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Delta Communications, L.L.C. D/B/A Clearwave Communications v. Mci Communications Services

June 17, 2011

DELTA COMMUNICATIONS, L.L.C. D/B/A CLEARWAVE COMMUNICATIONS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MCI COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES, INC. D/B/A VERIZON BUSINESS SERVICES, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Donald G. Wilkerson United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

This matter is before the Court on a disagreement between the parties as to the scope of discovery in this matter. On May 19, 2011, the Court ordered the parties to submit briefs regarding the scope of discovery (Doc. 42). In response, the parties submitted a joint report setting forth their areas of agreement and disagreement regarding the scope of discovery. Having reviewed the report and the pleadings in this case, the Court makes the following rulings.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

This litigation involves a billing dispute between Plaintiff Delta Communications, L.L.C. d/b/a Clearwave Communications ("Clearwave" or "Plaintiff") and Defendant MCI Communications Services, Inc. d/b/a Verizon Business Services, Inc. ("Verizon Business" or "Defendant").*fn1 At issue are intrastate phone calls made by Verizon Business customers for which Clearwave provided the origination access service interconnecting and transporting the phone traffic to Verizon Business's facilities. Also in dispute are intrastate calls made by Verizon Business long distance customers to Clearwave's local service customers. For these customers, Clearwave maintains that it provided the terminating access service for Verizon Business by interconnecting and transporting the phone traffic from Verizon Business's facilities to Clearwave's facilities.

Verizon Business has withheld payment on invoices dated January 2010 to present that Clearwave claims are due to them under federal and state tariffs. Verizon Business maintains that the call detail records ("CDRs") do not support Clearwave's invoices because those CDRs do not have a carrier identification code ("CIC") that identifies Verizon Business as the carrier responsible for paying for those calls. In fact, Verizon Business has amended its answer and filed counterclaims for monies paid Clearwave on improper billing prior to January 2010.

Having reviewed the pleadings and documents submitted to the Court, it appears that the only way to settle this dispute is through the records. However, the parties disagree as to whose responsibility it is to produce the relevant records.

UNDISPUTEDSCOPEOFDISCOVERY

The parties have agreed and informed the Court that the following topics are proper subjects for discovery in this matter:

1. Clearwave's federal and state switched access tariffs, FCC Tariff No. 1 and Illinois C.C. Tariff No. 3;

2. The monthly invoices that Clearwave sent to Verizon Business during the period from June 2009 to the present;

3. The call detail records Clearwave sent to Verizon Business to support Clearwave's invoices to Verizon Business for each month during the period from June 2009 to the present;

4. Correspondence relating to the dispute at issue in this litigation, including intercompany correspondence (including dispute notifications), intracompany correspondence, and correspondence with third parties;

5. Clearwave's reasons for billing Verizon Business (rather than another carrier) for the disputed calls, including Clearwave's use of call detail records (also known as EMI records), the source of those call detail records, the manner in which an incumbent local exchange carrier or Clearwave generated those call detail records, and the fields on the call detail records on which Clearwave did (or did not) rely in billing Verizon Business;

6. Clearwave's discovery, starting in or around November 2009, of a set of call detail records from September 2007 through August 2009 for which Clearwave billed Verizon Business in its November 2009 through July 2010 invoices, as well as information about the discovered call records themselves;

7. The role (if any) that Clearwave's third-party billing vendor(s) played in determining that Clearwave should bill Verizon Business (rather than another carrier) for the disputed calls; The manner in which Clearwave's network is interconnected with the networks of other telecommunications carriers;

8. The amounts Verizon Business has withheld from and paid to Clearwave, including the amounts Verizon Business claims it has overpaid Clearwave;

9. Any complaints filed by Verizon Business with the Illinois Communication Commission regarding any of the disputed traffic;

10. The legal relationship between Verizon Business and the former incumbent local exchange ...


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