The ruling came in a suit Tesla Motors has brought against the state, alleging the state discriminated against it by blocking its manufacturer-owner stores.
Carmody ruled Rep. Jason SHEPPARD (R-Lambertville) and Sen. Joe HUNE (R-Fowlerville) will have to open up communications made up to one year before the legislation was enacted that stopped Tesla's stores and six months afterward.
"I have not concluded that (legislative) privilege extends to any third-party communications. That's where I stand right now," Carmody said. "The protection is really for the deliberative process the legislature undergoes."
As to the particulars on what documents would have to be revealed, that would have to be sorted out between the attorneys, Carmody ruled.
Friday morning's proceedings were a continuation of arguments that began Thursday.
Assistant Attorney General Rock WOOD, representing the legislators, argued this would "open up Pandora's box" for suits against the state.
Carmody made the distinction that this was for the discovery of evidence, not for what would be admissible in a trial.
Wood did get Carmody and Tesla attorney John BURSCH's agreement that the documents produced would be "attorneys' eyes only."
Michael HINDELANG, representing Kurt BERRYMAN of the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association, argued some of his client's communications with legislators were privileged because he was acting as an attorney in them.
Hindelang conceded that communications Berryman made as a lobbyist would not be protected from discovery, though.
Hindelang also wanted associational privilege to exclude some documents from discovery, asserting that it could harm his organization. Carmody said she wanted facts and an additional affidavit from Berryman to back that up.
Carmody said she'd take the motion under advisement, but noted, "I'm not keen on a broad application of associational privilege under these particular facts."
At the end of the hearing, another attorney from the state brought up an Eleventh Amendment immunity issue, essentially contending the suit was against the state, which is protected from suits under the U.S. Constitution. Bursch took issue with that claim.
Regardless, Carmody said she wasn't comfortable taking the idea without a referral first from Federal District Judge Janet NEFF, who is presiding over the case. She advised the attorney set up a meeting with Neff to discuss it.