Court Compels Production of Non-Redacted Documents, Rejecting Confidential Business Claim
In IDC Fin. Pub., Inc. v. Bonddesk Grp., No. 15-cv-1085-pp, (E.D. Wis. 2017), Defendants produced more than 6,000 documents but redacted over 600 in their entirety. Plaintiff filed a motion to compel production of the redacted documents. Defendants opposed the motion, stating that the redacted information redacted is irrelevant.
Under Rule 26(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, parties may obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party’s claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case. The Defendants do not assert any privilege protecting the information they redacted, and object to disclosing further information about the redacted documents on the grounds that the documents are not relevant to the litigation and relate to unnamed confidential business matters.
The court does not agree that the Plaintiff must “take the Defendants’ word for it” that the redacted portions of the documents are not relevant to the Plaintiff’s claim. More importantly, Defendants have not provided the court with a compelling reason to allow the extensive redaction of entire documents. Finding no compelling reason to allow Defendants to unilaterally redact large portions of documents on vague relevance grounds, the court orders Defendants to produce the redacted documents.