United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
WILDER-DOOMES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is a Motion to Compel Discovery and for
Attorney's Fees (the “Motion”), filed by Troy
Hebert and the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco
“Defendants”). Defendants seek to compel Plaintiff to
respond to Defendants' Second Set of Interrogatories and
Requests for Production of Documents Propounded Upon
Plaintiff and seek an award of the reasonable
expenses and attorney's fees incurred in filing the
Motion. Plaintiff has not yet filed a response to the Motion.
For the reasons that follow, the Motion is
DENIED as untimely-filed. Defendants'
request for reasonable expenses and attorney's fees under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(5)(A) is DENIED.
Motion, Defendants assert that they propounded their second
set of discovery requests upon the Plaintiff on April 26,
2017 and that Plaintiff failed to timely respond to discovery
by May 26, 2017. As a result, counsel for Defendants
contacted Plaintiff's counsel on May 30, 2017, and
eventually conducted a discovery conference pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(1) on June 2, 2017. Although counsel
subsequently exchanged additional communications in an
attempt to resolve the discovery dispute, they were unable to
do so, which resulted in Defendants filing the instant Motion
on June 7, 2017. In the Motion, Defendants acknowledge that
the discovery deadline was May 26, 2017. However,
Defendants assert that the Court should consider the Motion
because the Court has granted a limited extension of the
discovery deadline to August 25, 2017 and the Court is still
considering other discovery issues, including Defendants'
prior motion to compel. Defendants further assert that the
Court's local rules allow parties to file a motion to
compel after the discovery deadline (LR 26(d)(1)) and that
there is no bright-line rule prohibiting a party from filing
a motion to compel after the discovery deadline.
Defendants' assertions to the contrary, the Court finds
that the Motion must be denied as untimely-filed. As
Defendants readily admit, the deadline to complete all fact
discovery and to file motions to compel fact discovery was
May 26, 2017. During a telephone conference held on May
23, 2017, the Court granted in part the Defendants' oral
motion to extend the discovery deadline to August 25, 2017,
giving the parties additional time to take the continuation
of Plaintiff's deposition and conduct additional
reasonable discovery that arises out of the deposition, but
expressly denying Defendants' request to extend the
discovery deadline for any other purpose. Further, while
Local Rule 26(d)(1) does allow the filing of discovery
motions after the expiration of the discovery deadline, the
rule specifically provides that such motions must be
“filed within seven days after the discovery
deadline.” LR 26(d)(1). Here, the Motion was not filed
within seven days after the May 26, 2017 discovery deadline,
as the Motion was filed on June 7, 2017. Thus, the Motion was
untimely-filed even under Local Rule 26(d)(1). While
Defendants assert as a basis for the failure to file the
Motion timely Plaintiff's counsel's delay in
participating in a Fed.R.Civ.P. 37 discovery conference, that
is not a basis for failing to seek relief timely. Defendants
could have requested an extension of the deadline to file the
Motion to Compel or requested a conference with the Court, or
timely-filed the Motion with a certificate that a conference
was attempted but could not be held. Based on the facts
alleged in the Motion, the Defendants have not shown
excusable neglect for their failure to timely file the Motion
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(b)(1)(B).
IT IS ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to
Compel Discovery and for Attorney's Fees is
DENIED as untimely.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' request for
reasonable expenses and attorney's fees under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(5)(A) is DENIED.
 R. Doc. 97.
 R. Doc. 97-3.
 A motion to compel is a
nondispositive, pretrial discovery motion.” State
Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Friedman, 2002 WL 649417, at
*1 (N.D. Tex. Jan. 14, 2002) (citing Castillo v.
Frank, 70 F.3d 382, 385 (5th Cir. 1995)). See,
Turner v. Hayden, 2016 WL 6993864, at *1 (W.D. La.
Nov. 29, 2016) (“The decision by Magistrate Hornsby to
deny Turner's Motion to Compel Discovery is a
non-dispositive matter.”); In re Tex. Bumper
Exchange, Inc., 333 B.R. 135, 138 (Bankr.W.D.Tex. 2005)
(holding bankruptcy court's order granting motion to
compel discovery was an interlocutory order as the order
concerned a nondispositive discovery issue and did not
dispose of the merits of litigation).
 R. Doc. 97-2 at 2-3.
 R. Doc. 97-2 at 2.
See, R. Doc. 94.