The opinion of the court was delivered by: RONALD ELLIS, Magistrate Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Carman Y. Williams has submitted to the Court a motion to
compel responses to various discovery requests from defendant Frederick
H.A. Assanah ("Assanah") and an application for the Court to enter a
confidentiality order to shield from disclosure documents in her New York
City Housing Authority ("Housing Authority") tenant file. Defendants
Assanah and the Housing Authority have objected to the proposed discovery
and confidentiality order. Williams's complaint includes causes of action
for sex discrimination and harassment, negligent hiring and retention,
retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery,
under various federal, state, and local laws. For the reasons that
follow, Williams's motion to compel is GRANTED, IN PART and DENIED, IN
PART, and the parties are directed to enter into a confidentiality order
with respect to her tenant file.
Williams seeks to compel defendant Assanah to respond to certain of her
discovery requests, including requests for production of documents,
interrogatories, and requests for admission. See Plaintiffs Motion to Compel ("Pl. Mot."); Supplemental
Affirmation ("Pl. Suppl. Aff."). Though Williams provided Assanah's
objections as appendices to her motion to compel, the Court subsequently
asked Assanah to file a response to insure that there were no additional
issues. Assanah, through a declaration by his attorney in opposition to
the motion, confirms either that he has asserted proper objections or
that he has sufficiently responded. Declaration of Donovan L. Wickline in
Response to Plaintiff's Motion to Compel ("Wickline Decl.") at 2.
Williams subsequently filed a motion to strike Assanah's response as
untimely. Plaintiff's Affirmation Seeking an Order to Strike Defendant
Assanah's Response. Because Assanah's response was requested by the Court
and provided no substantive changes in position, it does not alter the
Court's analysis of Williams's motion to compel. As a result, Williams's
motion to strike this response is DENIED.
Williams states that Assanah has improperly responded or objected to
the following requests for documents:
7. Copies of any and all electronic mail, including
attachments, correspondence either from or to
Defendant Assanah from August 2001 through January
2002 . . .
13. Records regarding your previous employer,
record of disciplinary actions, reason(s) for
separation from employment.
14. Records regarding any sexual harassment complaints
ever filed against you in connection with any previous
PL Mot. at 3; Exh. L (Plaintiffs Request for Production of Documents
Addressed to Defendant Frederick Assanah-First Set) at 4-5. Williams
claims that Assanah's responses are insufficient, and that his objections
are either without merit or made in bad faith. PL Mot. at 3-4. Assanah
asserts that request 7 is overly broad, fails to state with reasonable
particularity the information that is being requested, and is not reasonably calculated to lead
to the discovery of admissible evidence. Wickline Decl. at 2; Exh. A at
4. He asserts that requests 13 and 14 are irrelevant, not reasonably
calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, overly broad
and burdensome, vague, and in the possession of other entities. Wickline
Decl. at 2-3; Exh. A at 5. In any case, he maintains that he does not
have the records requested in 13 and 14 in his possession, custody, or
control. Wickline Decl. at 2-3.
The Court agrees that request 7 is overly broad and burdensome.
Williams has failed to justify a wholesale production of e-mails. She has
also failed to indicate why there would be relevant information
concerning her claims in such e-mails. The Court need not reach Assanah's
arguments with respect to requests 13 and 14 because there is nothing to
compel. Assanah, through a declaration made under penalty of perjury by
his attorney, has submitted that he has no responsive documents in his
custody or control, and Williams presents no evidence to question this
Williams's motion to compel production of documents is therefore
Williams asserts that many of Assanah's responses and objections to her
interrogatories are frivolous and made in bad faith. PL Suppl. Aff. at 1.
As examples, Williams points to two such interrogatories:
9. State whether you discussed with the Plaintiff
during the relevant time frame, your immediate
supervisor, Mike Mastriano.
10. State whether you engaged in extramarital
relationships with other women during your employment
with the New York City Housing Authority.
Id. at 1-2; Exh. P (Plaintiffs Interrogatories Addressed to
Defendant-First Set) at 8. Williams notes that interrogatory 10 typifies information that she is seeking
regarding Assanah's past conduct, and lists in a footnote other
interrogatories that she believes are similar in nature:
11. State whether any of the women were Housing
12. State the names and addresses of the Housing
Authority tenants, if any.
22. State the reason or reasons for your transfer by
the Housing Authority from Brooklyn to Manhattan.
23. State the name of the individual responsible
for initiating the transfer, and when the transfer
24. State whether any complaints alleging harassment
were filed against you during your tenure with NYCHA
26. Whether you have ever engaged in any violence
or threatened violence against any former sexual
partners, including but not limited to, ex-wives,
27. Names and addresses of any such partners, home
PL Suppl. Aff. at 1-2 & n.1; Exh. P at 8-9. Williams asserts that
interrogatory 9 seeks information relevant to her claim. PL Suppl. at 2.
Although Assanah argues that the question is irrelevant and vague, he
does respond that he asked Williams if she had spoken to Mastriano about
their relationship. Wickline Decl. at 4; Exh. C at 6. Williams argues
that interrogatories 10-12, 22-24, and 26-27 are relevant because they
are intended to elicit evidence related to past instances of Assanah's
conduct allegedly similar to that at issue in the present case. See PL
Suppl. Aff. at 1-2 & n.1. Assanah objects to each of these
interrogatories, but adds in response to number 24 that the "Defendant is
unaware of any complaints filed against him in connection with his
employment with the New York City Housing Authority, other than the
complaints filed by the Plaintiff in this action." Wickline Decl. at
3-4; Exh. C at 3, 9.
For interrogatory 9, the Court finds that Assanah's answer is
sufficient since it is directly responsive to Williams's question. For
interrogatories 10-12 and 26-27, Williams provides no information that
she has a good-faith basis for such inquiries. Moreover, her purported
use of the information to show character would be inadmissible. See FED.
R. EVID. 404. Finally, for interrogatories 22 and 23, Williams has not established the relevance of
a line of inquiry regarding any transfer of Assanah from Brooklyn to
Williams's motion to compel interrogatories is ...