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JJ Plank Co., LLC v. Bowman

United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Monroe Division

July 23, 2018, Decided; July 23, 2018, Filed

CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:18-CV-00798



Before the Court is an [*2]  Expedited Motion to Compel Compliance with Expedited Discovery (Doc. 27) filed by Plaintiffs JJ Plank Company, LLC ("JJ Plank") and Xerium Technologies, Inc. ("Xerium") (collectively, "Plaintiffs"). The Motion seeks production of four categories of discovery: "(1) A workable mirror image of Bowman's Voith email custodial account (which would include deleted emails); (2) a mirror image of Bowman's work computer; (3) a mirror image of Bowman's company-issued smart phone; and (4) any documents Bowman has created or accessed in his several weeks of activity at Voith, including any hard-copy documents collected from Bowman's Voith office." (Doc. 27, p. 2). Defendant Gary Bowman ("Bowman") and Third Party Voith Paper Fabric Rolls Systems, Inc. ("FRS") oppose the Motion.

Plaintiffs' discovery requests, as initially written and as sought to be enforced through this Motion, exceed the permissible scope of discovery under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b). And because FRS has undertaken at least some production in response to Plaintiffs' subpoena pursuant to an informal agreement between the parties - albeit not quickly enough for Plaintiffs' - the Motion is also, at least in part, premature. The Motion is therefore DENIED.

 [*3] I. Background

As an initial matter, the parties dispute the scope of the Motion itself. FRS argues that the last three categories of discovery listed above were not expressly included in the subpoena (Doc. 27-2). That is correct. Plaintiffs maintain that the categories of discovery listed in the Motion would be responsive to the production required by the subpoena. But the categories call for production in excess of the production sought by the express terms of the subpoena. And only the latter terms may actually be enforced through the Motion. To the extent the Motion seeks production pursuant to terms not expressly included in the subpoena, the Motion is without foundation.

Instead, the Court will construe the categories of documents listed in the Motion to indicate the portions of the subpoena - or more literally, the items listed under "Request for Documents" in the subpoena - which are still outstanding and discoverable in Plaintiffs' view. Employing this construction, the Motion seeks production pursuant to items 2 and 3 under "Request for Documents":

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2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123792 *; 2018 WL 3545319


Prior History: JJ Plank Co., LLC v. Bowman, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 218655 (W.D. La., July 12, 2018)


discovery, trade secret, documents, subpoena, misappropriated, identification, pre-discovery, requests, emails, policy considerations, motion to compel, protective order, listing, rolls, alleged misappropriation, discovery request, Expedited, spreader