United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER ON MOTION TO COMPEL
C. COUGHENOUR, Judge
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Lakewest
Condominium Association's motion to compel discovery from
Plaintiffs Jeffrey and Renee Broxson (Dkt. No. 34). Having
thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and the
relevant record, the Court finds oral argument unnecessary
and hereby GRANTS in part and DENIES in part Lakewest's
motion for the reasons explained herein.
a claim for an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
violation with respect to handicap access and parking space
availability at a condominium managed by Defendant Lakewest
Condominium Association and which was formerly owned by
Plaintiffs Jeffrey and Renee Broxson. The underlying facts
can be found in the order granting Lakewest's first
motion to compel discovery. (Dkt. No. 31 at 1-2.) Over the
course of five discovery requests, Lakewest has served the
Broxsons with 19 requests for production (RFPs).
(See Dkt. No. 35 at 8-27, 71- 75.) On February 26,
2017, Lakewest moved to compel disclosure of 12 out of the 19
RFPs: a response to RFP No. 7 and more complete responses to
RFP Nos. 9-19. (Dkt. No. 34 at 4.) The Broxsons failed to
timely respond to Lakewest's initial motion, but instead
responded in a surreply on March 23, 2017. (Dkt. No. 42.) The
Broxsons contest Lakewest's motion and assert that they
responded to RFP Nos. 9-19 on March 20, 2017. (Id.
may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that
is relevant to any party's claim or defense and
proportional to the needs of the case.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(b)(1). When addressing proportionality, the Court
considers “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.” Id. If
requested discovery is not answered, the requesting party may
move for an order compelling such discovery. Fed.R.Civ.P.
37(a)(1). The Court has broad discretion to decide whether to
compel disclosure of discovery. Phillips ex rel. Estates
of Byrd v. General Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1211
(9th Cir. 2002).
Evidence Relating to Mr. Broxson's Disability (RFP
Nos. 14, 15)
Nos. 14 and 15 pertain to the existence and extent of
Plaintiff Jeffrey Broxson's handicap: RFP No. 14 asks for
Mr. Broxson's “L&I file” revealed during
deposition, and RFP No. 15 asks for any other related files,
including documentation of Mr. Broxson's “injuries
or conditions” or “diagnosis or treatment.”
(Dkt. No. 35 at 25-26.) The Broxsons were purportedly due to
receive the “L&I file” requested in RFP No.
14 from the State “in the week of March 20,
2017.” (Dkt. No. 42-3 at 5.) Thus, notwithstanding
objection or amendment, the Broxsons should have no further
difficulty producing the documents.
Objections to RFPs Relating to Mr. Broxson's
Broxsons object to RFP Nos. 14 and 15 for lack of relevance.
(Dkt. No. 42-3 at 5-6.) An objection to a discovery request
must be filed “within 30 days after being served”
with the request. Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(b)(2)(A). “It is well
established that a failure to object to discovery requests
within the time required constitutes a waiver of any
objection.” Richmark v. Timber Falling
Consultants, 959 F.2d 1468, 1473 (9th Cir. 1992).
Lakewest submitted its fourth discovery request, containing
RFP Nos. 14 and 15, on January 20, 2017. (Dkt. No. 35 at
22-27.) The Broxsons failed to object to that request until
March 18, 2017, (Dkt. No. 42-3 at 5-6, 15), well more than 30
days after the request.
only have the Broxsons failed to timely object, but the
subject matter of both requests is relevant as well.
“Evidence is relevant if: (a) it has any tendency to
make a fact more or less probable than it would be without
the evidence; and (b) the fact is of consequence in
determining the action.” Fed.R.Evid. 401. The Broxsons
explain in their complaint that their decision to purchase
the condominium was “greatly influenced” by
“Mr. Broxson's medical issues, ” including
“advanced degenerative joint disease” and
“numerous permanent partial disabilities.” (Dkt.
No. 2 at ¶¶ 3.4-3.6.) The Broxsons also allege
handicap discrimination against Mr. Broxson in violation of
42 U.S.C. § 3604(f). (Dkt. No. 2 at ¶ 4.5.) Both
requests pertain to records of Mr. Broxson's handicap.
(Dkt. No. 35 at 25-26.) Records of Mr. Broxson's handicap
would have “any tendency to make [the] fact” of
handicap discrimination against Mr. Broxson “more or
less probable, ” and such fact would be of direct
“consequence in determining” whether and to what
degree the factors of the alleged violation are met. The
Court thus OVERRULES the Broxsons' objections to RFP Nos.
14 and 15.