United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MICHAEL NOVAK, CHRISTINA NOVAK, and their daughter, T.N., Plaintiffs,
STATE PARKWAY CONDOMINIUM ASS'N, DONNA WEBER, and LIEBERMAN MANAGEMENT SERVS., INC., Defendants.
Jeffrey T. Gilbert United States Magistrate Judge
Motion for Protective Order under Rule 26(c)(1)(B)  is
granted in part and denied in part. The motion hearing
noticed for 6/15/17 at 9:15 a.m.  is stricken. Status
hearing for a report on the parties' progress with
discovery set for 6/19/17 at 2:30 p.m. See Statement below
for further details.
matter is now before the Court on Defendants' Motion for
Protective Order under Rule 26(c)(1)(B) .
Defendants are seeking a protective order providing that they
need not pay for certain travel expenses incurred by
Plaintiffs in connection with the deposition of Donna Weber
in Florida. Defendants offered to pay the airfare for Mr.
Novak to travel to and from Florida. [430 at 1]; [442 at 4];
[477, ¶ 1], Defendants represent, though, that
Plaintiffs want Defendants to cover all travel expenses
related to deposing Weber (including airfare, lodging and
meals) for both Mr. Novak and T.N. [477, ¶ 1]. In
response, Plaintiffs say they have not asked Defendants to
cover meals but do not refute Defendants' representation
regarding the other expenses. [478, ¶ 2].
Court already ruled it would not require Weber to be deposed
in Chicago, Illinois, because '"there is a
presumption that a defendant . . . shall be deposed in the
district where the deponent resides'" and Plaintiffs
have not rebutted the presumption. [442 at 3-4] (quoting
DeGeer v. Gillis, 2010 WL 3732132, at *1 (N.D. Ill.
Sept. 17, 2010)). Although Defendants have offered to pay
some of Plaintiffs' travel expenses incurred to depose
Weber in Florida, they arguably are not required to cover any
of those expenses. At a minimum, Plaintiffs have not
identified a basis for requiring Defendants to pay for more
than Mr, Novak's airfare, which Defendants volunteered to
do. Therefore, Defendants' Motion for Protective Order is
granted to the extent that Defendants are not required to pay
Plaintiffs' travel expenses other than Mr, Novak's
Defendants also are seeking a protective order limiting the
duration of the depositions of Donna Weber, State
Parkway's Rule 30(b)(6) representative, and Lieberman
Management Services, Inc.'s Rule 30(b)(6) representative.
[477, ¶ 1]. Defendants ask that each deposition be
limited to one seven-hour day. Id. Plaintiffs, on
the other hand, want to have up to two seven-hour days for
each deposition, although they say the deposition of
Lieberman's Rule 30(b)(6) representative may only take
one day. [478, ¶ 1].
the Court explained on the record during the status hearing
held on March 23, 2017, it is not unreasonable to think
Plaintiffs will need additional time to depose Weber.
Plaintiffs Mr. and Mrs, Novak have communicative
disabilities. Their daughter, T.N., is 19 years old. Weber is
a defendant in this case and she was involved during a
multiyear period in a number of the alleged events that form
the basis of Plaintiffs' claims in this lawsuit. As
already noted, the parties will have to travel to Florida to
depose Weber. Were the Court to limit Weber's deposition
to seven hours, that could force the parties to incur
significant additional travel expenses if Plaintiffs
successfully moved to reopen the deposition after they
returned to Chicago, thus requiring a second trip to Florida.
Therefore, the Court grants Plaintiffs leave to depose Weber
for up to two consecutive seven-hour days, if needed, and
denies Defendants' Motion for Protective Order to the
extent it seeks to limit the deposition of Weber to seven
hours. Of course, if Plaintiffs can complete Weber's
deposition in less than 14 hours, they should do so.
analysis is not the same with respect to the Rule 30(b)(6)
depositions of State Parkway and Lieberman. Under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 30(d)(1), depositions are limited to
one seven-hour day unless otherwise stipulated by the parties
or ordered by the Court. Fed. R. Civ, P. 30(d)(1). The Court
is not convinced at this time that Plaintiffs will need to
exceed the seven-hour limit for these depositions. In fact,
as already noted, Plaintiffs state they may not need more
than seven hours to depose Lieberman's Rule 30(b)(6)
representative. Moreover, if Plaintiffs conduct each
deposition for one seven-hour day and then conclude they need
more time for either one, Plaintiffs can file a motion with
the Court seeking that relief (assuming Defendants do not
agree to Plaintiffs' request for more time). Then, with
the benefit of a fully developed record, the Court can decide
whether additional time is needed. Because the depositions
will occur in Chicago, Illinois, neither party would incur
significant travel expenses if either deposition were
reopened. Therefore, the Court grants Defendants' Motion
for Protective Order to the extent it seeks to limit the Rule
30(b)(6) depositions of State Parkway and Lieberman to one
seven-hour day each, without prejudice to Plaintiffs'
ability to seek more time for either deposition after the
first full day of testimony.
the reasons stated above, Defendants' Motion for
Protective Order under Rule 26(c)(1)(B)  is ...