Charlotte B Milliner et al v. Mutual Securities, Inc.

Northern District of California, cand-4:2015-cv-03354

ORDER Re: Defendant's Responses to Requests for Admissions {{61}}. Signed by Judge Thelton E. Henderson on 2/6/17. Admissions due by 2/17/17. (tehlc2, COURT STAFF)

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1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 CHARLOTTE B. MILLINER, et al., Case No. 15-cv-03354-TEH 5 Plaintiffs, 6 v. ORDER RE: DEFENDANT'S RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR 7 MUTUAL SECURITIES, INC., ADMISSIONS 8 Defendant. 9 10 Presently before the court is Plaintiffs' motion regarding Defendant's Responses to 11 Requests for Admissions. ECF No. 61 ("Mot."). Defendant timely opposed the motion, 12 ECF No. 66 ("Opp'n."), and Plaintiffs timely replied, ECF No. 70 ("Reply"). Pursuant to Northern District of California United States District Court 13 Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court finds the motion suitable for determination without oral 14 argument. After carefully considering the parties' written arguments, Plaintiff's motion is 15 DENIED. 16 DISCUSSION 17 Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 36 Plaintiffs served Defendant with two sets of Requests 18 for Admissions asking MSI to admit or deny whether certain specified stocks purchased 19 into Plaintiffs' accounts were OTC Equity Stocks ("OTCs"). Mot. at 2:15–18. Defendant 20 objected to answering these requests stating that answering them "would require MSI to 21 undertake a lengthy and nuanced analysis regarding how 80 different stocks relate to two 22 different statutes," that the requests are "unduly burdensome," and that the requests ask for 23 a legal conclusion. Opp'n at 1:11–22. 24 However, Defendant's arguments are completely undercut by Defendant's Chief 25 Compliance Officer deposition testimony, presented in Plaintiffs' Reply, which confirms 26 that MSI has already determined which securities were OTCs at the time they were 27 purchased into the Plaintiffs' accounts. Reply at 1:10–3:6; ECF No. 71-1, at 5-6. In light 28 of this testimony, Defendant's arguments relating to the difficulty involved in answering 1 Plaintiffs' Requests for Admissions are refuted. Additionally, Fed. R. Civ. P. 36(a)(1)(A) 2 authorizes a party to serve written requests to the opposing party seeking admissions of 3 "facts, the application of law to facts, or opinions about either." Thus, Defendant cannot 4 oppose Plaintiffs' Requests for Admissions merely because Plaintiffs ask Defendant to 5 apply law to facts. 6 While the Court certainly has discretion to deem the answers to Plaintiffs' Requests 7 for Admissions to be admitted due to Defendant failing to comply with the requirements of 8 Rule 36(a), see Asea, Inc. v. Southern Pac. Transp. Co., 669 F.2d 1242, 1274 (9th Cir. 9 1981), the Court shall grant the Defendant leave to file additional responses to Plaintiffs' 10 Requests for Admissions. Defendant is ordered to provide such responses to Plaintiffs by 11 February 17, 2017. Defendant is forewarned that any further failures to engage in good- 12 faith discovery will not be taken lightly by the Court. Northern District of California United States District Court 13 14 IT IS SO ORDERED. 15 16 Dated: 2/6/17 _____________________________________ THELTON E. HENDERSON 17 United States District Judge 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2