Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Tonnes v. U.S. Golden Eagle Farms, L.P.

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

July 18, 2019

DANIEL and SHAVONNE TONNES, Plaintiffs,
v.
U.S. GOLDEN EAGLE FARMS, L.P., Defendant.

          ORDER

          JOHN C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' motion to compel discovery (Dkt. No. 22). 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 the motion for the reasons explained herein.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs Daniel and Shavonne Tonnes allege that their neighboring landowner, Defendant U.S. Golden Eagle Farms, L.P., has filled, dredged, and dug waterways on its property, which has damaged Plaintiffs' property and the surrounding environment. (See generally Dkt. No. 1.) Plaintiffs assert the following causes of action against Defendant: (1) violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. § 1311(a); (2) violation of the Shorelines Management Act, Wash. Rev. Code § 90.58.230; (3) nuisance per se based on violations of state and federal environmental laws; (4) common law nuisance; and (5) intentional trespass; and (6) negligence. (Id. at 16-19.)

         Plaintiffs filed this motion to compel the following discovery: (1) all documents related to Defendant's communications with regulatory agencies related to activities, authorizations, violations, or conditions on Defendant's property; (2) photographs of Defendant's property that is at issue in this lawsuit; and (3) all documentation related to Defendant's restoration plan and “stream functions assessment.”[1] (Dkt. No. 22 at 9.) Defendant responded with a three-page declaration by its defense counsel, who admitted that some of the documents Plaintiffs identified had not been previously produced, but indicated that Defendant had fully supplemented its discovery responses. (See Dkt. No. 29 at 2) (“Defendant has given over every document Plaintiffs have requested and produced documents they could have just as easily acquired on their own.”) In their reply brief, Plaintiffs suggest that Defendant has still not provided all responsive documents.[2] (Dkt. No. 30.)

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Legal Standard

         “Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). If requested discovery is not answered, the requesting party may move for an order compelling such discovery. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(1). If a party fails to comply with a discovery order, the district court may also sanction that party accordingly. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(b)(2). 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).

         B. Communications with Regulatory Agencies

         Plaintiffs' Request for Production 8, originally sent to Defendant on June 13, 2018, stated: “Produce all documents related to communications with regulatory agencies (including U.S. EPA, U.S. Corps of Engineers, City of Everett, Snohomish County, Marshland Flood Control District, Washington Department of Ecology, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife) related to activities, authorizations, violations, or conditions on [Defendant's] property.” (Dkt. No. 23-1 at 10.) Defendant initially responded, “there are none.” (Dkt. No. 23-4 at 13.) In May 2019, Defendant subsequently submitted a declaration in opposition to Plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment, which referenced communications with the City of Everett that had not been previously produced in discovery. (See Dkt. No. 21-2.)

         In its response to Plaintiffs' motion to compel, Defendant does not specifically address whether it has disclosed all responsive documents to Plaintiffs' Request for Production 8, other than to generally state that “[a]ll of the documents requested have only been recently generated.” (Dkt. No. 29 at 2.) In their reply, Plaintiffs assert that Defendant has still not produced various records related to pending regulatory enforcement actions by the City of Everett. (Dkt. No. 30 at 2.)

         The Court FINDS that the information sought by Plaintiffs' Request for Production 8 is relevant to proving each of their causes of action against Defendant. Moreover, it appears that Defendant has failed to produce all responsive documents. Therefore, Plaintiffs' motion to compel is GRANTED as to Request for Production 8.

         C. Photographs of Defendant's Property

         Plaintiffs' Request for Production 9 stated: “Produce all documents depicting [Defendant's] property.” (Dkt. No. 23-1 at 10.) Defendant responded by attaching a “parcel map” of its property. (Dkt. No. 23-4 at 13.) Defendant subsequently filed photographs of the relevant area with its opposition to Plaintiffs' motion for ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.