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International Union of Operating Engineers v. Dem/Ex Group

September 20, 2011

INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS LOCAL NO. 649, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DEM/EX GROUP, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Byron G. Cudmore United States Magistrate Judge

E-FILED

Tuesday, 20 September, 2011 09:48:26 AM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

BYRON G. CUDMORE, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE:

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff International Union of Operating Engineers Local No. 649's (Union) Motion to Compel Response to Plaintiff's First Request to Produce Documents (d/e 15) (Motion). For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is ALLOWED in part and DENIED in part.

BACKGROUND

The Union filed this action under the Labor-Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 301, to enforce an arbitrator's award. The Union alleges that the Union and Defendant Dem/Ex Group, Inc. (Dem/Ex), entered into collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) on February 14, 2005, and April 7, 2007, commonly known as the Highway & Heavy Construction Agreements. The Union alleges that it submitted a dispute with Dem/Ex to a Joint Construction Grievance Committee (Committee) pursuant to the terms of the CBAs. The Union alleges that on May 13, 2009, the Committee ruled in favor of the Union and ordered Dem/Ex to make payments to the Union. The Union alleges those payments have not been made. The Union seeks a judgment for $580,514.66 against Dem/Ex due under the Committee's award. Complaint for Arbitration of Award (d/e 1), at 2-3.

Dem/Ex has answered and raised two defenses: (1) the CBAs are not binding on Dem/Ex because the representative of Dem/Ex who signed the CBAs, William Fisher, was not properly authorized to do so; and (2) The CBAs are not enforceable because the Union committed fraud in execution of the 2007 CBA. Answer and Affirmative Defense (d/e 6), at 3-5.

On May 27, 2011, the Union served Dem/Ex with the Plaintiff's First Request to Produce Documents to Defendant (Request to Produce). Motion, Exhibit 1, Request to Produce. On June 30, 2011, Dem/Ex responded to the Request to Produce. Dem/Ex objected to Requests Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6. Motion, Exhibit 2, Defendant's Response to Plaintiff's First Request to Produce Documents, at 1-3. The parties attempted to resolve the objections. The Union modified its Request No. 2 during these discussions. The parties, however, were not able to resolve the objections. The Union has now filed 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 ...


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