United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING IN PART DENYING IN PART
DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY RESPONSES AND FOR
J. Pechman United States District Judge.
MATTER comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
Compel Discovery Responses and for Sanctions. (Dkt. No. 14.)
Having reviewed the motion, the Response (Dkt. No. 17), the
Reply (Dkt. No. 18), and all related papers, the Court GRANTS
in part and DENIES in part Defendants' Motion.
Neil Soderstrom and Anne Keown, filed this action on November
5, 2018 in Skagit County Superior Court; Defendants, the
Skagit Valley Food Co-op (“Co-op”) and certain
employees of the Co-op, timely removed the case to this Court
on November 27, 2018. (Dkt. No. 1.) Plaintiffs allege
Defendants committed a series of discriminatory and
retaliatory acts based on Plaintiff Neil Soderstrom's age
and both Plaintiffs' use of Defendants' health plan;
according to Plaintiffs, these acts caused “pain and
suffering, emotional distress, [and] loss in quality of life.
. . .” (Id. Ex. 1 (“Compl.”),
¶¶ 4.6, 5.6, 6.4, 8.2.)
April 30, 2019, Defendants issued their first set of
Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents.
(Dkt. No. 15, Declaration of David E. Worley (“Worley
Decl.”), ¶ 2.) The discovery responses were due on
May 30, yet Plaintiffs did not provide any response by the
deadline nor contact Defendants to explain the delay.
(Id. ¶ 3.) Defendants' counsel attempted to
contact Plaintiffs' counsel several times, to no avail.
(Id. ¶¶ 5-15.) It was not until several
weeks later, on June 25, that a paralegal from the office of
Plaintiffs' counsel contacted Defendants, explaining that
Plaintiffs were unable to provide responses due to a recent
family emergency, but would submit responses by the following
Monday, July 1. (Id. ¶¶ 17-19.) Plaintiffs
did not provide their responses on July 1; Defendants filed
the present motion on July 3. (Id. ¶ 22; Dkt.
No. 14.) After Defendants filed their Motion to Compel,
Plaintiffs served responses to Defendants'
Interrogatories, but did not respond to Defendants'
requests for production until July 10. (Dkt. No. 19,
Declaration of David E. Worley on Reply (“2d Worley
Decl.”), ¶ 6.)
Plaintiffs' responses were due May 30, Plaintiffs'
counsel did not provide her clients with the requests until
June 10. (Dkt No. 17, Ex. 1, Declaration of Carrie Coppinger
Carter (“Carter Decl.”), ¶ 4.)
Plaintiffs' counsel explains the delay was due to a two
week trial she had in May and intra-office communication
problems. (Id. at ¶¶ 2-3.) While
Plaintiffs themselves explain a family emergency prevented
them from returning their discovery responses sooner, they
were able to do so within 30 days of receiving them from
their attorney. (Id. at ¶ 4; Dkt. No. 17, Ex.
2, Declaration of Anne Keown (“Keown Decl.”)
¶¶ 2-4.) Plaintiffs have now provided some
discovery responses, but Defendants still seek to compel
production of Plaintiffs' social media posts and seek
sanctions. (Dkt. No. 18.)
‘may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not
privileged, that is relevant to the claim or defense of any
party.'” Surfvivor Media, Inc. v. Survivor
Prods., 406 F.3d 625, 635 (9th Cir.2005) (quoting FRCP
26(b)(1)). “Relevant information for purposes of
discovery is information ‘reasonably calculated to lead
to the discovery of admissible evidence.'”
Id. “District courts have broad discretion in
determining relevancy for discovery purposes.”
Id. (citing Hallett v. Morgan, 296 F.3d
732, 751 (9th Cir. 2002)). If requested discovery is not
answered, the requesting party may move for an order
compelling such discovery. FRCP 37(a)(1). “The party
who resists discovery has the burden to show that discovery
should not be allowed, and has the burden of clarifying,
explaining, and supporting its objections.” Cable
& Computer Tech., Inc. v. Lockheed Sanders, Inc.,
175 F.R.D. 646, 650 (C.D. Cal. 1997).
Motion to Compel
first move to compel production of documents. (Dkt Nos. 14,
18.) Specifically, Defendants seek documents in response to
their Request for Production Number 13:
Please produce all of your calendars, diaries, “day in
the life, ” social media posts or messages, logs or
other similar records maintained by you or by others that are
in your possession, custody, control, for the period of 1
January 2011 through present, regardless of how such was
have provided no documents in response to this request and
object that the information requested is irrelevant, beyond
the relevant time-period, and overly-broad. (Dkt. No. 19, Ex.
3 at 7; Ex. 5 at 2.) Plaintiffs also argue that the request
violates the “fundamental right of privacy 
guaranteed by the United States Constitution.” (Dkt.
No. 17 at 7.)
initial matter, Defendants contend that Plaintiffs'
objections to the discovery requests have been waived because
they did not object until long after their responses were
due. (Dkt. No. 14 at 7-8.) “It is well established that
a failure to object to discovery requests within the time
required constitutes a waiver of any objection.”
Richmark Corp. v. Timber Falling Consultants, 959
F.2d 1468, 1473 (9th Cir. 1992) (citing Davis v.
Fendler, 650 F.2d 1154, 1160 (9th Cir. 1981)).
“This rule has been widely observed in this Court as
well as in other district courts in this circuit.”
Muller v. Syndicated Office Sys., LLC, No. C17-1840
RSM, 2018 WL 2765535, at *4 (W.D. Wash. June 8, 2018)
(collecting cases). In this case, while Plaintiffs'
attorney has not presented good cause for failing to provide
her clients with the discovery requests until 10 days after
they were due, Plaintiffs ...