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Last Minute Cuts, LLC v. Biddle

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

November 15, 2019

LAST MINUTE CUTS, LLC and QUANNAH HARRIS, Plaintiffs,
v.
JERRY BIDDLE; JOHN McCLAIN; and ROXANNA GUMUCIO, Defendants.

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

          TU M. PHAM, United States Magistrate Judge.

         Before the court is Quannah Harris's motion to compel. (ECF No. 36.) For the reasons outlined below, the motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This is a federal civil rights lawsuit. Quannah Harris alleges that Jerry Biddle, an investigator with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, attempted to extort money and sexual favors from her and retaliated against her when she did not comply by submitting false unfavorable inspection reports. (ECF No. 21.) Biddle denies these allegations. (ECF No. 26.) Harris further alleges that John McClain, another investigator with the Department of Commerce and Insurance, forged and notarized Harris's signature on these inspection reports, and that Roxanna Gumucio, Executive Director of the State Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners, submitted these false documents to the Board in a disciplinary action despite knowing they were false. (ECF No. 21.) McClain and Gumucio deny these allegations. (ECF No. 26.)

         On August 23, 2019, Harris served various requests for production and interrogatories to Biddle, McClain, and Gumucio. (ECF Nos. 36, 39.) The parties dispute whether four interrogatories and two requests for production have been adequately answered.

         The discovery requests directed at Biddle under dispute are:

• Interrogatory No. 7: Have you ever had any allegations of domestic violence resulting in the police being called? Please submit the name and contact information of the alleged victim and give a brief description of the incident.
• Document Request No. 3: By way of request for production of documents, please furnish statements referred to in your answer to Interrogatory No. 6 above.

         Harris has not disputed Biddle's response to Interrogatory No. 6, which asked Biddle to describe all allegations of sexual harassment made against him during his employment. Biddle denied that any allegations of harassment had been made against him. Biddle responded to Interrogatory No. 7 by objecting on the grounds that the request sought irrelevant information. Biddle responded to Document Request No. 3 by stating that no responsive documents exist because Biddle did not refer to any statements in his response to Interrogatory No. 6.

         The discovery requests directed at McClain under dispute are:

• Interrogatory No. 13: Identify each of the notaries public's acts, attestations, protections, and other instruments of publication whereas an electronic signature was used. For the last five years, submit a copy of your notary record book or books in their entirety. Submit a list of each electronic signature in which you notarized.
• Document Request No. 5: By way of request for production of documents, please furnish a copy of your notary book and a list of all previously notarized electronic signatures requested in Interrogatory No. 13 above.

         McClain objected to both of these discovery requests on the grounds that they sought irrelevant information, were overly broad and unduly burdensome, and that producing the requested documents would ...


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