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CHEMTEX, LLC. v. ST. ANTHONY ENTERPRISES

United States District Court, S.D. New York


April 6, 2004.

CHEMTEX, LLC., Plaintiff, -against- ST. ANTHONY ENTERPRISES, INC., ANTHONY SICARI APPAREL GROUP INDUSTRIES, INC., CENTURY BUSINESS CREDIT CORP., Defendants

The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBERT SWEET, Senior District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

By letter dated March 24, 2004, plaintiff Chemtex, LLC ("Chemtex") has requested an order compelling defendant Century Business Credit Corporation ("Century") to produce the supporting documentation for the money that Century advanced to defendants St. Anthony Enterprises, Inc. ("St. Anthony") and Anthony Sicari Apparel Group Industries Inc. ("ASAGI") for the ten month period from July 2000 through April 2001.

Century has objected to the document requests, insisting that the ten-month period is overbroad and that the request places an undue burden and expense upon Century because Century does not archive documents separately for each customer. The assignments that are received by Century from every customer are grouped according to the day they were received. At oral argument on March 31, 2004, Century offered to bring counsel for Chemtex to the location where the documents are located and to allow counsel to search for the documents in the daily files.

  Chemtex responds that "because Century does not keep its documents in a fashion that would make them easily retrievable does not entitle it to avoid its discovery obligations." Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(b) provides that:

A party who produces documents shall produce them as they are kept in the usual course of business or shall organize them and label them to correspond with the categories in the request.
Century's offer to allow counsel for Chemtex to review its assignments documentation does not satisfy the obligation to produce documents "as they are kept in the usual course of business." Because "the state of the corporation's records would make it unreasonably burdensome for the discovering party to search for the sought-after documents, the burden falls to the discoveree to organize the documents so that the discoveror may make `reasonable use' of them." Standard Dyeing and Finishing Co. v. Arma Texfile Printers Corp., 85 Civ. 5399, 1987 WL 6905, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 10, 1987) (citing 8 C. Wright, A. Miller & F. Elliot, Federal Practice and Procedure ¶ 2213 (Supp. 1986); Sherman & Kinnard, Federal Court Discovery in the 80's — Making the Rules Work, 95 F.R.D. 245, 257-58 (1982); Board of Education v. Admiral Heating & Ventilation, Inc., 104 F.R.D. 23, 36 & n.20 (N.D. Ill. 1984)). Century is therefore directed to search its archived documents for documents responsive to Chemtex's requests, and to make those documents available for inspection within fourteen days of the date of this opinion. At Chemtex's option, Century may instead arrange for Chemtex to inspect those records and provide such reasonable assistance as Chemtex may require.

  It is so ordered.

20040406

© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.



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