United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is the parties' Joint Motion for Extension of
Deadlines (R. Doc. 22) filed on April 4, 2017.
before the Court is the State of Louisiana, through
Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Division of
Probation and Parole, and Secretary James Leblanc's
(“Defendants”) Motion to Compel (R. Doc. 23)
filed on April 10, 2017. The deadline for filing an
opposition to the motion has not expired.
following reasons, the motions are DENIED.
December 18, 2015, Leigh Laney (“Plaintiff”)
initiated this employment discrimination action, naming as
defendant the State of Louisiana, through Department of
Public Safety and Corrections, Division of Probation and
Parole. (R. Doc. 1). Plaintiff later filed a First Amended
and Supplemental Complaint naming Secretary James LeBlanc as
a defendant. (R. Doc. 10).
March 31, 2016, the Court entered a Scheduling Order (R. Doc.
9) based upon deadlines requested by the parties in their
Joint Status Report (R. Doc. 8). The Scheduling Order set,
among other things, the deadline to provide Rule 26(a)(1)
initial disclosures by April 14, 2016; the deadline to
complete all non-expert discovery by October 31, 2016; the
deadline to complete expert discovery by March 3, 2017; and
the deadline to file dispositive motions and Daubert motions
by May 4, 2017. (R. Doc. 9 at 1-2). Trial is set to commence
on November 13, 2017. (R. Doc. 9 at 2).
9, 2016, Defendants served written discovery requests on
Plaintiff. (R. Doc. 23-2).
October 12, 2016, over five months after Defendants
propounded written discovery, the parties held a conference
and Plaintiff's counsel agreed to provide responses to
the outstanding discovery requests within two weeks
(i.e., prior to the October 31, 2016 discovery
deadline). (R. Doc. 23-1 at 1). Defendants assert that this
conference satisfies the requirements of Rule 37(a)(1) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (R. Doc. 23-1 at 3).
Defendants did not file a motion to compel prior to the
October 31, 2016 deadline to file discovery motions.
on October 31, 2016, the parties filed a joint motion to
extend the discovery deadline to May 4, 2017, and the
deadline to file dispositive motions and Daubert motions to
June 2, 2017. (R. Doc. 20). In support of their motion, the
parties made no mention of Plaintiff's failure to provide
initial disclosures and/or respond to discovery requests. The
parties represented that the extensions were requested in
light of “flooding” and the “upcoming medical
leave expected by counsel for Defendants.” (R. Doc. 20
at 2). Based on record, and the representations of the
parties, the Court found good cause to extend the deadline to
complete all discovery and to file all discovery motions to
April 4, 2017, and to extend the deadline to file dispositive
motions and Daubert motions to May 12, 2017. (R. Doc. 21).
then waited until January 18, 2017 to again seek the
outstanding discovery responses and initial disclosures from
Plaintiff. (R. Doc. 23-1 at 2). There is no indication in the
motion that Defendants made any further attempts to obtain
discovery responses and/or initial disclosures from Plaintiff
after January 18, 2017. Defendants represent that defense
counsel was on maternity leave from January 19, 2017 to April
3, 2017. (R. Doc. 22 at 2).
April 4, 2017, the parties moved for an extension of the
discovery deadline to May 4, 2017, and an extension of the
dispositive motion and Daubert motion deadline to June 6,
2017. (R. Doc. 22). In support of the requested extensions,
the parties state that they “still have a couple of
discovery issues that they are working through and need more
time to resolve before moving onto the next steps of
litigation.” (R. Doc. 22 at 2). The parties further
state that they need to schedule “a small number of
depositions, ” but do not identify whether any
depositions have been taken or why depositions have not been
taken since the discovery commenced. (R. Doc. 22 at 2).
April 10, 2017, approximately a year after they were ordered
to be provided, and after the Court's deadline to file
any discovery related motions, Defendants moved to compel
Plaintiff to provide initial disclosures. Defendants also
untimely moved to compel responses to the outstanding