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J.A. v. Sco Family of Services

United States District Court, E.D. New York

January 22, 2018

J.A. an infant under 18 years of age, by and through his Guardian Ad Litem, BRUCE WOLF; A.R. and J.D., infants under 18 years of age, by and through their parent and natural guardian, MIRIAN RIVERA; A.M., by and through his next friend, JO ANN DOUGLAS, Plaintiffs,
v.
SCO FAMILY OF SERVICES, Defendant. J.M., M.M., D.M., Plaintiffs,
v.
SCO FAMILY OF SERVICES, Defendant.

          ORDER

          ANNE Y. SHIELDS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiffs in these consolidated cases allege that the Defendant SCO Family of Services (“SCO'), a foster care agency, is responsible for abuse they suffered while under the care of a foster/adoptive father who Plaintiffs characterize as a “madman and pedophile.” See Amended Complaints appearing as Docket Entries Nos. 1 in consolidated cases filed under docket numbers CV 16-5269 and CV 17-306.

         Presently before this Court are discovery disputes by filed by both parties. First, Plaintiffs filed a motion to compel appearing as DE 54 in CV 16-5269, and DE 44 in CV 17-306. Defendant's response to this motion appears as DE 55 in CV 16-5269, and DE 44 in CV 17-306. In addition to responding to Plaintiff's motion, Defendant's response raises logistical issues with respect to the taking of Plaintiff J.M.'s deposition. Since that issue is raised only in J.M.'s case, Plaintiff has responded to those issues by way of a motion for a protective order filed only under Docket Entry No. 56 in CV 16-5269. Following is the Court's disposition of all issues raised in these motions.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Legal Standard

         The scope of discovery is set forth in Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. It provides that:

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, considering 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 the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1).

         With this standard in mind, the Court turns to the merits of the present motions.

         II. Disposition of the Motions

         A. Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel (DE 54 in CV 16-5269 and DE 44 in CV 17-306)

         Plaintiffs' motion raises two issues. The first is addressed to Defendant's redaction of identifying information regarding minors in foster care. The second seeks to expand the scope of document production.

         1. Redaction of Identifying Information

         Defendant's document production includes documents and electronic information referencing children in the care of the individual alleged to have engaged in the conduct that is the subject of these lawsuits. Defendant's production redacts only the names, birthdays and social security numbers of these children. Plaintiffs seek to have all redactions removed on the grounds that identifying information is relevant to their claims. They note that ...


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