United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Charleston Division
L. Tinsley, United States Magistrate Judge
before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Compel
Plaintiff to Respond to Defendants' First Sets of Written
Discovery (ECF No. 31). The time allotted for Plaintiff to
file a response to the motion has expired.
March 1, 2019, Defendant William A. Blatt filed his First Set
of Interrogatories, Request for Production of Documents and
Request for Admissions to Plaintiff (ECF No. 31-1). On March
1, 2019, Defendant Wood County Commission filed its First Set
of Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents to
Plaintiff (ECF No. 31-2). Plaintiff's responses to
Defendants' discovery requests would have been due on or
before March 31, 2019.
April 9, 2019, counsel for Defendants contacted
Plaintiff's counsel via telephone regarding the status of
Plaintiff's discovery responses (ECF 31 at p. 2).
Plaintiff's counsel indicated there had been problems
with the mail with receiving the discovery requests and
Defendants granted Plaintiff a two week extension in which to
file his discovery responses (ECF No. 31 at p. 3). Defense
counsel confirmed this telephone conversation in an email and
gave Plaintiff's counsel until April 23, 2019 in which to
respond to the discovery (ECF No. 31-3).
April 23, 2019, Plaintiff's counsel e-mailed counsel for
Defendants requesting an additional week extension (ECF No.
31-4). Defendants agreed to an additional one week extension
and requested informal information to ensure that it could
timely disclose experts; the date for Plaintiff to file his
discovery responses would be April 30, 2019 (ECF No. 31-5).
Plaintiff responded that he was meeting with his client the
following day to presumably work on the discovery responses
and that he would provide the information requested in the
April 23, 2019 e-mail (ECF No. 31-6).
assert that Plaintiff did not provide the information
informally requested, nor did he serve his discovery
responses by the April 30, 2019 deadline. On May 2, 2019,
counsel for Defendants again contacted Plaintiff's
counsel via telephone regarding his responses. During the
telephone call, Plaintiff's counsel requested another
extension to May 7, 2019 to file his responses. Counsel for
Defendants advised Plaintiff's counsel that if the
responses were not received by this date that they would file
a motion to compel. The telephone conversation was
memorialized in e-mails (ECF No. 31-7). The parties further
agreed that due to the delay, Defendant's expert
disclosure deadline would be extended to May 15, 2019 (ECF
No. 31-7) and a stipulation extending Defendants' expert
witness disclosure deadline was filed on May 8, 2019 (ECF No.
30). To date, Plaintiff has not responded to the discovery
considered the arguments of Defendants and noting that no
response has been filed by Plaintiff, it is hereby
ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to
Compel Plaintiff to Respond to Defendants' First Sets of
Written Discovery (ECF No. 31) is GRANTED.
It is further ORDERED that Plaintiff shall
fully and completely respond to Defendant William A.
Blatt's First Set of Interrogatories and Request for
Production of Documents to Plaintiff and Defendant Wood
County Commission's First Set of Interrogatories and
Request for Production of Documents to Plaintiff within
ten (10) days of entry of the Order.
regard to Defendant William A. Blatt's Requests for
Admission to Plaintiff, Rule 36(a)(3) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure provides as follows:
(3) Time to Respond; Effect of Not Responding. A
matter is admitted unless, within 30 days after being served,
the party to whom the request is directed serves on the
requested party a written answer or objection addressed to
the matter and signed by the party or its attorney. A shorter
or longer time for responding may be stipulated to under
Rule 29 or be ordered by the court.
in accordance with Rule 36(a)(3), it is hereby
ORDERED that and each of the Requests for
Admissions contained in Defendant William A. Blatt's
Requests for Admission to Plaintiff served on or about March
1, 2019, shall be deemed admitted.
requested an award of fees and costs incurred in bringing the
motion to compel. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37 governs
motions for an order compelling disclosure or discovery. The
(A) If the motion is granted-or if the disclosure or
requested discovery is provided after the motion was
filed-the court must, after giving an opportunity to be
heard, require the party or deponent whose conduct
necessitated the motion, the party or attorney advising that
conduct, or both to pay the movant's reasonable expenses
incurred in making the motion, including attorney's fees.
But the court must not order this payment if:
(i) The movant filed the motion before attempting in good
faith to obtain the disclosure or discovery without court
(ii) The opposing party's nondisclosure, response or
objection was substantially justified; or (iii) Other
circumstances make an ...