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Lanelle Kidd v. At&T Corporation

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


April 27, 2012

LANELLE KIDD,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
AT&T CORPORATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Mitchell D. Dembin U.S. Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO COMPEL AND FOR SANCTIONS [DOC. NO. 19]

On April 18, 2012, Defendants filed an Ex Parte Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Responses to Discovery and Request for Sanctions. (Doc. No. 19). Plaintiff responded on April 26, 2012. (Doc. No. 23). Defendants assert that on January 24, 2012, they propounded requests for production and special interrogatories upon Plaintiff. Responses were due on or before February 27, 2012. Several meet and confer sessions followed in which the deadline for responses was finally extended to March 30, 2012. Without a response, Defendants solicited Plaintiff to participate in a joint motion to determine a discovery dispute as required by this Court's chambers rules. A proposed joint motion was submitted to Plaintiff on April 10, 2012. No participation was forthcoming requiring Defendants, as provided by chambers rules, to bring this motion to compel ex parte on April 18, 2012.

Plaintiff's response claims that she has been ill since January 2012. Plaintiff does not dispute the factual allegations contained in Defendants' motion. She claims to be suffering with Lyme Disease, allegedly contracted in 2006, and is having complications. Plaintiff's response is not supported by a declaration nor with any supporting documents from a treating physician. Plaintiff claims that her responses will be served no later than May 1, 2012.

The Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to comply with discovery requests within the meaning of Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(3)(B)(iii) and (iv). Accordingly, Defendants' motion to compel is GRANTED. Plaintiff is ORDERED to respond to the pending discovery requests no later than May 1, 2012.

Having granted the motion, the Court is required to have a party whose conduct necessitated the motion pay the movant's reasonable expenses in making the motion, including attorney's fees. Rule 37(a)(5)(A). The Court is not to order the payment if the motion was filed without attempts to obtain the discovery without court intervention; if the nondisclosure was substantially justified; or, if other circumstances make an award unjust. Rule 37(a)(5)(A)(i)-(iii).

The Court finds that payment by Plaintiff to Defendants of reasonable fees in making the instant motion, including attorney's fees, is warranted. Defendants' declaration documents a number of attempts to avoid court intervention. Plaintiff has not presented any evidence to show substantial justification. And the record does not reflect any other circumstances to make such an award unjust. Defendants are to submit their statement of expenses, by declaration, no later than seven (7) days from the date of this Order. The Court will review the submission and issue an Order as appropriate.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20120427

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