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Beal v. Schul

decided: October 3, 1967.

JEFFREY T. BEAL, A MINOR, BY HIS PARENTS AND GUARDIANS, ROBERT T. BEAL AND JESSIE BEAL, AND ROBERT T. BEAL AND JESSIE BEAL IN THEIR OWN RIGHT, PETITIONERS,
v.
JOSEPH SCHUL, RESPONDENT, HONORABLE RALPH C. BODY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, NOMINAL RESPONDENT



Kalodner and Seitz, Circuit Judges, and Cohen, District Judge. Seitz, Circuit Judge (dissenting).

Author: Per Curiam

Opinion OF THE COURT

Upon consideration of the petition for a writ of mandamus to the Honorable Ralph C. Body, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Nominal Respondent, in the above entitled case, it is ordered that plaintiffs' petition for a writ of mandamus be and it hereby is denied.

SEITZ, Circuit Judge (dissenting).

The majority of the panel voted to refuse to issue any process on the petition for a writ of mandamus. Since I voted for the issuance of process and since, in my view, this matter is of some moment in the administration of justice, I am setting forth the reasons for my vote.

The factual background is relatively simple and undisputed. Petitioners are plaintiffs in a negligence action pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In that action they directed the following interrogatories to the defendant:

"11. Is there an insurance policy insuring the defendant for liability arising from the accident in question?

12. If so, what is the name and address of the insurer?

13. If so, what is the amount of the said insurance?"

The defendant objected on the following grounds:

1. The matters inquired into are not relevant to the issues of the case nor can they lead to discovery on any relevant issue.

2. They prematurely call for information relevant solely to the issue of damages.

3. They seek information about matters which are inadmissible and not relevant to the subject matter as provided by Rules 33 and 26(b).

By order dated August 8, 1967, the District Judge sustained the objections to the interrogatories "for the reasons stated" in the opinion of Judge Kirkpatrick in McClure v. Boeger, 105 F. Supp. 612 (E.D.Pa., 1952). On August 15, 1967, petitioners filed the present petition. They seek a writ of mandamus directed to the District Judge directing him to enter an order overruling the objections to the interrogatories in question. ...


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