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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV on Tuesday secured a small victory in General Motors Co.'s civil racketeering suit against the Italian American automaker.

U.S. District Judge Paul Borman is allowing Fiat Chrysler to delay turning over the documents requested by the Detroit automaker until he determines whether the case should be dismissed. GM is seeking to prove its allegations that a years-long bribery conspiracy by Fiat Chrysler executives corrupted labor negotiations and hurt GM, which FCA has called "groundless."

"We are confident in the merits of our case, which is grounded in the long-running conspiracy that FCA orchestrated," GM spokesman Jim Cain said in a statement. "We look forward to promptly proceeding with discovery following resolution of their motion to dismiss."

GM last year served Fiat Chrysler with 55 broad document requests that trace to more than 10 years ago and four interrogation requests.

"We are pleased with the judge's decision to deny General Motors' motion seeking immediate discovery," FCA said in a statement, reiterating its rival's claims are "meritless and malicious."

The postponement of discovery also applies to non-parties in the case such as the United Auto Workers from which GM has made 36 demands, including the 1.9 million documents the UAW has provided the federal government in its ongoing corruption investigation into the union.

Borman, however, is requesting GM submit by March 3 a briefing about its concerns over the preservation of evidence in relation to the UAW. The union did not have comment beyond its previous filings.

"We remain concerned about ensuring the preservation of relevant evidence in this case and appreciate the opportunity to brief the Court on this important issue," GM's Cain said.

The automaker has until March 9 to submit its response to Fiat Chrysler's request for the judge to dismiss the case.

bnoble@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble

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