United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is Defendants' Motion to Compel Discovery
Responses (R. Doc. 32) filed on July 17, 2017. Pursuant to
Local Rule 7(f), Plaintiff had twenty-one days after service
of the motion to file an opposition. Upon Plaintiff's
motion, the Court extended Plaintiff's deadline to file
an opposition to August 9, 2017. (R. Doc. 40). Plaintiff has
not filed an opposition as of the date of this Order.
Accordingly, the motion is deemed to be unopposed.
9, 2016, Raymond Sellers (“Plaintiff”) commenced
this action for alleged violations of the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et
seq. (“FDCPA”) against SN Servicing
Corporation, William A. Fogleman, and Housing Opportunity
Partners REO, LLC (collectively, “Defendants”).
(R. Doc. 1). Plaintiff has filed an Amended Complaint. (R.
Doc. 24). Plaintiff seeks damages allegedly incurred as a
result of seeking cancellation of a sheriff's sale of his
home, as well as recovery of “several thousands of
dollars” in overcharged interest on the underlying
mortgage. (R. Doc. 24 at 2-5).
alleges that he “has suffered actual damages and
injury, including, but not limited to, the costs to stop the
sheriff's sale including attorney's fees, stress,
humiliation, anxiety, extreme mental anguish and suffering,
emotional distress, and excessive interest for which he
should be compensated in amounts to be proven at
trial.” (R. Doc. 24 at 5). Plaintiff further states
that he seeks recovery for actual damages under the FDCPA;
excessive interest charged and collected by Defendants;
“additional damages”; and attorney's fees and
costs. (R. Doc. 24 at 5-6).
March 3, 2017, Defendants served their First Set of
Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents on
Plaintiff. (R. Doc. 32-2).
April 19, 2017, after receiving an extension of the deadline
to respond from Defendants, Plaintiff provided his responses
to the discovery requests. (R. Doc. 32-3).
14, 2017, defense counsel sent Plaintiff's counsel an
e-mail outlining alleged deficiencies with Plaintiff's
responses to Interrogatory Nos. 8, 10, 12, 17, 19, and 20,
and Requests for Production Nos. 13, 14, 16, and 17. (R. Doc.
32-4 at 1-2). Defense counsel requested supplemental
responses by June 28, 2017. (R. Doc. 32-4 at 2).
30, 2017, having received no supplemental responses, defense
counsel informed Plaintiff's counsel that Defendants
intended on filing a motion to compel regarding the deficient
responses. (R. Doc. 32-5). Plaintiff's counsel responded
by representing that he had been “out of state”
and would discuss the deficiencies with Plaintiff on July 3,
2017, and then provide defense counsel with an update. (R.
Doc. 32-6 at 2). Defense counsel agreed. (R. Doc. 32-6 at 1).
5, 2017, defense counsel sent Plaintiff's counsel another
e-mail requesting an update on the status of Plaintiff's
supplemental responses. (R. Doc. 32-6 at 1).
7, 2017, Plaintiff's counsel represented that he was
meeting with Plaintiff, and that Plaintiff would provide
supplemental responses on July 10, 2017. (R. Doc. 32-7).
10, 2017, Plaintiff provided “amended” responses
to the discovery requests. (R. Doc. 32-8). At the same time,
Plaintiff's counsel informed defense counsel that he was
“working up the payments on a spread sheet to determine
the excessive interest charges.” (R. Doc. 32-9).
Defendants represent that they have not been provided with
the requested supplemental information as of the date of the
filing of the Motion to Compel. (R. Doc. 32-1 at 3).
13, 2017, Defendants took Plaintiff's deposition. (R.
Doc. 32-12). At his deposition, Plaintiff testified that he
had in his possession certain loan-related documents and
records of payments that he had not produced in discovery,
further stating that some of the documents were thrown away
in the past few years in light of water damage. (R. Doc.
32-12 at 7-9). Plaintiff also asserted that he needed
“two or three weeks” to get the documents
together to produce. (R. Doc. 32-12 at 10-11).
Plaintiff's counsel also represented at the deposition
that he had additional responsive documents to produce and
that he would provide them by e-mail during a break in the
deposition. (R. Doc. 32-12 at 14-18). Defendants represent
that Plaintiff's counsel emailed more than 200 pages of
documents to defense counsel during the deposition. (R. Doc.
32-1 at 4; see R. Doc. 32-12 at 18-19).
now seek an order compelling Plaintiff to respond fully to
Interrogatory Nos. 10, 12, and 17, and Request for Production
No. 13. (R. Doc. 32).
Law and Analysis
otherwise limited by court order, the scope of discovery is
as follows: Parties may obtain discovery regarding any
non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's
claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case,
considering the importance of the issues at stake in the
action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative
access to relevant information, the parties' resources,
the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and
whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery
outweighs its likely benefit. Information within this scope
of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be
discoverable.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). The court must
limit the frequency or extent of discovery if it determines
that: “(i) the discovery sought is unreasonably
cumulative or duplicative, or can be obtained from some other
source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less
expensive; (ii) the party seeking discovery has had ample
opportunity to obtain the information by discovery in the
action; or (iii) the proposed discovery is outside the scope
permitted by Rule 26(b)(1).” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C).
court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party
or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue
burden or expense.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1). Rule
26(c)'s “good cause” requirement indicates
that the party seeking a protective order has the burden
“to show the necessity of its issuance, which
contemplates a particular and specific demonstration of fact
as distinguished from stereotyped and conclusory
statements.” In re Terra Int'l, Inc., 134
F.3d 302, 306 (5th Cir. 1998) (quoting United States v.
Garrett, 571 F.2d 1323, 1326 n.3 (5th Cir. 1978)).
33 and 34 provide a party with 30 days after service of the
discovery to respond or object. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
33(b)(2) and 34(b)(2)(A). If a party fails to respond fully
to discovery requests made pursuant as to Rules 33 and 34 in
the time allowed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the
party seeking discovery may move to compel disclosure and for
appropriate sanctions under Rule 37. An “evasive or
incomplete disclosure, answer, or response must be treated as
a failure to disclose, answer or respond.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
Interrogatory No. 10, and Plaintiff's responses to
Interrogatory No. 10, are as follows:
INTERROGATORY NO. 10
Please Identify, itemize and describe in specific detail the
amount(s) for alleged excessive interest charged and
collected by the Defendants and Identify your ...