A. Defendant's Motion to Compel (Doc. 26).
Rule 26(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a party may obtain discovery “regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense [.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Under this rule, relevancy has been “construed broadly to encompass any matter that bears on, or that reasonably could lead to other matter that could bear on, any issue that is or may be in the case.” Oppenheimer Fund, Inc. v. Sanders, 437 U.S. 340, 351, 98 S.Ct. 2380, 2389, 57 L.Ed.2d 253 (1978). However, the scope of discovery is not without limits, the Supreme Court itself recognizing that “ ‘discovery, like all matters of procedure, has ultimate and necessary boundaries.’ “ Id.,
quoting Hickman v.. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, 507, 67 S.Ct. 385, 392, 91 L.Ed. 451 (1947). Certainly, for instance, “[d]iscovery of matter not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence is not within the scope of Rule 26(b)(1).” Id.
at 351–352, 98 S.Ct. at 2390 (internal quotation marks omitted); cf.
Washington v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 959 F.2d 1566, 1570 (11th Cir.1992) (“The scope of discovery in Title VII cases is not without limits. The information sought must be relevant and not overly burdensome to the responding party.” (internal footnote omitted)). More to the point, “ ‘[n]o one would suggest that discovery should be allowed of information that has no conceivable bearing on the case.’ “ Food Lion, Inc. v. United Food & Commercial Workers Int'l Union, AFL–CIO–CLC, 103 F.3d 1007, 1012 (D.C.Cir.1997), quoting 8 WRIGHT, MILLER & MARCUS, FEDERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE CIVIL 2d § 2008, pp. 105–06 (1994); see also
In re Fontaine, 402 F.Supp. 1219, 1221 (E.D.N.Y.1975) (“While the standard of relevancy is a liberal one, it is not so liberal as to allow a party ‘to roam in shadow zones of relevancy and to explore matter which does not presently appear germane on the theory that it might conceivably become so.’ “ (citation omitted)). Indeed, “[t]he relevancy requirement ‘should not be misapplied so as to allow fishing expeditions in discovery.’ “ United States v. Lake County Bd. of Commissioners, 2006 WL 1660598, *1 (N.D. Ind. June 7, 2006) (quoting Zenith Electronics Corp. v. Exzec, Inc., 1998 WL 9181, *2 (N.D.Ill. Jan. 5, 1998)), aff'd,
2006 WL 2051729 (N.D.Ind. July 20, 2006).