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These discovery guidelines do not apply to the following: ERISA or other actions for review on an administrative record, petitions for habeas corpus, prisoner civil cases where the prisoner is unrepresented, actions to enforce or quash an administrative summons or subpoena, actions by the United States to recover benefit payments or student loans, and actions to enforce an arbitration award.


The parties are required to conduct their Rule 26(f) discovery conference and submit a discovery plan and case summary no later than four business days prior to the Case Management Status and Scheduling Conference. It is expected that all parties and all counsel will conduct discovery in a cooperative way, consistent with Rule 1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: "To secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action." Consequently, the parties should cooperate with each other to ensure that discovery progresses as rapidly and efficiently as is practical. The Court advises that it generally is very liberal on discovery issues.


The parties can stipulate to extend discovery if it does not impact subsequent dates set by the Court. If such an agreement is reached, the parties should submit a stipulated order, signed by counsel and with a signature line for the Court, via the utilities function of CM/ECF. Requests to extend discovery impacting other dates must be sought via motion. Any agreement by the parties to the request should be indicated.


Local Rule 37.1 requires the parties to attempt to narrow their disagreements in regard to discovery. The Court expects counsel to make every effort to comply with this Local Rule, to confer with one another and resolve discovery matters themselves. However, if counsel have conferred and made every effort to reach an agreement but have been unsuccessful, the Court will be available to conduct a telephone conference on short notice in order to resolve discovery disputes expeditiously and without the need for motions. No discovery motion may be filed before the Court is contacted. Counsel should contact the Court's Case Manager to schedule a conference call at (313) 234-5524.

The Court generally will decide motions filed when discovery disputes are not resolved in the manner described above; however, the Court may refer motions to the magistrate judge assigned to the case. Where a motion has been referred, all communication regarding the motion should be directed to the magistrate judge's chambers. Improper delays or uncooperativeness in discovery will result in assessments of costs.


Protective orders shall not be entered routinely. The requirements for protective orders are set forth in Local Rules 5.3 and 26.4, which are to be strictly followed. Pursuant to these rules, only the portion of a pleading, paper, exhibit(s), or document(s) subject to the protective order may be filed under seal.


The Judges of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan have approved, on a pilot period basis, the use of a Model Electronically Stored Information (ESI)discovery order and Rule 26(f) checklist in appropriate cases. See ESI Order Checklist. In cases where substantial ESI discovery is expected, the Court encourages the parties to review the order and Rule 26(f) checklist, use the Rule 26(f) checklist when preparing their Rule 26 plan, and to be prepared to inform the Court at the Case Management Status and Scheduling Conference whether an order incorporating all or portions of the model order would be useful in the particular case.