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Fox Hollow of Turlock Owners'association, et al v. Richard Sinclair

August 10, 2011

FOX HOLLOW OF TURLOCK OWNERS'ASSOCIATION, ET AL.,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
RICHARD SINCLAIR, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO COMPEL

(Document 614)

Plaintiffs, Defendants and/or Cross Defendants Fox Hollow of Turlock Owners Association ("Fox Hollow"), California Equity Management Group, Inc., ("CEMG") and Andrew Katakis (collectively "Plaintiffs") filed the instant Motion to Compel Responses to Requests for Production of Documents on June 6, 2011. The motion was originally filed against Defendants Mauctrst, LLC, Capstone, LLC ("Capstone"), and Lairtrust, LLC ("Lairtrust"), but was withdrawn as to Mauctrst, LLC, on June 30, 2011.

Pursuant to Local Rule 230(g), the Court deemed the matter suitable for decision without oral argument.

BACKGROUND

On June 3, 2011, the Court granted Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Responses to Requests for Production of Documents against Defendants Richard Sinclair and Brandon Sinclair. The issues were almost identical to those presented in the instant motion. Richard and Brandon Sinclair answered Plaintiff's Requests for Production of Documents and Tangible Things, Set Number One with an identical response to each request: "Existing Exhibits from Superior Court of California, Stanislaus County and Master Document Ex A, attached hereto with supplements to follow when and if located and not privileged or objected to." No documents were produced.

In granting the motion, the Court found that the responses were "wholly inadequate" and demonstrated Defendants' failure to make a reasonable effort to respond to discovery as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34. The Court further explained that the responses failed to indicate whether Defendants had responsive documents and/or whether documents were being withheld pursuant to a privilege, failed to set forth any specific privileges or objections, and when a small number of documents were produced, Richard Sinclair failed to indicate to which request(s) the documents were related. The Court ordered Richard Sinclair and Brandon Sinclair to provide supplemental responses and pay sanctions in the amount of $3,886.00 within fourteen (14) days.*fn1

On June 6, 2011, Plaintiffs filed the instant Motion to Compel. A Notice of Electronic Filing was served on Steven Stoker, counsel for Lairtrust and Capstone at the time of filing.

Later in the day on June 6, the Court held a hearing on Mr. Stoker's Motion to Withdraw as Counsel for Lairtrust, Capstone and Mauctrst, LLC. The Court granted the motion during the hearing and by written order on June 8, 20111. The Court ordered the entities to file proof of representation within ten days.

Lairtrust and Capstone failed to file proof of representation within the ordered time period and therefore, on June 29, 2011, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Entry of Default and Motion to Dismiss against Lairtrust and Capstone. The Court held a hearing on August 8, 2011, and ordered further briefing. Another hearing is set for September 26, 2011.

DISCOVERY AT ISSUE

Plaintiffs filed the this motion on June 3, 2011, after an unsuccessful meet and confer attempts with Mr. Stoker prior to his withdrawal.

On June 24, 2011, Richard Sinclair filed an opposition to this motion, "appearing" for Lairtrust and "specially appearing" for Capstone. Plaintiffs filed a report in lieu of a joint statement on June 30, 2011.*fn2

Plaintiffs move to compel responses to their Requests for Production of Documents and Tangible Things, Set Number One. Specifically, Plaintiffs request further responses from Lairtrust on Request Numbers 1 through 136, and from Capstone on Request Numbers 1 through 134. Plaintiffs also request monetary ...


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