United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
VINCENT E. STUART, Plaintiff,
TOWN OF FRAMINGHAM and BRIAN SIMONEAU, Assistant to the Chief of Police of the Town of Framingham, individually, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
TALWANI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before this court are three motions by Plaintiff Vincent
Stuart: (1) a Motion to Compel Discovery from
Defendants (“Mot. Compel Defs.'
Discovery”) [#41], (2) a Motion to Compel Ronald
Brandolini's and Robert Downing's Compliance with
Third-Party Subpoenas (“Mot. Compel Third-Party
Subpoenas”) [#44], and (3) a Motion for an Order to
Enter Regarding Discovery of Electronically Stored
Information (“Mot. for ESI Order”) [#46].
For the reasons set forth below, the Motion for an ESI
Order [#46] is ALLOWED IN PART and DENIED IN PART, the
Motion to Compel Defendants' Discovery [#41] is
ALLOWED IN PART and DENIED IN PART AS MOOT, and the
Motion to Compel Third-Party Subpoenas [#44] is
ALLOWED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
motions stem from a long-simmering discovery dispute.
Plaintiff states that as of August 11, 2017, Defendants Town
of Framingham (the “Town”) and Brian Simoneau had
not produced any documents or responded to Plaintiff's
interrogatories. Pl.'s Mem. Re Defs.' Discovery 1
[#42]. In their opposition, Defendants counter that they have
now produced over 2, 600 pages of documents, provided answers
to interrogatories directed at Simoneau, and are continuing
to negotiate production of ESI. Defs.' Opp'n
Pl.'s Mot. Compel Defs.' Discovery 1 [#49]. They also
argue that Plaintiff's discovery requests have been
unduly burdensome. Id. at 5. Further, Defendants
request a stay of discovery pending the outcome of their
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
initial matter, Defendants' request for a stay of
discovery is denied. Their Motion for Judgment on the
Pleadings [#27] is directed at only two counts of the
Amended Complaint [#20]. Thus, an overarching stay
of all discovery is unnecessary.
seeks an order regarding discovery of ESI to
“facilitate the appropriate maintenance, collection,
review, and production of electronically stored information
(“ESI”) within the possession, custody, or
control of the parties.” Mot. for ESI Order 1 [#46].
Defendants counter that no such order is necessary, given
their expectation that “the ESI vendor use of industry
standard protocol for production will be consistent with the
parameters sought by the Plaintiff and wholly
satisfactory.” Defs.' Opp'n Pl.'s Mot. for
ESI Order (“Defs' Opp'n to ESI Order”) 1
[#53]. Further, Defendants suggest that the order proposed by
Plaintiffs adds unnecessary burden and irrelevant
requirements. Id. at 2-3.
light of the discovery delays to date, the court finds that
deadlines for disclosure of shared drives and servers
containing discoverable information, third-party data sources
and the ability to preserve such materials, and inaccessible
data, Mot. for ESI Order, Ex. A (“Proposed ESI
Order”) ¶¶ A.1-A.3 [#46-1], for production of
privilege logs, id. ¶ C.1, and for a requesting
party's proposal of additional search terms within 14
days of receipt of a producing party's production,
id. ¶ D.2.b, appear necessary. Accordingly,
Defendants' objection to such deadlines is overruled.
contrary to Defendants' interpretation, the court reads
“non-custodial data sources” to refer to data
sources over which Defendants have possession, custody or
control, but which are not associated with one particular
custodian, rather than data sources over which Defendants do
not have possession, custody, or control. Thus, to the extent
the proposed ESI Order requires both parties to search
custodial and non-custodial data sources, see id.
¶ D.2.a, and where the producing party has possession,
custody, or control over the non-custodial data sources,
Defendants' objection is overruled.
the court agrees that requirements for production of
hard-copy documents, see id. ¶ E, are outside
the scope of an ESI order. Therefore, that section shall be
stricken from the proposed ESI Order. Finally, to the extent
the proposed ESI order requires a producing party to produce
documents in a format or manner other than that contemplated
by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34, such requirements are
unduly burdensome. Thus, Section D.1 shall be amended to
reflect that the format and manner for all productions must
be consistent and coextensive with Federal Rule of Civil
Plaintiff's Motion for an Order to Enter Regarding
Discovery of Electronically Stored Information [#46] is
ALLOWED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. The parties shall submit
a revised proposed ESI Order consistent with the
modifications set forth above, for this court's approval.
Motion to Compel Discovery from Defendants
Motion to Compel Defendants' Discovery [#41],
Plaintiff seeks (1) immediate production of written responses
to interrogatories served on the Town and Simoneau and of
responsive, hard-copy documents; (2) production of
responsive, ESI ...