United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
DAVID C. KEESLER, Magistrate Judge.
THIS MATTER IS BEFORE THE COURT on "Plaintiff Baker & Taylor's Motion To Compel Production From Defendant David Griffin" (Document No. 81). This motion has been referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b), and is ripe for review. Having carefully considered the motion, the record, and applicable authority, the undersigned will deny the motion.
Plaintiff Baker & Taylor, Inc. ("Plaintiff" or "B&T") filed its "Complaint" (Document No. 1) against College Book Rental Company, LLC ("CBR"), Charles Jones ("Jones"), and David Griffin ("Griffin") (collectively "Defendants") on August 24, 2012. The Complaint asserts that Defendant CBR owes Plaintiff "$19, 437, 734.73 for Books CBR ordered, received, and accepted from Baker & Taylor, but for which CBR did not remit payment to Baker & Taylor." (Document No. 1, p.5). The Complaint further asserts that "Jones and Griffin each guaranteed payment of all obligations of CBR to Baker & Taylor by executing personal guaranties." (Document No. 1, p.3).
On December 19, 2013, the Court granted the parties' "Joint Motion To Amend The Pretrial Order And Case Management Plan" (Document No. 79), with modification. (Document No. 80). The current deadlines in this matter are as follows: discovery - March 28, 2014; mediation - April 4, 2014; motions - April 11, 2014; and trial October 6, 2014. Id.
"Plaintiff Baker & Taylor's Motion To Compel Production From Defendant David Griffin" (Document No. 81) was filed on January 25, 2014. As of January 25, 2014, Plaintiff sought an Order compelling the production of five (5) categories of information. (Document No. 81, pp.1-2; Document No. 82, pp.1-2). "Defendant David Griffin's Response In Opposition..." (Document No. 84) was timely filed on February 13, 2014. On February 24, 2014, Plaintiff's "Reply In Support..." (Document No. 89) was filed. Plaintiff's "Reply..." indicates that the motion to compel has been narrowed to two (2) specific requests. (Document No. 89, p.11). Plaintiff now seeks an Order compelling Defendant Griffin to:
(1) identify all records within his possession, custody or control, which may contain documents responsive to B&T's Document Requests, including the records of CBR, SEB [non-party SE Book Company, LLC], and their successors and affiliates;
(2) search for and produce all documents, including but not limited to ESI, responsive to the Document Requests, using a set of search terms and custodians to be supplied by B&T following Griffin's aforementioned disclosure of records
On February 26, 2014, Defendant Griffin filed a "Motion For Leave To File Surreply In Opposition To New Arguments Raised In Plaintiff's Reply In Support Of Motion To Compel Against David Griffin" (Document No. 90). Plaintiff's "Response In Opposition To Motion For Leave To File A Surreply" (Document No. 91) was filed February 27, 2014.
II. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that:
Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any documents or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons who know of any discoverable matter. For good cause, the court may order discovery of any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the action. Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). The rules of discovery are to be accorded broad and liberal construction. See Herbert v. Lando , 441 U.S. 153, 177 (1979); and Hickman v. Taylor , 329 U.S. 495, 507 (1947). However, a court may "issue an order to protect a party or person from annoyance, ...