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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The underlying litigation was a suit on sworn account filed by Poultry Plant Refrigeration and Maintenance (PPR&M), Albert Littleton and William Pierce against Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. Pilgrim’s Pride asserted several affirmative defenses, including satisfaction, offset, setoff and equitable issues. In addition, Pilgrim’s Pride asserted counterclaims for breach of contract, declaratory relief, fraud, civil conspiracy and equitable issues. After filing the current suit against Pilgrim’s Pride, PPR&M defaulted on certain loans made to PPR&M by Hibernia. Hibernia intervened in the suit but eventually assigned its claims to Pilgrim’s Pride. Pilgrim’s Pride is now seeking to collect the amounts due under the assigned loans from PPR&M, Littleton and Pierce. Although in discovery Pilgrim’s Pride produced several documents concerning the assigned loans, Pilgrim’s Pride objected to the request to produce documents showing the amount Pilgrim’s Pride paid for the assignment based on relevance. After holding a hearing, the trial court granted PPR&M’s emergency motion to compel production. Pilgrim’s Pride’s petition for writ of mandamus asked the 6th Court of Appeals to order the 5th District Court of Bowie County to vacate its order of Sept. 5, 2006, which compelled production of documents responsive to four requests in PPR&M’s Second Request for Production of Documents aimed at finding out the amount of consideration paid for the debts. HOLDING:The petition for a writ of mandamus was denied. The court stated that as a general rule, mandamus is not available for most discovery disputes. However, the court stated that an order compelling discovery that is well outside the proper bounds is reviewable by mandamus. Pilgrim’s Pride contended that the documents sought by PPR&M dealing with the consideration paid for the assignment were not relevant or reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Pilgrim’s Pride cited a 1975 appeals case for the proposition that a holder of a promissory note is entitled to recover the full amount due on the note regardless of what was paid for the assignment. Thus, according to Pilgrim’s Pride, the amount paid for the assignment is irrelevant to the current dispute and the trial court abused its discretion in ordering production of the documents. Even if the amount of consideration it paid to purchase that note if at least some value is paid is irrelevant to an action to enforce the note, the court still disagreed that the documents sought were patently irrelevant or that the trial court clearly abused its discretion. By pleading a counterclaim based on the assigned loans, the court noted, Pilgrim’s Pride has placed the assigned loans in dispute. Additionally, the court stated, Pilgrim’s Pride has pled defenses and counterclaims based on equitable grounds. The amount paid for the loans could be relevant under one of these theories. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding the request either sought discovery of admissible evidence or was reasonably calculated to lead to discovery of admissible evidence. Because reasonable minds could differ concerning whether the information sought either is relevant to any issue involved in the suit or could reasonably lead to the discovery of such information, the documents sought were not patently irrelevant. The trial court’s order was not arbitrary and unreasonable, nor did it constitute a clear abuse of discretion, the court stated. OPINION:Morriss, C.J.; Morriss, C.J., Ross and Carter, J.J.

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