Properties of the Villages, Inc. v. Kranz » The Florida E-Discovery Case Law Database » Levin College of Law » University of Florida

Properties of the Villages, Inc. v. Kranz

Properties of the Villages, Inc. v. Kranz

Case Date: 11/02/2020
Citation: 2020 WL 6393834 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 2, 2020); 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203963
Court Type: Federal District
Court: Middle District of Florida (M.D. Fla.)
Judge: Federal Magistrate Judge: Philip R. Lammens
Rule(s): Rule 26(b)(1); Rule 37(a)
Issues:

The court considered the defendants’ motion to compel the Properties of the Villages (the “Villages”) to produce documents and the defendants’ motion was then granted in part. The disputed discovery requests at issue are the defendants’ joint request for production number 7, which sought documents, emails, text messages, letters, or notes to or from any of the defendants and POV or its representatives; and request for production number 10, which sought documents involving suggested political votes or contributions from 2008 to present coming from or on behalf of the Villages or any representative of the Villages.

  • Issues Under Request for Production 7
    • Is the Villages correct in asserting that searching for “any and all” emails that might be relevant over a period of 15 years will be unduly burdensome, and if so, what changes should be made to the request for production?
    • Is the defendants’ request for all other relevant documents, letters, notes, and text messages over a period of 15 years also unduly burdensome, and if so, what amendment in the request for production would be proportional?
  • Issues Under Request for Production 10
    • Are the documents dealing with suggested political votes or contributions from 2008 to present relevant?
    • Must the defendants provide legal support for their theory that the documents are relevant to their affirmative defense?
Resolution:
  • Request for Production 7
    • The court found that this request for production would be unduly burdensome. As a result, the defendants amended their request to instead ask for all relevant emails from January 1, 2017 to present, and agreed to the production of emails prior to January 1, 2017, subject to search terms agreed by the parties. Although requesting
    • The court found that this time period would also be unduly burdensome, and POV should only have to produce all relevant correspondence to the defendants from January 1, 2017 to present, and the parties should agree on relevant search terms to produce any electronic documents or text messages that may be relevant.
  • Request for Production 10
    • The defendants pleaded the affirmative defense that the Villages is estopped from enforcing the independent contractor agreement because it required the defendants to make illegal and improper political contributions and donations. Therefore, any documents regarding those suggested political votes and contributions would be relevant.
    • Although it may be difficult to imagine how the defendants will prevail on their theory, that is not the standard for discovery. During discovery, “the court is not required to examine the likelihood of success or the merits of any claims or defenses.” Instead, the court must consider if the information is “relevant to the claims and defenses in the action, and then ask whether the proposed discovery is proportional to the needs of the case.”
  • Conclusion
    • The court held that POV must comply with the defendants’ joint request for production numbers 7 and 10 as outlined in the resolution.
Relevant Documents:

Defendants’ Motion to Overrule Objections and Compel Production of Documents

Plaintiff:Counter-Defentant’s Response in Opposition to Motion to Overrule and to Compel

Order

E-Discovery Issues: Discovery Order, Motion to Compel, Production Request
E-discovery Tags: Proportionality, Relevancy
E-discovery subjects: Email, Text message

Published: July 26th, 2021

Category: Uncategorized


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