United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MR. Israel Arce, Plaintiff: Caroline Watson, John Chris
Goodman, Pomper and Goodman, Chicago, IL.
Timothy Cardoff, Daniel Murphy, Defendants: Mona E Lawton,
LEAD ATTORNEY, Chicago Transit Authority Law Department,
Chief Attorney, Labor & Employment, Chicago, IL; Piemengie N.
Hamisu, Priya Prakash Khatkhate, Chicago Transit Authority,
Chicago Transit Authority, Defendant: Mona E Lawton, LEAD
ATTORNEY, Chicago Transit Authority Law Department, Chief
Attorney, Labor & Employment, Chicago, IL; Piemengie N.
Hamisu, LEAD ATTORNEY, Priya Prakash Khatkhate, Chicago
Transit Authority, Chicago, IL.
OPINION AND ORDER
FINNEGAN, United States Magistrate Judge
29, 2015, Defendant Chicago Transit Authority (the "
CTA" ) deposed Charlotte Arce, spouse of Plaintiff
Israel Arce, based upon Plaintiff's Rule 26(a) disclosure
that Mrs. Arce is a witness with relevant knowledge of his
claims in this case. At the conclusion of her deposition,
Mrs. Arce reserved signature. On August 25, 2015, she signed
and certified sixty-seven changes to her deposition answers.
The CTA filed a " Motion to Strike the Errata Sheets for
Charlotte Arce's Deposition" on September 29, 2015.
(Doc. 132). The motion asks that the errata
changes be stricken in their entirety because they are
untimely and beyond the scope of Rule 30(e)'s allowance
of changes in " form or substance." For the reasons
described below, the Court denies the CTAs motion without
CTA's timeliness and scope-of-changes arguments rest on
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(e)(1). The Rule provides
that, upon request by a deponent or a party before a
deposition is completed, " a deponent must be allowed 30
days after being notified by the officer that the transcript
or recording is available in which: (A) to review the
transcript or recording; and (B) if there are changes in form
or substance, to sign a statement listing the changes and the
reasons for making them." Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(e). The Court
considers the two arguments in turn.
first argues that Mrs. Arce did not complete her changes
within the thirty-day deadline. Mrs. Arce was deposed on June
29, 2015. (Doc. 132-1, at 1). McCorkle
Court Reporters recorded the deposition, and it prepared a
certified letter on July 14, 2015 that stated that the
deposition transcript was " now ready for reading and
signing as required by law." (Doc. 132-2). Mrs. Arce was
invited to make an appointment to read and sign the
deposition within twenty-eight days from the date of the
letter. ( Id. ). According to Mrs. Arce's
declaration, she received the letter on July 25, 2015. (Doc.
137-1). The CTA agrees that this is the date when Mrs. Arce
received notice, thus triggering the thirty-day period under
Rule 30(e). (Doc. 137, at 2; Doc. 150, at 1).
declaration, Mrs. Arce represents that she " began [her]
review and certification on August 21, 2015 and completed the
review and errata sheets on August 24, 2015." (Doc.
137-1). However, it was not until the next day, August 25,
2015, that she appeared before a notary public and signed a
statement certifying that " the foregoing transcript
(with the errata sheets attached) accurately states the
questions asked and the answers given by me as they now
appear." (Doc. 132-3, at 1). Contrary to what Plaintiff
argues, it is this latter date that the Court must consider
when determining whether Mrs. Arce complied with Rule
30(e)'s thirty-day requirement. Welsh v. R.W.
Bradford Transp., 231 F.R.D. 297, 298-99 (N.D. Ill.
2005); see also Sanny v. Trek Bicycle
Corp., No. CIV. 11-2936 ADM/SER, 2013 WL 1912467, at *13
(D. Minn. May 8, 2013) (" Once the transcript or
recording is available, the deponent or party making the
request has 30 days to review and submit the
corrections." ) (emphasis added).
Welsh, the court considered the plaintiff's
argument that she needed only to finish (not certify) her
changes within thirty days. In determining that Rule 30
requires certification and submission of the modifications to
the deposition officer (i.e., the court reporter)
within that period, rather than the deponent's mere
completion of desired changes, the court reasoned:
It was not enough for her to fill out an errata sheet and
date it at the bottom as she claimed she did on May 7th.
First, until the actual certification on page 226 of the
transcript was executed, notarized, and returned to the court
reporter, the changes were obviously preliminary, and could
have been withdrawn or modified. Phrased differently, until
that time, the " changes" envisioned by the Rule
existed only in the contemplation of Ms. Welsh and the
defendants necessarily remained unaware of them, and the
potential for surprise and abuse that the 30-day rule was
designed to eliminate persisted.
Id. at 300-01.
bolster its reading of the Rule, the court relied upon the
incoherence of the plaintiff's interpretation with the
purpose of the Rule's time limit -- namely, eliminating
" difficulties court reporters had in obtaining
signatures . . . in a timely way." Id. at 300.
Under the plaintiff's interpretation, the court reasoned,
parties would be able to delay (whether by days or
indefinitely) the ultimate certification and still comply
with the deadline - a result that would render the time limit
nugatory since the deposition might remain unfinished for a
lengthy period. Id. at 301. Moreover, the court
observed that " the few courts that have considered the
issue have held that the changes must be submitted
to the court reporter within the prescribed period."
Id. (emphasis added) (citing Rios v.