duplicative, or can be obtained from some other
source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less
expensive; (ii) the party seeking discovery has had ample
opportunity to obtain the information by discovery in the
action; or (iii) the proposed discovery is outside the scope
permitted by Rule 26(b)(1).” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C).
provides a party with 30 days after service of the discovery
to respond or object. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
34(b)(2)(A). If a party fails to respond fully to discovery
requests made pursuant to Rule 34 in the time allowed by the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the party seeking discovery
may move to compel disclosure and for appropriate sanctions
under Rule 37. An “evasive or incomplete disclosure,
answer, or response must be treated as a failure to disclose,
answer or respond.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(4).
Second Motion to Compel asks the Court to order Plaintiffs to
provide the names of medical residents who did rotations at
the Plaintiff clinic as requested by certain interrogatories
propounded by Defendants to Plaintiffs. (R. Doc. 121 at 1).
Defendants argue that the identity of the residents will
allow them to depose those residents regarding certain
allegations brought by Plaintiffs, including the board
certification requirement of H.B. 488, the use of public
funding and H.B. 606, the hiring and retention of physicians,
and the methods, practices, and standards of care at the
clinic and elsewhere. (R. Doc. 121-1 at 2-3). Plaintiffs
respond that they have already provided Defendants with the
names of all of the physicians that were employed by Hope
since 2015, and that the names of the residents have no
relevance to the litigation. (R. Doc. 134 at 2). In Reply,
Defendants suggest that the Protective Order (R. Doc. 96)
alleviates any concerns regarding the privacy interests of
the residents. (R. Doc. 144 at 4).
argument, Defendants indicated they had obtained the identity
of approximately 20 of the residents from a third party
subpoena issued to Louisiana State University
(“LSU”), but that the number identified by LSU
was different from the number they understood there to have
been from Plaintiffs. Counsel for Plaintiffs indicated they
had seen the list provided by LSU, and it was accurate
notwithstanding the absence of the identity of a
“handful” of medical residents. Neither party was
able to explain why there was a discrepancy.
a motion to compel, ‘[t]he moving party bears the
burden of showing that the materials and information sought
are relevant to the action or will lead to the discovery of
admissible evidence.'” Mirror Worlds
Technologies, LLC v. Apple Inc., 2016 WL 4265758, at *1
(E.D. Tex. Mar. 17, 2016) (quoting SSL Servs., LLC v.
Citrix Sys., Inc., 2010 WL 547478, at *2 (E.D. Tex. Feb.
10, 2010)). “Once the moving party establishes that the
materials requested are within the scope of permissible
discovery, the burden shifts to the party resisting discovery
to show why ...