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Baity v. Brad Hall and Associates

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

June 11, 2019

JAMARE DIRRICK BAITY, Plaintiff,
v.
BRAD HALL AND ASSOCIATES d/b/a GOOD 2 GO STORES, LLC, Defendant.

          PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

          JERRY H. RITTER, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant's Second Motion to Compel [Doc. 43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43] filed January 4, 2019. Plaintiff did not file a Response and Defendant filed a Notice of Completion of Briefing [Doc. 44] on January 22, 2019. Defendant seeks an order compelling Plaintiff to fully respond to its Second Set of Requests for Production or in the alternative, an order dismissing the case under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(b)(2)(A). [Doc. 43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43, p. 4]. Having considered the parties' positions and all relevant authority, the Court will grant Defendant's Motion.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On January 25, 2018, Plaintiff Jamare Dirrick Baity filed a Civil Complaint alleging that he was wrongfully terminated from his position as Assistant Manager at one of Defendant's Good2Go stores. [Doc. 1-1]. Defendant removed the case on February 23, 2018. [Doc. 1]. The Court entered a Scheduling Order on August 14, 2018, setting the termination date for discovery as February 14, 2019. [Doc. 31].

         A. Defendant's First Set of Discovery Requests and Motion to Compel

         On September 18, 2018, Defendant sent its First Set of Interrogatories and Requests for Production to Plaintiff. [Doc. 33]. Pursuant to an agreed upon two-week extension, Plaintiff submitted his objections, answers, and responses to Defendant's first set of discovery requests on October 31, 2018. [Doc. 34]. On November 13, 2018, Defendant sent a letter to Plaintiff requesting that Plaintiff supplement his discovery responses citing what it deemed to be inappropriate objections and deficient responses. [Doc. 36-2]. Plaintiff did not respond to Defendant's letter and on November 21, 2018, Defendant filed its first Motion to Compel. [Doc. 36].

         Plaintiff did not file or serve a Response to the Motion and on December 20, 2018, the Court entered an Order granting the Defendant's first Motion to Compel. [Doc. 37; Doc. 40]. The Court ordered Plaintiff to provide complete answers and responses to Defendants First Set of Interrogatories and Requests for Production by January 3, 2019. [Doc. 40, p. 2');">p. 2]. Plaintiff was also given until December 26, 2018 to respond to the Court's award of Defendant's reasonable expenses incurred in bringing the Motion. [Id.]. Plaintiff made no response. [Doc. 43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43, p. 2');">p. 2].

         On December 14, 2018, Defendant moved for an extension of time for Defendant to disclose its expert witnesses because Plaintiff had failed to disclose his calculation of damages, had failed to execute any releases for records, and had otherwise failed to provide information requested in Defendants first set of discovery requests. [Doc. 38]. The Court granted Defendant's Motion, extending the deadline for Defendant to submit its expert witness disclosures until after Plaintiff supplemented his answers and responses to Defendant's first set of discovery requests. [Doc. 41]. However, Plaintiff did not supplement his answers and responses to Defendant's first set of discovery requests by January 3, 2019, as ordered by the Court. [Id.].

         A. Defendant's Second Set of Discovery Requests and Motion to Compel

         On November 14, 2018 Defendant sent its Second Set of Requests for Production and Requests for Admission to Plaintiff. [Doc. 35; Doc. 43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43-1]. Plaintiff did not respond to Defendants second set of discovery requests in any way. [Doc. 43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43, p. 1]. On December 18, 2018 Defendant sent Plaintiff a letter requesting that he provide responses to Defendant's second set of discovery requests. [Doc. 43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43-2]. Plaintiff neither answered Defendant's letter nor provided the requested discovery responses. [Doc. 43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43, p. 3].

         On January 4, 2019, Defendant filed its Second Motion to Compel seeking to obtain an order compelling Plaintiff to respond to its Second Set of Requests for Production and in the alternative, an entry of default judgment under Rule 37(b)(2). [Doc. 43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43');">43]. Plaintiff did not file or serve a response to Defendant's Second Motion to Compel. [Doc. 44].

         On February 6, 2019, Defendant moved to extend the pretrial deadlines based on its inability to identify and depose witnesses, obtain relevant evidence, and prepare defenses without Plaintiff's meaningful participation in the discovery process. [Doc. 46]. The Court granted the Motion, extending Defendant's deadline to depose Plaintiff and any other witnesses who became evident from Plaintiff's discovery responses until 60 days after Plaintiff provided complete answers and responses to Defendant's first set of discovery responses in compliance with the Court's Order issued December 20, 2018 [Doc. 40] and produced responses to Defendant's second set of discovery requests. [Doc. 47]. The Court also ordered that Defendant's motions related to discovery would be due seven days from the extended deadline and its dispositive motions would be due 60 days from the extended discovery deadline. [Doc. 47]. Since Plaintiff has not complied with the Court's December 20, 2018 Order to provide complete answers and responses to Defendant's first set of discovery requests or provided any responses to Defendant's second set of discovery responses, these pretrial deadlines have not been reset.

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         Rules 16(f) and 37(b)(2)(C) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permit a court to enter a default judgment when a party disobeys a court order. “Since a default judgment, like dismissal, represents an extreme sanction, it is appropriate only in cases of willful misconduct.” Derma Pen, LLC v. 4EverYoung Ltd., 736 Fed.Appx. 741, 745-46 (10th Cir. 2018) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). “A willful failure is any intentional failure as ...


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