United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division
DIERDRA A. BREWSTER, Plaintiff,
NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE, Defendant.
JARRREJ E. GATES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
case comes before the court on five discovery motions by pro
se plaintiff Dierdra A. Brewster ("plaintiff'): (1)
two motions to limit access to plaintiffs medical records
(D.E. 19, 21); (2) a motion to limit access to plaintiffs
financial and bank records, plaintiffs mother, and, again,
plaintiffs medical records (D.E. 25); (3) a motion for
extension of time to produce a computation of the damages
claimed (D.E. 20); and (4) a motion to redact purportedly
confidential information in an exhibit to plaintiffs
complaint (D.E. 31). Defendant North Carolina Department of
the Secretary of State ("defendant") filed a
response in opposition to the motions at D.E. 19 and 21.
See Def.'s Mem. (D.E. 24). Plaintiff filed a
reply (D.E. 36). For the reasons and on the terms set forth
below, the motion for extension (D.E. 20) will be allowed and
the remaining motions will be denied.
employment discrimination case was commenced by plaintiff on
7 September 2018. Compl. (D.E. 1). In her complaint and
attached exhibits, plaintiff alleges that defendant
discriminated against her on the basis of her age and
religion, and retaliated against her for filing an earlier
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC")
complaint. Id. §§ II, III.D; EEOC Inquiry
Information (D.E. 1-1) 3. As relief, she seeks recovery of
lost wages and benefits, and the "value of emotional
distress since 2010," estimated to total $500, 000.00.
Stmt. of Claim (D.E. 1-2 at p. 2).
Scheduling Order (D.E. 28) was entered on 5 December 2018.
Plaintiff filed a motion (D.E. 29) to appeal and amend the
Scheduling Order, which was denied. 13 Feb. 2019 Ord. (D.E.
39). The Scheduling Order provides for discovery to close on
30 April 2019. Sch. Ord. ¶ 1.
APPLICABLE LEGAL PRINCIPLES
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure enable parties to obtain
information by serving requests for discovery on each other,
including interrogatories, requests for production of
documents, and requests for admission. See generally
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26-37. Rule 26 provides for a broad scope of
Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged
matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense
and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the
importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount
in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant
information, the parties' resources, the importance of
the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden
or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely
benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not
be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1).
district court has broad discretion in determining relevance
for discovery purposes. Seaside Farm, Inc. v. United
States, 842 F.3d 853, 860 (4th Cir. 2016); Watson v.
Low country Red Cross, 974 F.2d 482, 489 (4th
Cir. 1992). The party resisting discovery bears the burden of
establishing the legitimacy of its objections. Eramo v.
Rolling Stone LLC, 314 F.R.D. 205, 209 (W.D. Va. 2016)
("[T]he party or person resisting discovery, not the
party moving to compel discovery, bears the burden of
persuasion." (quoting Kinetic Concepts, Inc. v.
ConvaTec Inc., 268 F.R.D. 226, 243 (M.D. N.C. 2010)));
Brey Corp. v. LQ Mgmt., L.L.C., No.
AW-11-cv-00718-AW, 2012 WL 3127023, at *4 (D. Md. 26 Jul.
2012) ("In order to limit the scope of discovery, the
'party resisting discovery bears the burden of showing
why [the discovery requests] should not be
granted.'" (quoting Clere v. GC Servs.,
L.P., No. 3:10-cv-00795, 2011 WL 2181176, at *2 (S.D.
W.Va.3 June 2011))).
court is also authorized to impose appropriate limitations on
discovery. Rule 26 provides that the "court may, for
good cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from
annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or
expense." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1). A party moving for a
protective order has the burden of making a particularized
showing of why discovery should be denied, and conclusory or
generalized statements in the motion fail to meet this
burden. Smith v. United Salt Co., No. 1:08CV00053,
2009 WL 2929343, at *5 (W.D. Va. 9 Sept. 2009).
Motions for Limitation of Discovery (D.E. 19, 21,
noted, in three of her motions, plaintiff seeks collectively
to limit access to her medical records, bank and other
financial records, and mother. See D.E. 19, 21, 25.
In substance, ...