United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL
F. Martinez United States Magistrate Judge.
before the court is the defendants' motion to compel
nonparty Aviad Hack to answer certain questions asked at his
deposition. (Doc. #29.)
plaintiff, Eliyahu Mirlis, brought this diversity action
against defendants Yeshiva of New Haven, Inc., an orthodox
Jewish school, and Rabbi Greer, the school's principal.
The plaintiff alleges that defendant Greer sexually molested
him from 2002 to 2005 when the plaintiff was a student at the
school. (Doc. #117, Am. Compl. ¶12.)
the course of discovery, the plaintiff noticed the deposition
of nonparty Aviad Hack ("Hack"). The deposition
began on July 25, 2016. Counsel for the deponent objected to
some questions posed by defense counsel. The lawyers could
not resolve their differences, and thereafter contacted Judge
Shea, who referred the dispute to me. (Doc. #21.) I held a
conference call with counsel and advised them to make a clear
and precise record at the deposition so as to permit
meaningful judicial evaluation. I repeated on the docket that
any motion to compel regarding the deposition must specify
"with particularity each question at issue." (Doc.
#25.) The defendants subsequently filed the instant
motion. (Doc. ##29, 33.)
defendants' motion to compel concerns the deponent
Hack's conversations with two other nonparties - Yaakov
Hatanian and Rabbi Hillel David.
Hack's conversation with Yaakov Hatanian
deponent Hack attended the defendant Yeshiva of New Haven and
later worked for Greer at the school. Hack testified that
from 1991 or 1992, when he was a student, until 2004, he was
involved in a sexual relationship with defendant Greer. (Hack
Dep. 7/25/16 at 22 - 25.) Hack further testified that (1) he
was aware that Greer was sexually molesting the plaintiff and
(2) Greer made admissions to him about Greer's
involvement with the plaintiff. (Hack Dep. 7/25/16 at 39,
counsel asked Hack questions about another former student
named Yaakov Hatanian ("Hatanian"). Hack testified
that the last time he spoke to Hatanian was December 17,
2015. The following colloquy ensued:
Defense counsel: What was that conversation about?
. . . .
Hack's counsel: You don't have to answer the question
if you don't want to. I don't think it's relevant
or calculated to lead to admissible evidence. . . .
(Tr. 7/25/16 at 95.)
defendants move to compel Hack to answer the
question.Hack's counsel objects on the grounds
that the subject matter of the conversation is not relevant.
is improper to instruct a witness not to answer a question on
the basis of relevancy." 7 James Wm. Moore et al.,
Moore's Federal Practice ¶30-88 (3d ed.
2016). "[I]f there is an objection to the question on
such grounds, the court reporter should note the objection
but the examination should proceed." Baines v. City
of N.Y., No. 10CV9545, 2016 WL 3042787, at *3 (S.D.N.Y.
May 27, 2016). Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
30(c)(2), "[a] deponent may only refuse to
testify under three circumstances: to preserve a privilege;
to enforce a Court ordered limitation; or to present a motion
under Rule 30(d)(3)." Kelley v. City of Hamden,
No. 3:15CV00977(AWT)(SALM), 2016 WL 5348568, at *2 (D. Conn.
Sept. 23, 2016).
these three circumstances existed here. The deponent did not
assert a privilege; the court had not ordered a limitation
regarding testimony pursuant to Rule 26(c); the ...