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Chapman v. Hiland Operating, LLC

United States District Court, D. North Dakota, Southwestern Division

May 29, 2014

Lenny M. Chapman and Tracy M. Chapman, Plaintiffs,
v.
Hiland Operating, LLC, a Foreign Company, Hiland Partners GP Holdings, LLC, a Foreign Company, and Hiland Partners LP, a Foreign Partnership, Defendants and Third-Party Plaintiff (Hiland Operating, LLC),
v.
Missouri Basin Well Service, Inc., and B&B Heavy Haul, LLC, Third-Party Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART MOTION TO COMPEL

CHARLES S. MILLER, Jr., Magistrate Judge.

Before the court is "Defendants' Motion to Compel Plaintiff Tracy R. [sic] Chapman to Respond to Defendant's Discovery Requests" filed by defendant Hiland Operating, LLC ("Hiland Operating" or "defendant") on April 15, 2014. Plaintiffs filed a response opposing the motion on April 21, 2014. On May 23, 2014, the court held a telephonic hearing on the motion. Attorneys Robert P. Schuster, Bradley L. Booke, and James R. Hoy appeared on plaintiffs' behalf. Attorneys Steven E. Oertle, Margaret M. Clarke, and Patrick W. Durick appeared on defendant's behalf.

I. BACKGROUND

At issue is plaintiff Tracy M. Chapman's response to defendant's Request for Production of Documents No. 21 served January 8, 2014. The request and Chapman's response provided in relevant part as follows:

REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 21: Produce all written communications between You and any other individual or entity regarding Lenny Chapman, the Incident, Hiland, Hiland Partners, Hiland Partners GP, B&B, Missouri Basin, the lawsuit, or the allegations in the Complaint since October 19, 2011, including, but not limited to, emails, text messages, instant messages, journal updates, Facebook postings, notes, cards, and/or memorandums.
RESPONSE

Plaintiff objects to this request for the following reasons:

a. It violates the attorney client and work product privileges.
b. Plaintiff objects to this request because it is unintelligible-and is, accordingly, improperly vague and ambiguous, requiring plaintiff's counsel to guess and speculate as to its meaning. More directly to the point, discovery items should be drafted in a manner that permits counsel, the Court, and the jury to be able to have a reasonably clear understanding of what is requested so that the response to the request can be informed and appropriate. This request does not comply with that standard.
c. To the extent this request is seeking information regarding Mr. Chapman, counsel for Mrs. Chapman would direct insurance defense counsel to Mr. Chapman.
d. It seeks information regarding consulting experts contrary to the provisions of Rule 26(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure....
e. It is overbroad and seeks information that is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of relevant or admissible evidence.

Subject to the objections, plaintiff provides the ...


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