United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
RICHARD WEBBER, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
Compel Interrogatory Responses [ECF No. 218].
their Motion to Compel, Defendants Dr. James Leininger,
Courage 2012, LLC, and Mission City Management, Inc.
(“Defendants”) ask the Court to order Plaintiff
Ron and Dorit Golan (“Plaintiffs”) to provide
responses to the following interrogatories: for Leininger,
numbers 3-7, 12-16, 18-23; for Courage 2012, numbers 3, 5, 6,
and 8; and for Mission City, numbers 3, 5, 6, 8, and 10.
These interrogatories focus around two main topics of
inquiry. First, facts Plaintiffs claim make Defendants
responsible for the calls at issue, and second, facts showing
why Defendants are principals of the parties who placed the
calls, ccAdvertising and Gabe Joseph. Almost all of the
interrogatories begin, “List all facts showing . .
.” Plaintiffs object to these interrogatories
as overbroad, burdensome, and not reasonably likely to lead
to the discovery of admissible evidence. Plaintiffs further
assert these interrogatories would require a response
“of short-story length.” Plaintiffs argue these
violate the work product privilege and would take more than a
month for them to answer.
interrogatories are commonly called contention
interrogatories, which ask for one party to indicate all of
the facts on which it bases its allegations, or to explain
how the law applies to the facts. White v. 14051
Manchester Inc., No. 412CV469 JAR, 2012 WL 5994263 at *9
(E.D. Mo. Nov. 20, 2012). These types of interrogatories are
permissible because they narrow and sharpen the issues for
trial by pinning the plaintiff down on particular issues and
identifying the factual basis for those positions. Heubel
Material Handling, Inc. v. Universal Underwriters Ins.
Co., No. 4:10-CV-00102-DGK, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31359
at *3 (W.D. Mo. Mar. 25, 2011). However, these
interrogatories may get burdensome, or become overly broad
depending on the context of the case.
matter, there are a number of contention interrogatories for
Plaintiffs to answer. Although they are similar in nature,
they involve different Defendants. The Court can understand
how this can easily become overly burdensome. Therefore, the
Court will require Plaintiffs to answer the interrogatories
but will limit the responses to the principal or material
facts supporting Plaintiffs' allegations referenced in
the interrogatory. See Moses v. Halstead, 236 F.R.D.
667, 674 (D. Kan. 2006) (“The general rule in this
court is that interrogatories may ask for the principal or
material facts which support an allegation or
defense.”). In determining what is principal or
material, the parties shall abide by Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 26(a) which states: “Parties may obtain
discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant
to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the
needs of the case . . . Information within this scope of
discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be
discoverable.” If Plaintiffs believe a response is
privileged or protected by the work-product doctrine,
Plaintiffs shall detail those objections in a privilege log.
shall respond to Defendants' interrogatories within
twenty (20) days of this order. Dispositive motions are
currently due by March 10, 2017. The Court will extend this
deadline to March 31, 2017, to accommodate this order.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to Compel
Interrogatory Responses [ECF No. 218] is GRANTED.
Propounded Dr. Leininger
List all facts showing that Leininger reasonably believed
that he had authority to approve, control or authorize any
aspect of the telephone campaign, including the script for
the telephone campaign.
List all facts showing that Leininger was the principal of
CCAdvertising or Gabe Joseph (or both).
List all facts showing that Leininger authorized, permitted,
affirmed, or ratified the calls at issue in this lawsuit,
including all facts that Leininger knew that the telephone
calls would be recorded ahead of time and that he instructed
the calls to be made.
If you contend that Leininger had authority to direct, permit
or control the telephone campaign in any way than list all
facts showing the source of that authority and identify all
documents concerning the source of that authority.
List all facts showing that Leininger controlled when and
whether the calls for the telephone campaign would be made,