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Jinrun Gao v. Snyder Companies and Brickyard Apartments By Snyder

August 17, 2011

JINRUN GAO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SNYDER COMPANIES AND BRICKYARD APARTMENTS BY SNYDER, LLC, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Byron G. Cudmore, U.S. Magistrate Judge:

E-FILED Wednesday, 17 August, 2011 03:50:25 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

This matter comes before the Court on pro se Plaintiff Jinrun Gao's Motion to Compel Production of Documents (d/e 38) (Motion). For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is ALLOWED in part and DENIED in part.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Jinrun Gao alleges that he and his wife Shengju Rong rented an apartment in Bloomington, Illinois, from Defendant Brickyard Apartments by Snyder, LLC (LLC), from January 25, 2007, to February 29, 2008. Amended Complaint (d/e 19), ¶¶ 6. Gao alleges that he and his wife Rong are of American Chinese and Chinese origin. Id. Gao alleges that Defendant Snyder Companies owns LLC (collectively Snyder). Id.

¶ 5. Gao alleges that in January 2008, cigarette smoke started seeping into his apartment. His wife, Rong, developed asthma because of the smoke. Gao alleges that Rong became handicapped, as that term is used in the Fair Housing Act (Act), as a result of her asthma. Id. ¶¶ 5, 9, 13(c);

42 U.S.C. § 3602(h). Gao alleges that he and his wife complained and were discriminated against in violation of the Act because of their Chinese ethnicity and also retaliated against because of their assertion of their rights under the Act. Amended Complaint, ¶¶ 10-15; 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604, 3617. Gao also alleges that Snyder refused to accommodate his wife's asthma in violation of the Act. Amended Complaint, ¶ 13; 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f). Gao alleges that the discrimination and retaliation was intentional and willful. Amended Complaint, ¶ 15. Gao alleges that he is seeking damages for himself and Rong. Rong did not sign any pleadings and has not made an appearance as a party in the case.

On May 24, 2011, Gao served Plaintiff's First Request to Produce to Defendants. Motion, attached Plaintiff's First Request to Produce to Defendants (Request). Snyder responded with some documents and some objections. The parties conferred to resolve the objections and Snyder resubmitted its response to Gao. Motion, attached Defendant's Response to Plaintiff's First Request to Produce to Defendants to Re-Submit Responses to this Set of Request for Production (Response).

Snyder then provided another supplemental response. Defendants' Filing of Attachment to Defendants' Response to Motion to Compel For Production of Documents (d/e 42), attached Defendants' Supplemental Answers to Plaintiff's First Set of Request to Produce (Supplemental Response). Gao still believes Snyder's response is insufficient and has brought this Motion.

DISCOVERY PRINCIPLES

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) allows parties to obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the claim or defense of any party. Relevant information need not be admissible at trial if the discovery appears to be reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. The rule gives the district courts broad discretion in matters relating to discovery. See Brown-Bey v. United States, 720 F.2d 467, 470-471 (7th Cir.1983); Eggleston v. Chicago Journeymen Plumbers' Local Union 130, U. A., 657 F.2d 890, 902 (7th Cir.1981); see also, Indianapolis Colts v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, 775 F.2d 177, 183 (7th Cir.1985) (on review, courts of appeal will only reverse a decision of a district court relating to discovery upon a clear showing of an abuse of discretion). "[I]f there is an objection the discovery goes beyond material relevant to the parties' claims or defenses, the Court would become involved to determine whether the discovery is relevant to the claims or defenses and, if not, whether good cause exists for authorizing it so long as it is relevant to the subject matter of the action. The good-cause standard warranting broader discovery is meant to be flexible." Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1) Advisory Committee Notes, 2000 Amendment.

The federal discovery rules are to be construed broadly and liberally. Herbert v. Lando, 441 U.S. 153, 177 (1979); Jeffries v. LRP Publications, Inc., 184 F.R.D. 262, 263 (E.D .Pa. 1999). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) provides that the "[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the claim or defense of any party," but "[f]or good cause, the court may order discovery of any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the action." Id. The party opposing discovery has the burden of proving that the requested discovery should be disallowed. Etienne v. Wolverine Tube, Inc., 185 F.R.D. 653, 656 (D. Kan. 1999); Golden Valley Microwave Foods, Inc. v. Weaver Popcorn Co. Inc., 132 F.R.D. 204, 207 (N.D. Ind. 1990); Flag Fables, Inc. v. Jean Ann's Country Flags and Crafts, Inc., 730 F. Supp. 1165, 1186 (D. Mass. 1989).

District Courts have broad discretion in discovery matters. Packman v. Chicago Tribune Co., 267 F.3d 628, 646 (7th Cir. 2001). A party must be diligent in pursuing the perceived inadequacies in discovery. Packman at 647. However, even an untimely filed motion to compel may still be allowed if the party demonstrates actual and substantial prejudice resulting from ...


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