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Baker v. Ephion

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

September 11, 2017

SEDE BAKER
v.
SERGEANT TYRANISSUIN EPHION

          ORDER

          RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery (R. Doc. 88) filed on August 16, 2017. The motion is opposed. (R. Doc. 104).

         The Court held oral argument on September 8, 2017. (R. Doc. 109).

         I. Background

         The instant discovery dispute concerns written discovery propounded by Plaintiff on February 7, 2017. (R. Doc. 88-3).

         On May 15, 2017, defense counsel wrote Plaintiff's counsel, asserting that responses to the discovery propounded would not be provided until June 5, 2017, or 30 days after the issuance of the Court's Scheduling Order on May 5, 2017. (R. Doc. 104-1).

         On May 25, 2017, Defendant moved for summary judgment on the basis that Plaintiff failed to exhaust all available administrative remedies prior to filing the suit as required by 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). (R. Doc. 70). Plaintiff has opposed the motion. (R. Doc. 72).

         On June 5, 2017, Defendant filed a motion to stay discovery pending resolution of her motion for summary judgment. (R. Doc. 71). The Court denied the motion on July 17, 2017. (R. Doc. 79).

         On July 24, 2017, defense counsel informed Plaintiff's counsel that the filing of Defendant's motion to stay discovery “inevitably stayed discovery until an Order was entered on July 17, 2017.” (R. Doc. 104-2). Based on the foregoing, defense counsel asserted that Defendant's discovery responses would not be provided until August 16, 2017. (R. Doc. 104-2). Defense counsel further asserted that Plaintiff's counsel's attempts at scheduling a Rule 37 discovery conference were premature and that defense counsel did not agree to a date for such a conference. (R. Doc. 104-2).

         On August 1, 2017, Defendant provided responses to Plaintiff's discovery requests. (R. Doc. 88-4).

         Plaintiff's counsel sent an email and fax to defense counsel dated August 14, 2017, which outlined various alleged deficiencies with the discovery responses, and requested a discovery conference to be held on August 16, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. (R. Doc. 88-7). Defendant asserts that her counsel received the letter on August 15, 2017. (R. Doc. 104 at 3).

         On August 16, 2017, Plaintiff's counsel then attempted to hold a discovery conference as unilaterally scheduled. (R. Doc. 88-6 at 1-2). Defense counsel responded by stating that she was “not available for said conference today and will advise when I am available at a later date.” (R. Doc. 88-6 at 1). When Plaintiff's counsel sought an actual date for a discovery conference, defense counsel responded that providing a date for a discovery conference was not a “pressing matter” in light of the discovery deadline in late November and other work obligations. (R. Doc. 88-6 at 1).

         Later that afternoon, Plaintiff filed the instant motion to compel discovery. (R. Doc. 88). Defendant opposes the motion on the basis that the responses provided are valid, and Plaintiff did not confer or attempt to confer with Defendant in good faith prior to filing the motion to compel. (R. Doc. 104).

         Prior to and during oral argument held on September 8, 2017, defense counsel produced additional documents. (R. Doc. 109 at 1). Plaintiff's counsel indicated at oral argument that certain issues regarding Plaintiff's motion to compel may be ...


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