United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
OPINION AND ORDER
King, Magistrate Judge.
David J. Hale referred this matter to Magistrate Judge Lanny
King for resolution of all litigation planning issues, entry
of scheduling orders, consideration of amendments thereto,
and resolution of all non-dispositive matters, including
discovery issues. (Docket # 4). This matter is before the
Court on Defendant Trans Union, LLC's (hereinafter
“Trans Union”) Motion for Protective Order.
(Docket # 31). Plaintiff Christopher Clayton has filed a
Response (Docket # 39) and Trans Union has filed a Reply.
(Docket # 41). This matter is ripe for adjudication.
reasons detailed below, Trans Union's Motion for
Protective Order is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN
PART. (Docket # 31).
and Procedural History
8, 2018, Plaintiff filed this suit in Jefferson Circuit
Court, alleging Trans Union violated the Fair Credit
Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1681
et seq. (Docket # 1-2 at 6-7). The suit stems from a
request by Defendant Tri-City Acceptance for Plaintiff's
Trans Union consumer report. (Id. at 4). Plaintiff
alleges that Trans Union violated 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(a)
by “furnishing the consumer report to a person it knew
or should have known did not have a permissible purpose to
use the information.” (Docket # 39 at 2).
began and Plaintiff requested several documents from
Defendant Trans Union. Three requested categories of
documents are the subject of this Motion: (1) Trans
Union's “Journal 20” Records; (2) Trans Union
subscriber agreement with Defendant Tri City Acceptance, Inc.
(hereinafter “Tri City”); and (3) Trans
Union's FRCA compliance procedures and policies. (Docket
# 31 at 3). Defendant believes these documents are not
relevant to the case at hand but has agreed to produce them
if Plaintiff agrees to maintain confidentiality regarding the
documents, or if the Court enters a stipulated protective
order. (Id.). Plaintiff has refused these terms.
23, 2019, the Court held a telephonic status conference,
during which the parties brought this dispute to the
Court's attention. (Docket # 26). The Court granted leave
for Defendant to file its Motion for Protective Order (Docket
Rule 26(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
“[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any
nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's
claim or defense . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1).
Relevance is to be “construed broadly to encompass any
matter that bears on, or that reasonably could lead to other
matter that could bear on” any party's claim or
defense. Albritton v. CVS Caremark Corp., No.
5:13-CV-00218-GNS-LLK, 2016 WL 3580790, at *3 (W.D. Ky. June
28, 2016) (citing Oppenheimer Fund, Inc. v. Sanders,
437 U.S. 340, 351 (1978) (citation omitted)). However, the
scope of discovery is not unlimited. “On motion or on
its own, the court must limit the frequency or extent of
discovery . . . if it determines that . . . the burden or
expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely
benefit, considering the needs of the case, the amount in
controversy, the parties' resources, the importance of
the issues at stake in the action, and the importance of the
discovery in resolving the issues.” Id.
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C)(iii)). The determination of
“the scope of discovery is within the sound discretion
of the trial court.” Cooper v. Bower, No.
5:15-CV-249-TBR, 2018 WL 663002 at *1 (W.D. Ky. Jan. 29,
2018), reconsideration denied, 2018 WL 1456940 (W.D.
Ky. Mar. 22, 2018) (quoting Chrysler Corp. v. Fedders
Corp., 643 F.2d 1229, 1240 (6th Cir. 1981)).
for Entry of Protective Orders
Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c)(1)(G) provides that a court
may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party or
person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue
burden or expense, by requiring that a trade secret or other
confidential research, development, or commercial information
not be revealed or be revealed only in a specified way. Thus,
to satisfy Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c)(1)(G), the
movant must show that: (1) the interest for which the
protection is sought is an actual trade secret or other
confidential business information that is protected under the
rule; and (2) there is good cause for the entry of the
protective order. Borum v. Smith, No.
4:17-CV-00017-JHM, 2017 WL 2588433, at *1-2 (W.D. Ky. June
14, 2017) (citing Mitchell v. Home Depot U.S.A., No.
3:11-CV-332, 2012 WL 2192279, at *2 (W.D. Ky. June 14, 2013).
“pretrial-discovery proceedings are conducted in public
unless compelling reasons exist to deny access.”
Waelde v. Merck, Sharp & Dohme, 94 F.R.D. 27, 28
(E.D. Mich. 1981). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c)
allows the Court to enter a protective order “for good
cause shown” to protect a party's information from
the public eye or shield it to the point that disclosure may
only occur in a proscribed manner. When a business seeks the
protection of trade secrets or confidential information under
this rule, it must show that disclosure would cause
“clearly defined and very serious injury.”
Id. “[V]ague and conclusory allegations of
confidentiality and competitive harm are insufficient. The
movant must make ‘a particularized showing that the
information sought is confidential' and come forth with
‘specific examples' of competitive harm.”
Id. (quoting Parsons v. General Motors
Corp., 85 F.R.D. 724, 726 (N.D.Ga. 1980)).
demonstrate an entitlement to protection, a party must
identify a particular document and connect disclosure of that
document to a specific negative economic repercussion.
See Ingalsbe v. Henderson Health Facilities, L.P.,
No. 4:16-CV-00070-JHM, 2017 WL 1147492, at *2-3 (W.D. Ky.
March 27, 2017. Owens v. Liberty Life Assur. Co.,
4:15-CV-00071-JHM-HBB, 2016 WL 7238816, at *3-4 (W.D. Ky.
Dec. 14, 2016).
Union seeks a protective order pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 26(c) as to: 1) its record capturing report
request information stored on its internally developed
computer programs (Trans Union refers to them as
“OIOL”, and Clayton refers to them as
“Journal 20” records); 2) Trans Union's