United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER ON MOTION TO COMPEL
J. Dinsmore United States Magistrate Judge
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to
Compel Discovery. [Dkt. 44.] The motion seeks an order
compelling Defendant Gila, LLC (“Gila”) to
respond to Plaintiff's interrogatories and request for
production. [See Dkts. 45-1 through 45-4.]
may seek an order to compel discovery when an opposing party
fails to respond to discovery requests or provides evasive or
incomplete responses. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(2)-(3). The burden
“rests upon the objecting party to show why a
particular discovery request is improper.” Kodish
v. Oakbrook Terrace Fire Protection Dist., 235 F.R.D.
447, 449-50 (N.D. Ill. 2006). This burden cannot be met by
“a reflexive invocation of the same baseless, often
abused litany that the requested discovery is vague,
ambiguous, overly broad, unduly burdensome or that it is
neither relevant nor reasonably calculated to lead to the
discovery of admissible evidence.” Burkybile v.
Mitsubishi Motors, Corp., 2006 WL 2325506, at *6 (N.D.
Ill. August 2, 2006) (internal citations omitted). Moreover,
in considering matters of proportionality, Rule 26(b) directs
courts to consider “the importance of the issues at
stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the
parties' relative access to relevant information, the
parties' resources, the importance of discovery in
resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of
the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit.”
proceeding to the merits of Plaintiff's motion, the Court
must first address the Preliminary Statement and General
Objections asserted by Gila in its responses. [Dkt. 45-3 at
1-4; Dkt. 45-4 at 1-4.] When a party raises objections to
discovery requests, the objecting party bears the burden to
explain precisely why its objections are
proper given the broad construction of the federal discovery
rules. In re Aircrash Disaster Near Roselawn, Inc. Oct.
31, 1994, 172 F.R.D. 295, 307 (N.D. Ill. 1997); see
also Cunningham v. Smithkline Beecham, 255
F.R.D. 474, 478 (N.D. Ind. 2009). Thus, general objections to
discovery requests that merely recite boilerplate language
without explanation do not meet this burden, and courts
within the Seventh Circuit consistently overrule them or
entirely disregard such. See Novelty, Inc. v.
Mountain View Mktg., 265 F.R.D. 370, 375 (S.D. Ind.
2009) (‘“general objections' made without
elaboration, whether placed in a separate section or repeated
by rote in response to each requested category, are not
‘objections' at all-and will not be
considered”); Burkybile, 2006 WL 2325506, at
*9 (overruling boilerplate objections made generally and
“kitchen sink” Preliminary Statement and General
Objections, and in fact, general objections by their very
nature, make no attempt to articulate a basis specific to a
request. As other Seventh Circuit district courts have noted,
“[m]aking general objections is a dangerous practice,
as the party who offers such general objections runs the risk
of having them summarily denied.” Avante Int'l
Tech., Inc. v. Hart Intercivic, Inc., 2008 WL 2074093,
at *2 (S.D. Ill. 2008). This is precisely what the Court will
do here. Gila's Preliminary Statement and General
Objections are OVERRULED in their entirety.
when the objecting party raises nonspecific, boilerplate
objections without clearly explaining how the request is
objectionable, courts should overrule the objections in favor
of broad discovery, pursuant to the federal rules.
Novelty, 265 F.R.D. at 375 (holding that boilerplate
objections without explanation are deemed waived);
McGrath v. Everest Nat. Ins. Co., 625 F.Supp.2d 660,
671 (N.D. Ind. 2008) (staying the objecting party must
specify why the discovery request is improper); In re
Aircrash, 172 F.R.D. at 307 (noting that the federal
discovery rules should be construed liberally and broadly).
the pendency of Defendants' motion to stay discovery did
not serve to actually stay discovery in this matter (just as
Defendants' motion to dismiss does not effect the
dismissal of this action pending a ruling on the motion),
Gila primarily objected to Plaintiff's discovery requests
on the basis of that pending motion to stay. The motion to
stay discovery has been denied. Consequently, that objection
has been resolved.
Gila's responses attempt to assert substantive
objections, the vast majority of those objections are
baseless, unsupported boilerplate objections that have no
merit. While the Court could address and dispose of those
objections in detail, it will refrain from so doing at this
juncture. Instead, the Court will exercise its discretion to
GRANT IN PART and DENY IN
PART Plaintiff's motion to compel.
noted above, Gila's Preliminary Statement and General
Objections are OVERRULED in their entirety.
Gila is hereby ordered to provide a substantive response to
Plaintiff's discovery requests within fourteen
days of the date of this order. Gila's response
should take into consideration the guidance provided herein
and any objections that are maintained should be specific,
detailed, and supported by evidence as required. It is the
Court's hope that ...