United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO COMPEL
DESIGNATION AND DEPOSITION OF SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION'S
T. WINGATE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
THIS COURT is plaintiffs' Motion to Compel the
Designation and Deposition of Suzuki Motor Corporation's
Corporate Representatives [Docket no. 299].
By their motion, plaintiffs allege that defendant Suzuki
Motor Corporation (hereinafter referred to as
“SMC”) placed obstacles in their path by refusing
to designate a Rule 30(b)(6) corporate representative for
deposition, and/or failing to schedule a deposition.
responds that plaintiffs' motion is untimely, in that the
discovery period for this lawsuit had ended sixty-seven (67)
days prior to plaintiffs' filing of the instant motion.
Further, says SMC, it had designated its corporate
representative, and that plaintiffs refused to comply with
“Japanese-American consular convention rules” -
an argument that it had made when plaintiffs originally
objected to the deposition of their 30(b)(6)
witness. According to SMC, the “general rule
in the Fifth Circuit is to take a corporate deposition at the
corporation's principle place of business, and that
departure from the general rule is only warranted if
‘peculiar' circumstances exist.” [Docket no.
302, P. 3]. Citing FC Meyer Packaging, LLC v. Converting
Alts. Int'l, LLC, 2017 WL 752290, at *3 (S.D.Miss.
Feb. 27, 2017); see also Salter v. Upjohn Co., 593
F.2d 649, 651 (5th Cir. 1979). Plaintiffs have not
rebutted SMC's response in opposition.
noticed the deposition of SMC's 30(b)(6) corporate
representative on June 30, 2017. [Docket no. 168]. Three (3)
weeks later, on July 21, 2017, SMC filed its objection to
plaintiffs' notice of deposition, stating that plaintiffs
had to take the deposition of its corporate representative in
Japan, SMC's principle place of business. [Docket no.
171]. Plaintiffs, instead of filing a motion to compel, filed
their “Response in Opposition re 171 Response in
Opposition re 168 Notice to Take Deposition of Suzuki Motor
Corporation” on August 3, 2017. [Docket no. 180].
Local Rules of the Northern and Southern District Courts,
Rule 26(b)(2)(C) require counsel to “file a discovery
motion sufficiently in advance of the discovery deadline to
allow response to the motion, ruling by the court and time to
effectuate the court's order before the discovery
deadline.” Further, the local rules require that
“[a]ny written communication with the court that is
intended to be an application for relief or other action by
the court must be presented by a motion in the form
prescribed by this Rule.” L.U. Civ. R. 26(b).
Plaintiffs filed their response in opposition to SMC's
objection to plaintiffs' notice of deposition, but did
not file it as a motion. Counsel for plaintiffs is a seasoned
attorney and is presumably familiar with the local rules that
govern civil practice in this court. Accordingly, this court
finds that plaintiffs' response in opposition is not a
motion as required by the local rules. Moreover, plaintiffs
filed their motion to compel long after the discovery
deadline, in violation of local rule 7(b)(2)(C).
also says that plaintiffs' counsel had been present and
involved in a companion lawsuit filed in another
jurisdiction. According to SMC, plaintiffs would not be
prejudiced if the court did not allow plaintiffs to depose
SMC's 30(b)(6) corporate representative because
plaintiffs were involved in and present at the
Schall 30(b)(6) deposition.
court finds that plaintiffs' motion to compel is untimely
and, therefore, must be denied. Plaintiffs cannot sit on
their hands until two (2) months after the discovery deadline
and expect this court to order a new deposition. Plaintiffs
should have filed a motion to compel as soon as defendants
objected to their notice of deposition.
IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that plaintiffs' Motion to Compel
the Designation and Deposition of Suzuki Motor
Corporation's Corporate Representatives [Docket no. 299]
is hereby DENIED.
 (6) Notice or Subpoena Directed to an
Organization. In its notice or subpoena, a party may name as
the deponent a public or private corporation, a partnership,
an association, a governmental agency, or other entity and
must describe with reasonable particularity the matters for
examination. The named organization must then designate one
or more officers, directors, or managing agents, or designate
other persons who consent to testify on its behalf; and it
may set out the matters on which each person designated will
testify. A subpoena must advise a nonparty organization of
its duty to make this designation. The persons designated
must testify about information known or reasonably available
to the organization. This paragraph (6) does not preclude a
deposition by any other procedure allowed by these
Fed. R. Civ. P. 30
P. 2. SMC further objects to
Plaintiffs' Notice of Deposition of SMC because the
Notice does not comply with Fed.R.Civ.P. 28(b)(1)(D) or with
Article 17 of the United States - Japan Consular Convention,
which authorizes the deposition of a Japanese citizen only
if: (1) the Japanese citizen is willing to be deposed; (2)
the deposition takes place on United States consular premises
in Japan, (3) a consular officer presides over that
deposition; and (4) each participant traveling from the
United States to Japan obtains a special “deposition
visa.” Consular Convention & Protocol,
T.I.A.S. No. 5602 (Aug. 1, 1964); 22 C.F.R. § 92.49;
see e.g. J.C. Renfroe & Sons, Inc. v. Renfroe Japan
Co., 515 F.Supp.2d 1258, 1271 (M.D. ...