United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
WELLS ROBY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is a Motion to Compel (R. Doc. 44) filed by
Defendant Alison Thornhill, N.P., seeking an order from the
Court compelling Plaintiffs Jerry Joseph and Merline Joseph
(“Plaintiffs”) to answer the Request for
Production of Documents and Interrogatories propounded on
November 21, 2016. Thornhill also seeks to have the
Plaintiffs provide their Initial Disclosures. The motion was
not opposed. The motion was submitted on May 17, 2017. For
the following reasons, the Motion to Compel is GRANTED.
before the Court is a Motion for Extension to File Response
to Discovery (R. Doc. 45) filed by the Plaintiffs seeking an
extension of time to file responses to the discovery
requests. This motion was also submitted on May 17, 2017. For
the following reasons, the Motion is DENIED.
action was filed in the District Court on March 9, 2015. R.
Doc. 1. The Plaintiffs allege that the Plaintiff's son
Keith Joseph (“Deceased”) was booked as an inmate
at the Tangipahoa Parish Prison in Tangipahoa, Louisiana on
or about February 19, 2014. Id. at p. 4. The
Plaintiffs further state that the Deceased suffered from
various health conditions, including blood clots surrounding
his lungs and a severe heart condition which left untreated
caused him to suffer intolerable chest pain. Id. at
p. 5. The Plaintiffs allege that throughout the
Deceased's time at the Tangipahoa Parish Prison the
Defendants in this action were informed of his medical
condition and that the Tangipahoa Parish Prison was in
control of the Deceased's medication. On March 3, 2014,
the Deceased's physical condition deteriorated to the
point that he was having intolerable chest pain and began
requesting his medication from Defendant Officer Brock.
Id. On March 11, 2014, the Deceased was brought to
the on-duty Nurse for evaluation, but was returned to his
cell despite his complaints. After returning to his cell, the
Deceased allegedly continued to complaint to Office Brock
until he collapsed in front of Officer Brock and a number of
other inmates. Id. at p. 6. Following his collapse,
the Deceased was not administered Cardiopulmonary
Resuscitation until a period of at least thirty minutes.
Id. The Deceased died allegedly as a result of this
neglect. As such, the Plaintiffs have filed this action
against the Louisiana Department of Corrections and a number
of other individuals associated with the prison seeking
damages for mental pain, anguish, and distress, burial
expenses, loss of love and affection, and all other damages.
Id. at p. 8.
time, Defendant Alison Thornhill-a jail nurse who allegedly
involved in the treatment of the Deceased-has filed a motion
to compel seeking to have the Plaintiffs answer the Requests
for Production of Documents and Interrogatories submitted to
them as well as provide their initial disclosures. R. Doc.
44. Thornhill propounded the discovery requests on November
21, 2016 and, on January 16, 2017 after a conference with the
Plaintiffs, allowed for an extension to respond until
February 2, 2017. R. Doc. 44-1, p. 1-2. Additionally, the
Court's Scheduling Order required the production of
initial disclosures on October 28, 2016. R. Doc. 36. The
Plaintiffs have not furnished the initial disclosures to
Thornhill, and the same was discussed at the January 16, 2017
conference. R. Doc. 44-1, p. 1-2. As such, Thornhill filed
the instant motion to compel production of that discovery as
well as for attorney's fees associated with the motion.
R. Doc. 44.
than filing an opposition to Thornhill's motion, the
Plaintiffs have filed a separate motion for extension of time
to file responses to discovery “in light of the motion
to compel filed by the Defendant.” R. Doc. 45. The
Plaintiffs state that they need additional time to respond to
the discovery requests because Plaintiff Jerry Joseph is
located in Detroit, Michigan and has difficulties
participating on a consistent basis and because Plaintiff
Merline Joseph is currently working with witnesses to prepare
Standard of Review
Motion to Compel
of documents, electronically stored information, and things
is governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34. Rule 34
allows a party to request the production of “any
designated documents or electronically stored
information” or “any tangible things.”
Id. Similarly, Rule 33 allows a party to serve
another party written interrogatories which “must, to
the extent it is not objected to, be answered separately and
fully in writing under oath.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(b)(3).
Both Rule 33 and 34 allow a party to ask interrogatories and
request production to the extent of Rule 26(b). Fed.R.Civ.P.
Rule of Civil Procedure 37 provides sanctions for failure to
cooperate in discovery. Rule 37(a) allows a party in certain
circumstances to move for an order compelling discovery from
another party. In particular, Rule 37(a)(3)(b)(iii)-(iv)
allows a party seeking discovery to move for an order
compelling an answer or production of documents where a party
“fails to answer an interrogatory” or
“fails to produce documents.” An “evasive
or incomplete” answer or production is treated the same
as a complete failure to answer or produce. Fed.R.Civ.P.
addition to alleging that the responding party has failed to
properly cooperate with discovery, a motion to compel under
Rule 37(a) must also “include a certification that the
movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer
with the person or party failing to make disclosure or
discovery in an effort to obtain it without court
action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 31(a)(1).
if the motion is granted, 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.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(5)(A).
However, the Court will not order payment if the opposing