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Nichols v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

February 1, 2017

DIANA NICHOLS, 100 EVERGREEN HILL RD., FAIRFIELD, CT, 06824, Plaintiff,
v.
FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE COPORATION, A RECEIVER FOR WASHINGTON MUTUAL BANK, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING IN PART AND GRANTING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on pro se Plaintiff's Motion to Compel. Dkt. #46. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant has either insufficiently answered or has failed to answer her Interrogatory Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Id. at 3-7. Plaintiff further asserts that Defendant has produced no documents in response to her document requests. Id. at 7-9. As a result, Plaintiff requests an Order compelling Defendant to fully answer her Interrogatories and her Requests for Production. Id. Defendant opposes the motion, arguing that it timely responded to discovery requests, that it asserted valid objections to certain requests, and that Plaintiff's motion should be denied on the basis that Plaintiff failed to adequately confer with defense counsel prior to filing her motion. Dkt. #47. For the reasons set forth below, the Court now DENIES IN PART and GRANTS IN PART Plaintiff's motion.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff served Defendant with her First Set of Interrogatories and Requests for Production on August 17, 2016. Dkt. #46-1 at ¶ 2. She received responses to those requests on September 19, 2016. Id. at ¶ 3 and Exs. A and B thereto. In addition to asserting a number of general objections, Defendant responded to Plaintiff's Interrogatory Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 as follows:

INTERROGATORY NO. 4:
State the basis for the FDIC's decision to disallow Plaintiff's claim, as alleged in paragraph 8 of the Compliant [sic].
RESPONSE NO. 4:
As set forth in correspondence to Plaintiff from the FDIC-Receiver dated September 25, 2014, and November 5, 2014, the FDIC-Receiver decided to disallow Plaintiff's claim because Plaintiff failed to provide sufficient evidence and documentation to prove the substance of Plaintiff's claim to the satisfaction of the FDIC-Receiver.
INTERROGATORY NO.5:
State whether the FDIC has ever conducted any investigation, informal or formal or otherwise, of WMB, concerning lending activities of WMB between 2001 and 2008 related [to] WMB's offering of negative amortization residential mortgage loans, and for each such investigation:
a. Describe the investigation;
b. Describe the outcome of the investigation; and
c. Identify any documents related to or concerning such investigation.
RESPONSE NO. 5:
The FDIC-Receiver objects that this interrogatory (i) requests information that is not relevant to any claims or defenses in this case, (ii) is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, and (iii) imposes burdens on the FDIC-Receiver that are not proportional to the needs of this case, under the standards set forth in Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). It is unclear whether this interrogatory is requesting information relating to the activities of FDIC-Receiver, in its capacity as receiver of Washington Mutual Bank, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in its corporate capacity (which is not a party to this case). The FDIC-Receiver is not responding on behalf of the FDIC in its corporate capacity. The general conduct and processes of Washington Mutual Bank with respect to particular types of loans generally) as opposed to Plaintiff's loan specifically) are not relevant to the issues in this case and should not be subject to discovery in this case.
INTERROGATORY NO.6:
State whether the FDIC has ever conducted any investigation, informal or formal or otherwise, of WMB, concerning lending activities of WMB between 2001 and 2008, regarding any alleged fraudulent conduct on the part of WMB or violation of the Truth in Lending Act by WMB, or other unlawful or illegal conduct on the part of WMB, and for each such investigation:
a. Describe the investigation;
b. Describe the outcome of the investigation; and c. Identify any documents related to or concerning such investigation.
RESPONSE NO.6:
The FDIC-Receiver objects that this interrogatory (i) requests information that is not relevant to any claims or defenses in this case, (ii) is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, and (iii) imposes burdens on the FDIC-Receiver that are not proportional to the needs of this case, under the standards set forth in Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). It is unclear whether this interrogatory is requesting information relating to the activities of FDIC-Receiver, in its capacity as receiver of Washington Mutual Bank, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in its corporate capacity (which is not a party to this case). The FDIC-Receiver is not responding on behalf of the FDIC in its corporate capacity. General investigation of any fraudulent or illegal conduct by Washington Mutual Bank generally (as opposed to such matters relating to Plaintiff's loan specifically) are not relevant to the issues in this case and should not be subject to discovery in this case.
INTERROGATORY NO.7:
State whether the FDIC has ever conducted any investigation, informal or formal or otherwise, of the specific matters alleged in the Complaint concerning fraudulent conduct and misrepresentations by WMB in connection with the Loan and for each such investigation:
a. Describe the investigation;
b. Describe the outcome of the investigation; and
c. Identify any documents related to or concerning such investigation.
RESPONSE NO. 7:
It is unclear whether this interrogatory is requesting information relating to the activities of FDIC-Receiver, in its capacity as receiver of Washington Mutual Bank, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in its corporate capacity (which is not a party to this case). The FDIC-Receiver is not responding on behalf of the FDIC in its corporate capacity. The FDIC-Receiver has reviewed the claim submitted by Plaintiff. With respect to that review of Plaintiff's claim:
a. The FDIC-Receiver reviewed the documents submitted to the FDIC-Receiver by the Plaintiff and discussed them internally and with counsel.
b. The FDIC-Receiver denied Plaintiff's claim.
c. The FDIC-Receiver has provided copies of its entire claims file to the Plaintiff. The FDIC-Receiver's counsel sent the claims file to Plaintiff by certified mail, return receipt requested on January 14, 2016. The mailing was returned to the FDIC-Receiver's counsel as unclaimed on April 20, 2016. The FDIC-Receiver's counsel re-sent the documents to Plaintiff by priority mail on April 22, 2016.
INTERROGATORY NO. 8:
State whether the FDIC has ever conducted any investigation, informal or formal or otherwise, concerning the activities of Sean O'Connor, as an employee or agent WMB, during the period 2003 through 2008, and for each such investigation:
a. Describe the investigation;
b. Describe the outcome of the investigation; and
c. Identify any documents related to or concerning such ...

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