United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
H.L. Perez-Montes United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is a Motion to Compel Discovery (“Motion to
Compel”) (Doc. 19) filed by Defendants Victor E. Jones,
Jr., Patrick Davis, and Dean Dove (“Defendants”).
Defendants seek an order compelling the Plaintiff, Ron
Johnson (“Johnson”), to respond to
Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents
(“discovery requests”) (Doc. 19). Johnson opposes
the motion. (Doc. 24). Because Johnson's responses to the
discovery requests are evasive and incomplete,
Defendants' Motion to Compel (Doc. 19) is GRANTED.
allege they propounded the discovery requests on October 12,
2017. (Doc. 19, p. 1). On January 9, 2018, Johnson agreed to
respond by the end of January 2018. (Doc. 19, p. 1-2). On
February 7, 2018, Defendants filed a Motion to Compel and for
Attorney Fees (Doc. 19), asserting that Johnson failed to
respond to the discovery requests. (Doc. 19). On February 28,
2018, Johnson filed a Memorandum in Opposition to Motion to
Compel (Doc. 24), asserting that he was not obligated to
respond to the discovery requests which were served before a
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(f) discovery conference. Johnson claims the
requests were premature under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(d)(1). During a
motion hearing on May 15, 2018, Defendants withdrew the
Motion for Attorney Fees (Doc. 19) and alleged that
Johnson's responses provided on May 15, 2018, were
evasive and incomplete.
Law and Analysis
Standard governing the Motion to Compel
Civ. P. 37(a)(3)(B) permits a party seeking discovery to move
for an order compelling an answer or production if another
party fails to answer an interrogatory submitted under Rule
33 or to produce documents as requested under Rule 34.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 37. An evasive or incomplete answer or response
should be treated as a failure to answer or respond.
Id. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(d)(1) provides that “a
party may not seek discovery from any source before the
parties have conferred as required by Rule 26(f), except . .
. when authorized by rules, by stipulation, or by court
order.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26.
Johnson's responses to the discovery requests are
evasive and incomplete.
responses to the discovery requests are evasive and
incomplete. In Edwards v. City of Bossier City, the
court granted a motion to compel discovery where a plaintiff
omitted information regarding his prior medical records in
his answer to an Interrogatory and failed to authorize the
defendant to access his social media records as requested.
See Edwards v. City of Bossier City, No. 15-1822,
2016 WL 3951216, at*4-6 (W.D. La. July 20, 2016). Here, like
the plaintiff in Edwards, Johnson failed to
completely respond to the discovery requests. Id.
Defendants have shown that Johnson failed to: (1) itemize his
medical and hospital bills, (2) identify medical services
providers who treated him during the five years preceding the
incident, (3) identify witnesses who may be called at the
trial, (4) state expenses and injuries resulting from the
incident, (5) provide his medical records, and (6) provide
authorization to obtain his medical and employment record.
(Doc. 19-3 p. 2-8, 11-12). Hence, Johnson provided incomplete
responses to the discovery requests.
Defendants' discovery requests are no longer
premature under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(d)(1).
discovery requests are no longer premature under Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(d)(1). In Enriquez v. Turner Indus., LLC, where a
discovery request was served before the first discovery
conference, the court deemed it timely served because
plaintiff had been given more than thirty days after he
agreed to respond to it. See Enriquez v. Turner
Indus., LLC, No. 13-55-SDD-SCR, 2013 WL 3786377, at*1-3
(M.D. La. July 18, 2013). Here, Defendants have shown that
Johnson was served with the discovery requests on October 12,
2017, and agreed to respond to it during a telephone
conference on January 9, 2018. Id. (Doc. 19 p. 1-2).
Like the plaintiff in Enriquez, Johnson has been
allowed more than thirty days to respond. Hence, the
discovery requests are timely served under Rule 26(d)(1).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants'