United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
BYRON GOINS, ET AL.
ILLINOIS NATIONAL INSURANCE CO., ET AL.
RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is Illinois National Insurance Company's
(“Illinois National”) Motion to Compel Answers to
the First Set of Request for Production of Documents and
Interrogatories (R. Doc. 11) filed on June 1, 2018. The
deadline for filing an opposition has expired. LR 7(f).
Accordingly, the instant motion is unopposed.
filed the instant action on February 20, 2018 in the 18th
Judicial District Court, Iberville Parish, Louisiana. (R.
Doc. 1-1). Illinois National removed the action on Friday,
March 16, 2018. (R. Doc. 1).
March 19, 2018, the following Monday, in addition to filing
an Answer (R. Doc. 2), Illinois National served
Interrogatories and Requests for Production on Plaintiffs (R.
Doc. 11-3). Illinois National represents that Plaintiffs have
not responded to the foregoing written discovery requests.
(R. Doc. 11 at 1).
8, 2018, the parties filed a Joint Status Report. (R. Doc.
22, 2018, the Court issued a Scheduling Order setting
deadlines in this action, including a deadline to complete
non-expert discovery by February 1, 2019. (R. Doc. 10).
1, 2018, Illinois National filed the instant motion, which
seeks an order requiring Plaintiffs to respond to the written
discovery requests served three days after removal. (R. Doc.
Law and Analysis A.Timing of Discovery and
Motion to Compel
party may not seek discovery from any source before the
parties have conferred as required by Rule 26(f), except in a
proceeding exempted from initial disclosure under Rule
26(a)(1)(B), or when authorized by these rules, by
stipulation, or by court order.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(d)(1).
“More than 21 days after the summons and complaint are
served on a party, ” however, “a request under
Rule 34 may be delivered . . . by that party to any
plaintiff.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(d)(2)(A)(ii). Such a
“request is considered to have been served at the first
Rule 26(f) conference.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(d)(2)(B).
National served its Interrogatories and Requests for
Production on Plaintiff on March 19, 2018. (R. Doc. 11-3).
There is no indication in the record that the parties held a
Rule 26(f) discovery conference over the weekend between
removal of the action on March 16, 2018 and service of the
discovery requests on March 19, 2018.
that there is no evidence in the record that the parties held
a Rule 26(f) conference prior to service of Illinois
National's Interrogatories, the Court will not compel
Plaintiffs to respond to those Interrogatories. Unless
Illinois National indicates in a renewed motion that the
Interrogatories were served after a Rule 26(f) conference,
Illinois National must re-serve its Interrogatories prior to
seeking any further relief from the Court regarding those
record indicates, however, that Illinois National served its
Requests for Production after service of the citation and
petition in state court, which are the state variations of
the “summons and complaint” referenced in Rule
26(d)(2)(A). See Fed. R. Civ. P. 81(c)(1) (The
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure “apply to a civil
action after it is removed from a state court.”). In
such a situation, service of Requests for Production is
allowed prior to a Rule 26(f) conference, but service is
deemed to occur on the date of the Rule 26(f) conference.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(d)(2)(B). Responses to Requests for
Production “delivered under Rule 26(d)(2)” are
due “within 30 days after the parties' first Rule
26(f) conference.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(b)(2)(A). Given the
record, the Court cannot determine whether 30 days had passed
between the Rule 26(f) conference and the filing of the
Motion to Compel on June 1, 2018. The Court will not compel
Plaintiff to respond to Illinois National's Requests for
Production at this time. Any renewed motion by Illinois
National regarding these Requests for Production must
indicate the date of the parties' Rule 26(f) conference
and indicate that Plaintiff did not respond within 30 days of
that date. As set forth below, however, an additional Rule 37
conference must be conducted before any such renewed motion
may be filed.
Illinois National's Rule ...