The opinion of the court was delivered by: Proud, Magistrate Judge
Before the Court is plaintiff's motion to compel the defendants to produce and/or supplement materials and information previously requested or disclosed. (Doc. 131). More specifically, plaintiff seeks:
1. Compensation data of the defendant school district's employees beginning with the 2004/2005 school year to the present;
2. Copies of the defendants' legal bills from September 2005 to the present;
3. The School Board's open session meeting minutes from November 2005 to the present; and
4. The School Board's closed session meeting minutes in written form from January 1997 to the present, and in recorded form from January 2004 to the present.
The defendants object to the subject motion, noting that the discovery period closed in August 2006, and principally arguing that the requested materials are not relevant to the issues remaining in the case. (Doc. 135). With respect to the meeting minutes, both parties essentially reiterate their positions regarding the defendants' pending motion to limit evidence to only those remedies available under the Family and Medical Leave Act (Docs. 107 and 118). From the defendants' perspective, the parameters of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), 29 U.S.C. § 2617, would exclude evidence of emotional distress and consequential damages, and leave issues of front and back pay to the trial judge, not the jury. In reply, plaintiff contends that the issue is whether it is fair to deprive her of information needed to counter the defendants' "surprise" defense, particularly when the needed information is encompassed by previous discovery requests. (Doc. 139). Plaintiff also stresses her belief that the defendants have violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act and have been manipulating the discovery process, misleading the Court and conducting the defense in an unethical manner. (Doc. 139).
The defendants' motions in limine are the prerogative of U.S. District Judge William D. Stiehl, while the discovery issues are for the undersigned magistrate judge to determine.
The Timing of the Motion to Compel
As a preliminary matter, the timing of the subject motion must be addressed. Discovery closed August 14, 2006. Ordinarily, all motions pertaining to discovery issues should have been filed by that deadline. In this situation, the discovery period concluded, dispositive motions were filed and ruled on, and there was no indication of any pending discovery dispute. When the defendants were granted summary judgment, plaintiff appealed and the case was reversed and remanded relative to Count I, the FMLA retaliation claim, and Count II, the companion breach of contract, which is based on the FMLA. Although discovery closed long ago, the Court will entertain plaintiff's motion in light of the appellate decision and the evidentiary issues framed therein. However, it must also be understood that discovery was not reopened upon remand. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(ii).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) permits the discovery of any matter relevant to the subject matter of the pending action, so long as the sought after information is not privileged, even if inadmissible at trial, if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. The Supreme Court has interpreted relevance broadly to include any matter that bears on, or that reasonably could lead to other matter that could bear on, any issue that is or may be in the case. Oppenheimer Fund, Inc. v. Sanders, 437 U.S. 340, 351 (1978).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(e) dictates that a party who has made a required disclosure or responded to a discovery request with a disclosure has a duty to supplement or correct the disclosure if the disclosing party learns the response is materially incorrect or incomplete, or if information thereafter acquired ...