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Parvati Corp v. City of Oak Forest

July 19, 2010

PARVATI CORP
v.
CITY OF OAK FOREST ET AL.



Name of Assigned Judge Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge Amy J. St. Eve than Assigned Judge

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT

The Court grants Plaintiffs' first and second motions to compel [179][181] in their entirety.

O[ For further details see text below.] Notices mailed by Judicial staff.

STATEMENT

On December 14, 2009, Plaintiff Parvati Corporation ("Parvati") filed its five-count Fourth Amended Complaint against Defendants the City of Oak Lawn ("the City"), Adam Dotson, Steve Jones, and David Newquist alleging race discrimination in preventing the sale of Parvati's hotel to Bethlehem Enterprise, Inc. ("Bethlehem") for use as a senior living facility/extended stay hotel for the predominantly African-American members of Bethlehem church. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1982. Parvati also alleges an equal protection claim based on race, as well as a due process claim and a First Amendment retaliation claim. See 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Before the Court are Parvati's first and second motions to compel pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(a)(3)(B). For the following reasons, the Court, in its discretion, grants Parvati's motions in their entirety.*fn1 Defendants must produce the requested documents by no later than August 1, 2010. In addition, the Court grants Defendants leave to file a supplemental brief concerning Supplemental Document Request No. 24 on or before August 1, 2010, as discussed in detail below.

LEGAL STANDARD

The federal discovery rules are liberal in order to assist in the preparation for trial and settlement of litigated disputes. See Bond v. Utreras, 585 F.3d 1061, 1075 (7th Cir. 2009); see also Kodish v. Oakbrook Terrace Fire Prot. Dist., 235 F.R.D. 447, 450 (N.D. Ill. 2006) ("the scope of discovery should be broad in order to aid in the search for truth"). Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1), "[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense.... 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 burden rests upon the objecting party to show why a particular discovery request is improper." Kodish, 235 F.R.D. at 450. In the context of motions to compel, the Seventh Circuit instructs that a "district court may grant or deny the motion in whole or in part, and similar to ruling on a request for a protective order under Rule 26(c), the district court may fashion a ruling appropriate for the circumstances of the case." Gile v. United Air Lines, Inc., 95 F.3d 492, 496 (7th Cir. 1996). As with all discovery matters, district courts have broad discretion in determining motions to compel. See Peals v. Terre Haute Police Dept., 535 F.2d 621, 629 (7th Cir. 2008); Reynolds v. Jamison, 488 F.3d 756, 761 (7th Cir. 2007).

BACKGROUND

In its Fourth Amended Complaint, Parvati alleges that the City amended its zoning laws by enacting Ordinance No. 2836 in order to thwart Parvati's sale of the property in question to Bethlehem. Parvati further alleges that Ordinance No. 2836 attempted to change what had previously been a single manufacturing district into two different districts, M-1 and M-2, and to change the uses which were permitted in the original single manufacturing district. Parvati maintains that the City rushed through the hearing on the proposed ordinance and failed to publish notice of the proposed hearing 15 days prior to the hearing in violation of the Illinois Municipal Code, 65 ILCS 5/11-13-14. Parvati further alleges that the City deviated from the law by enacting the ordinance because it failed to designate which portions of the manufacturing district were to be M-1 and which were to be M-2 and then lied about its failure to designate the two different districts at the February 2006 hearing of Bethlehem's appeal from the denial of its business license before the Planning and Zoning Commission. In March 2006, the City passed a resolution adopting an updated zoning map to show the entire manufacturing district as M-2.

ANALYSIS

I. Interrogatory No. 2

In its first motion to compel, Parvati moves to compel Defendants to answer Interrogatory No. 2 of Plaintiff's First Supplemental Interrogatories To Defendants, which states:

Interrogatory No. 2: State whether the City ever delineated which portions of the Limited Manufacturing District under the law in effect prior to the purported enactment of Ordinance No. 2836 were to be M-1 under the provisions of Ordinance 2836 and which were to be M-2 under the provisions of Ordinance 2836[.] If so, for each such delineation, state:

(a) The date when the delineation was made;

(b) The full name and last known address of each individual who was involved to any ...


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