Thursday, September 26, 2019

Palmetto Bay responds with its hard-hitting discovery requests served upon the Petitioner LUXCOM. Update on Administrative action filed by Petitioner, YACHT CLUB BY LUXCOM, LLC. Two discovery demands filed Thursday, September 26, 2019. Read the details.

Interesting reading. You can start to get a feel for how this case will be litigation before the Administrative Law Judge come December. The Attorneys for the Village of Palmetto Bay served the Petitioner, LUXCOM, with the following requests for discovery on Thursday, September 26, 2019: 

1. The Respondents' First Request for Production to Petitioner (13 pages, 53 numbered requests, beginning page 6 of the document. CLICK HERE to view the complete Request as filed)

2. The Respondents' Notice of Service of First Set of Interrogatories to Petitioner. Note that only the notice of service is filed, the actual Interrogatories are not required to be filed (CLICK HERE to view the complete 2 page notice as filed)

MORE INFO - Research source, See: Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, RULE 1.350 PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AND THINGS AND ENTRY UPON LAND FOR INSPECTION AND OTHER PURPOSES (CLICK HERE for an online reference)

MORE INFO - Research source, See: Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, RULE 1.340 INTERROGATORIES TO PARTIES (CLICK HERE for an online reference)

Some explanation as to the impact of what was filed/served:

What are Interrogatories? These are written questions that are served upon the opposing parties and must be answered under oath. There is a 30 question limits per Interrogatory request and standard forms must be used when such approved standard forms exist. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: There are no standard Interrogatory forms for this type of case.

What are Requests for Production of Documents? Written requests that are served upon the opposing parties seeking examination of documents, or allowing for copies of written documents, emails, photos and similar items related to the case and may be used at trial or for follow up discovery.

A party must respond in good faith – courts frown upon “gamesmanship” an attempt to avoid discovery. Motions filed to address gamesmanship may include (but are not limited to): Motions to Compel, to compel better/more complete answers, or even for sanctions if prior discovery orders of the Court are not properly complied with. The Court will sometimes enter sanctions ranging from reimbursement of attorney’s fees to more severe sanctions that could include the striking of pleadings and/or dismissal of the action. 

There are some recognized “general objections” that include alleging that the discovery requests are: 
1) overbroad;
2) overly burdensome; 
3) not relevant nor likely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence; 
4) not appropriately limited in time; and
5) seek information protected by the attorney client and/or work product privilege

Documents requested may not be in possession of a party against whom the request is made.

There is a requirement that a party claiming protection of “Privilege” to prepare and file a ‘Privilege log” that properly identifies the documents sought to be protected from disclosure. This aids the court in determining whether the documents are in fact privileged and protected or must be disclosed.

CLICK HERE to view PRIOR RELATED POSTS regarding this LUXCOM administrative proceeding before DOAH.

SPECIAL NOTE: Palmetto Bay officials have continued to not to update the “litigation page” online to include any information relating to this action (or other recent actions) on the official village website (at least as of  9:00 PM, Thursday, 9/26/2019). Posting would be for courtesy, as it is not required, but would aid in transparency. Many of the documents from the prior administrations have been removed from public access online. If DOAH can post these (and many other) documents online, why can’t Palmetto Bay?

Eugene Flinn

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