The opinion of the court was delivered by: Allison Claire United States Magistrate Judge
On April 24, 2013, the court held a hearing on plaintiff's March 19, 2013 motion to strike admissions. Michael Baitzke appeared for plaintiff. Michael Van Parys appeared for defendant. On review of the motion, the documents filed in support and opposition, upon hearing the arguments of counsel, and good cause appearing therefor, THE COURT FINDS AS FOLLOWS:
RELEVANT FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
A. Facts Giving Rise to Litigation
This action was initiated on July 2, 2012 in the San Joaquin County Superior Court and removed to this court on September 25, 2012. Though the operative first amended complaint does not provide many facts, it appears plaintiff was employed by defendant in Lodi, California where she was supervised by general manager Dennis Singh. Plaintiff claims Singh subjected her to sexual discrimination and unwelcome sexual advances, resulting in a hostile work environment. Plaintiff claims defendant was aware of Singh's propensity for improper and unlawful behavior because he was transferred to the Lodi Branch for similar conduct.
On November 29, 2012, Judge Mendez issued a pretrial scheduling order, setting December 11, 2013 as the discovery deadline. Trial is set for June 2, 2014. C. Facts Giving Rise to Discovery Disagreement On December 20, 2012, defendant served plaintiff with Requests for Admissions,
a Notice of Deposition, and Request for Production of Documents. At issue here are the Requests for Admissions, which consisted of only three requests:
(1) Admit that none of Defendant's employees sexually harassed Plaintiff;
(2) Admit that Defendant did not discriminate against Plaintiff;
(3) Admit that Plaintiff has suffered no injury because of the alleged misconduct in Plaintiff's Amended Complaint.
On January 22, 2013, plaintiff requested a 10-day extension of time to respond to the propounded discovery. See Email from Michael Babitzke, Pl.'s Counsel, to Joel Van Parys, Def.'s Counsel (Jan. 22, 2013) (Parys Decl., Ex. 2) ("Is it possible to have another 10 days to respond to the discovery in this matter?"). Defense counsel granted plaintiff until February 1, 2013 to respond. See id. Plaintiff, however, did not file a response until February 28, 2013 when she served her responses to the Request for Admissions and the Request for Production of Documents.
In light of plaintiff's failure to file a response to the Request for Admissions on or before February 1, 2013, defendant deemed the requests admitted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 36(a)(4). Accordingly, on February 19, 2013, defendant moved for summary judgment on the basis of those admissions.
Plaintiff's counsel sent defense counsel a letter on March 8, 2013, and telephoned Parys and his partner, Jeremy Naftel, on March 19, 2013, asking to set aside the deemed admissions. Babitzke Supp. ...