In Swelnis v. Universal Fidelity L.P., 2014 WL 1571323 (N.D.Ind. 2014), Judge Cherry addressed discovery in an FDCPA class action. First, Judge Cherry required disclosure of “Training Materials”:
Plaintiff’s Interrogatory No. 9 and Document Request Nos. 4–6, 8, and 11 each seek infor-mation—specifically: training manuals and other relevant documents—that relate to Defendants’ Af-firmative Defense of bona fide error. Defendants objected to turning over this material without the entry of a mutually agreed upon confidentiality order. But, as Plaintiff points out, the parties have already asked for and received a confidentiality order from this Court. Defendants essentially concede this point, stating in their Response that they will produce all relevant portions of the documents sought by Plaintiff. Plaintiff is not completely satisfied, however, representing that there is a disc entitled “FDCPA Essentials for Collectors” that Defendants have told her about but have yet to hand over. The Court finds the Plaintiff’s request well taken, and orders Defend-ants to turn over to Plaintiff all relevant and non-privileged materials that are responsive to Plain-tiff’s requests but have yet to be handed over.
Judge Cherry did not allow discovery on the putative class size.
Plaintiff served Defendants with discovery re-quests seeking the size of the putative class along with the names and addresses of potential class members. Defendants refused to answer these requests, contending that they were overly broad, premature, and not calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. They also objected that the requests ran afoul of the general rule that potential class member information is not produced prior to class certification. ¶ Before considering whether Plaintiff’s motion is well taken, some framing of the issue as it stands before this Court is necessary. During informal negotiations, Plaintiff expressed willingness to consider a sampling of class information, the exact number of class members, and a promise by Defendants that they would preserve putative class members’ information. She does not ask for this relief in her opening brief, however. And though she tries to ask for sampling in her Reply, the Court holds her to her earlier declaration that she “is no longer willing to accept a sampling of the class files and is requesting that this Court enter an order requiring Defendants to respond” to her original discovery requests. Pl. Br. 4. The Court hence does not consider sampling; it would be unfair to Defendants who, quite reasonably, did not address the issue in their Response brief. This threshold issue resolved, the Court turns to the substance of Plaintiff’s motion. ¶ Plaintiffs have the right to contact potential class members. Johnson v. Bankers Life & Cas. Co., 13–CV–144–WMC, 2013 WL 5442374 (W.D.Wis. Sept. 30, 2013) (citing Gulf Oil Co. v. Bernard, 452 U.S. 89 (1981); Williams v. Chartwell Fin. Servs., Ltd., 204 F.3d 748, 759 (7th Cir.2000)). And any limitation on communication between a plaintiff and a potential class member must be “based on a clear record and specific findings that reflect a weighing of the need for a limitation and the potential interference with the rights of the parties.” Gulf Oil Co., 452 U.S. at 101 (1981); Williams, 204 F.3d at 759. ¶ This rule, however, does not “address whether a defendant has an obligation to produce contact in-formation to facilitate plaintiff’s pre-certification contact with putative class members.” Johnson, 13–CV–144–WMC, 2013 WL 5442374 (W.D.Wis. Sept. 30, 2013). As the Supreme Court held in Oppenheimer Fund, Inc. v. Sanders, the names and addresses of potential class members do not fall within the scope of allowable discovery under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1). 437 U.S. 340, 353 (1978); Johnson, 13–CV–144–WMC, 2013 WL 5442374 (W.D.Wis. Sept. 30, 2013). And, as Defendants point out, this restriction prevents lawyers from turning discovery into “a tool to identify potential new clients.” 2 McLaughlin on Class Actions 11:1 (10th ed.) (citations omitted). ¶ This information may be discoverable, however, if it is relevant for Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 purposes or where there is good reason to think that communication with class members might yield information bearing on those Rule 23 issues. Oppenheimer 437 U.S. 340, 354 n. 20 (1978); Johnson, 13–CV–144–WMC, 2013 WL 5442374 (W.D.Wis. Sept. 30, 2013); see also Sjoblom v. Charter Commc’ns, LLC, 3:07–CV–0451–BBC, 2008 WL 4276928 (W.D.Wis. Jan. 4, 2008). Nevertheless, it is usually inappropriate for a Court to order a defendant to hand over name and address information for all the potential class members. Oppenheimer 437 U.S. 340, 354 n. 20 (1978); Johnson, 13–CV–144–WMC, 2013 WL 5442374 (W.D.Wis. Sept. 30, 2013). ¶ Plaintiff’s reason for wanting the name and address information is puzzling because the only reason she gives for needing it is to establish numerosity under Rule 23. And though she tries in her Reply to raise commonality and typicality as additional reasons, those arguments were raised for the first time in a Reply hence are not properly before the Court. ¶ The Court concludes that there isn’t any reason to think that this information would help Plaintiff establish numerosity, especially since she admits that she already knows the estimated size of the putative class. Name and address information does not bear on the size of the class but with who is in it. The Court accordingly denies Plaintiff’s request for the name and address information of putative class members. ¶ Finally, though class size is relevant under Rule 23, See Muha v. Encore Receivable Mgmt., Inc., 236 F.R.D. 429, 430 (E.D.Wis.2006), the Court finds no merit in Plaintiff’s request for the exact size of the putative class. Defendants represent that they have given Plaintiff an estimated class size, and she neither challenges the accuracy of the estimated size nor provides any reasons to think that knowing the exact size is important for establishing the numerosity of the putative class, or anything else for that matter. As such, granting this request would needlessly burden Defendants, and the Court hence denies Plaintiff’s request for the exact putative class size.