United States District Court, W.D. Washington
ABDIQAFAR WAGAFE, et al., on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States, et al., Defendants.
ORDER ON LCR 37 SUBMISSION REGARDING REQUESTS FOR
PRODUCTION NOS. 23 & 24
HONORABLE RICHARD A. JONES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on a joint submission made to
the Court pursuant to the expedited procedure for resolution
of discovery disputes set forth in Local Rule W.D. Wash. LCR
37(a). Dkt. # 103.
October 19, 2017, the Court granted in part and denied in
part Plaintiffs' motion to compel production of
documents. Dkt. # 98. The Court required the Government to
produce a privilege log for any documents related to the
Executive Orders over which it wished to assert a
deliberative-process privilege. Id. at 5. The Court
further ordered the parties to meet and confer to discuss
whether alternative custodians or non-custodial sources were
available to produce documents relating extreme vetting
programs to two Executive Orders. Id.
parties met and conferred and reached an impasse. Dkt. # 103
at 2. The disputed discovery requests that are the subject of
this Rule 37 Joint Motion are referenced below:
REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 23: All Documents
referring or relating to any consideration of or reference to
CARRP during the planning, drafting, or issuing of the First
and Second EOs.
REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 24: All Documents
referring or relating to “extreme vetting” or any
other screening, vetting, or adjudication program, policy, or
procedure connected to the First or Second EOs. This request
includes, but is not limited to, programs that reference,
relate to, or expand upon CARRP.
Court has broad discretion to control discovery. Hallett
v. Morgan, 296 F.3d 732, 751 (9th Cir. 2002); see
also Avila v. Willits Envtl. Remediation Trust, 633 F.3d
828, 833 (9th Cir. 2011), In re Sealed Case, 856
F.2d 268, 271 (D.C. Cir. 1988). That discretion is guided by
several principles. Most importantly, the scope of discovery
is broad. A party must respond to any discovery request that
is not privileged and 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.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
Request for Production No. 23 (“Request No.
contend that the dispute regarding Request No. 23 is
premature and should not be before this Court. Dkt. # 103 at
9. Specifically, Defendants argue that no documents exist
with regard to Request No. 23. Id. at 4. Defendants
also argue that the only issue they agreed to present to this
Court is how the parties should understand the scope of
“extreme vetting”-related discovery. Id.
at 8-9. Because Plaintiffs have presented the alternative
custodian/non-custodial issue to the Court, Defendants aver
that there is a disagreement on the scope of this Rule 37
Joint Motion and therefore it is improperly before the Court.
Court disagrees with Defendants. In its prior Order, the
Court ordered the parties to discuss alternative custodians
and non-custodial sources of information that link any kind
of “extreme vetting” program to the Executive
Orders. Dkt. # 98 at 5. Defendants now respond that they
conferred internally regarding Request No. 23 only to
discover that CARRP was not referenced or considered in the
drafting and adoption of the two Executive Orders and
therefore no discovery production is necessary, obviating the
need to discuss alternative custodians or non-custodial
sources. Dkt. # 103 at 3.
reach their conclusion, Defendants infer that they used a
definition of “extreme vetting” that may differ
from the one used by Plaintiffs, suggesting that the parties
need to further meet and confer on the issue. Id. at
8-9. The Court does not accept this response, in part due to
the targeted nature of Request No. 23, which seeks documents
specifically related to CARRP. See Id. at 4 (Request
No. 23 seeks documents “referring or relating to any
consideration of or ...