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CITY OF CHICAGO v. RELIABLE TRUCK PARTS CO.

June 14, 1991

THE CITY OF CHICAGO, a Municipal Corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
RELIABLE TRUCK PARTS CO., INC., DAVE KAPLAN, LEROY KAPLAN, EDWARD R. BRANDWEIN, and WILLIAM KOEHLER, Defendants


James B. Moran, Chief United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: MORAN

JAMES B. MORAN, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 At issue is whether a corporate defendant with no Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination may be compelled to provide additional deposition testimony as to information that can only be obtained from individual co-defendants, all of whom are corporate officers and employees who have asserted their Fifth Amendment privilege. The corporate defendant, Reliable Truck Parts Co., Inc. (Reliable), has filed objections to the February 8, 1991 decision and order of Magistrate Judge Lefkow granting a motion to compel filed by plaintiff, the City of Chicago (City). For the following reasons, this court sets aside that decision and order as contrary to law.

 BACKGROUND

 The facts underlying this litigation have been set forth in prior memoranda and orders issued by this court. *fn1" The City's amended complaint alleges that Reliable and certain of its officers and employees -- LeRoy Kaplan, its president; David Kaplan, its primary shareholder and former president; Edward Brandwein, its secretary and treasurer; and William Koehler, a salesman who often processed City orders -- defrauded the City by charging inflated prices for truck parts. From the inception of the litigation, the allegations made by the City in this civil suit have also been the subject of a grand jury investigation targeting the defendants. All of the individual defendants have asserted their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

 The City served Reliable with a notice of deposition in December 1989, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6). The deposition was to cover:

 
1) The preparation of Reliable's bids on any and all contracts between the City and Reliable.
 
2) The negotiation of any and all contracts between the City and Reliable.
 
3) The administration, execution, and monitoring of any and all contracts between the City and Reliable (this includes the processing of orders received from the City, delivery of orders to the City, as well as billing of orders made by the City).
 
4) Reliable's procedures for processing and billing orders for customers other than the City during the period from 1978 through the present.
 
5) Reliable's recordkeeping procedures for accounting, processing of customer accounts, and inventory control during the period 1978 through the present.
 
6) Reliable's corporate structure as well as Reliable's relationship to Reliable Trailer Parts Co. Inc. and Reliable Supply and Equipment Co. Inc.
 
7) Duties and functions performed by Reliable's officers and employees from 1978 ...

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