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BBC Baymeadows, LLC v. City of Ridgeland

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division

May 15, 2015

BBC BAYMEADOWS, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF RIDGELAND, MISSISSIPPI, Defendant.

ORDER

LINDA R. ANDERSON, Magistrate Judge.

This cause is before the Court on the City of Ridgeland's Motion to Quash 30(b)(6) Deposition Notice of the City and/or for Protective Order [58]. The initial motion and response were filed prior to the hearing conducted on April 24, 2015. The case was consolidated for discovery purposes at that time with Sunchase of Ridgeland, Ltd., et al, v. City of Ridgeland, 3:14cv938. After the hearing, certain portions of the controversy regarding the Topics of Inquiry were resolved between the parties. The reply [62] filed by the City of Ridgeland sets forth the topics noticed by Plaintiff to which it still objects.

The Topics of Inquiry still contested by Ridgeland, and the ruling of the Court on each topic, are set forth below.

TOPIC 2.f. Ridgeland's process and timeline for evaluating, drafting and adopting the 2014 Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map, including but not limited to:
...
f. Any authorities the City relied on in evaluating and adopting the 2014 Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map, including provisions that rezone the Baymeadows Apartments and other affected properties.

RULING: The Court agrees with the City's contention that this topic would appear to seek information which is protected by the attorney-client privilege or the work product doctrine. Further, no waiver has been established. Plaintiff seeks "any authorities the City relied on..., " and this would imply that it requests legal analysis and/or mental reflections, opinions, conclusions, and legal theories regarding that legal analysis. These communications are protected from disclosure, and the motion is granted as to Topic 2.f. See Buford v. Holladay, 133 F.R.D. 487, 491 (S.D.Miss. 1990).

However, Plaintiff contends that it does not seek legal testimony, legal opinions, or privileged communications with counsel, but simply the "non-privileged basis or references that the City relied on in passing and drafting the ordinance." To the extent the information sought is clearly non-privileged, a witness should be prepared for the topic. Counsel should discuss what testimony may be sought that is clearly non-privileged prior to the deposition.

TOPIC 10. Ridgeland's understanding of, and any research it has conducted about, its demographics, including but not limited to:
a. Ridgeland's racial and socioeconomic composition.
b. The impact of the 2014 Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map, including the rezoning of affected multifamily residential properties on minority citizens,
c. The availability of affordable housing in Ridgeland during the last fifteen years, and
d. Any materials submitted to HUD or any other state or federal agency to procure state or federal funding based on its demographics or housing options.

Ridgeland did not object to 10(b) and agrees to provide testimony regarding the 2010 United States census data pursuant to ...


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