Schneider et al v. CitiMortgage, Inc. et al, No. 5:2013cv04094 - Document 473 (D. Kan. 2017)

Court Description: MEMORANDUM AND ORDER denying 463 Objections and Motion for Review. See order for details. Signed by U.S. District Senior Judge Sam A. Crow on 6/6/17. (msb)
Download PDF
Schneider et al v. CitiMortgage, Inc. et al Doc. 473 I N THE UNI TED STATES DI STRI CT COURT FOR THE DI STRI CT OF KANSAS RANDALL A. SCHNEI DER and AMY L. SCHNEI DER Plaint iffs, v. No. 13- 4094- SAC CI TI MORTGAGE, I NC., et . al., Defendant s. MEMORANDUM AND ORDER This case com es before t he court on t he plaint iffs’ “ Obj ect ions and Mot ion for Review” ( ECF# 463) of t he Magist rat e Judge’s Orders ( ECF# 455 and # 456) , bot h of which were filed April 14, 2017. As t his m at t er has been fully briefed by t he part ies, t he court will rule expedit iously. The plaint iffs have filed a m ot ion of seven pages, a m em orandum in support of 32 pages, and a reply m em orandum of 15 pages. Considering t he Magist rat e Judge’s orders t ot al six pages and t he defendant s’ opposit ion is 12 pages, t he plaint iff’s filings t ot al t hree t im es m ore pages. The dist rict court in it s prior order com m ent ed on t he plaint iffs’ “ excessive and ext ended filings and briefing in t his case.” ( ECF# 433, p. 4) . Because t he plaint iffs’ pract ice has gone unabat ed, t he dist rict court gives t his final warning and not ice t hat it Dockets.Justia.com reserves t he right t o st rike sum m arily all fut ure filings of excessive and/ or unwarrant ed lengt h. ECF# 4 5 5 I n his order ( “ ECF# 455” ) , t he Magist rat e Judge sum m arized t he ongoing conflict t hat has m arked t he t aking of Rule 30( b) ( 6) deposit ions for Cit igroup and ot her defendant s. This sum m ary included: The court direct ed t he part ies t o com plet e t he Rule 30( b) ( 6) deposit ions by Decem ber 31, 2016. Plaint iffs filed a m ot ion for review on Novem ber 14, 2016. The part ies t hen consent ed t o an ext ension of t im e t o ext end t he Rule 30( b) ( 6) deposit ions. On Decem ber 19, 2016, t he court grant ed t he ext ension and allowed t he part ies unt il fort y- five ( 45) days following a ruling by t he dist rict court on t he aforem ent ioned m ot ion for review and ot her m at t ers t o com plet e t he Rule 30( b) ( 6) deposit ions. On February 17, 2017, Judge Crow denied plaint iffs’ m ot ion for review. Following Judge Crow’s order, plaint iff’s counsel sought t o schedule Cit igroup’s Rule 30( b) ( 6) deposit ion. Various discussions were t hen had bet ween counsel. On March 3, 2017, counsel for defendant s provided dat es and a locat ion for t he Rule 30( b) ( 6) deposit ions for Cit iMort gat e, I nc. and Cit ibank, N.A. Plaint iff’s counsel was not happy wit h t he proposed dat es, but failed t o suggest alt ernat ive dat es. On March 7, 2017, counsel for defendant s suggest ed a st ipulat ion t o plaint iff’s counsel t hat would elim inat e t he need for Cit igroup Rule 30( b) ( 6) deposit ion. Plaint iffs im m ediat ely rej ect ed t he proposed st ipulat ion. Plaint iffs filed it s m ot ion for cont em pt t he next day. ECF# 455, p. 2. This order furt her describes t hat t he defendant s were grant ed leave t o file a supplem ent in which t hey disclose having since provided a locat ion and ot her dat es for t he Cit igroup Rule 30( b) ( 6) deposit ion. I n ruling on t he plaint iffs’ obj ect ion t hat Rule 30( b) ( 6) was violat ed by t he defendant s’ conduct , t he Magist rat e Judge succinct ly ruled: 2 The court is concerned t hat counsel have once again failed t o reach agreem ent on a m at t er wit hout t he int ervent ion of t he court . Counsel for bot h sides are responsible for what occurred here. Counsel for defendant s could have act ed in a m ore efficient m anner in responding t o plaint iffs’ counsel’s request s. However, t here was no need for filing of t he inst ant m ot ion. The part ies should have com e t o t erm s on t he issues concerning t he Rule 30( b) ( 6) deposit ion. The act ions of defendant s’ counsel, while som ewhat dilat ory, cert ainly do not warrant sanct ions. Plaint iffs’ m ot ion is denied. Wit h an undying sense of opt im ism and hope, t he court again request s t hat counsel work in cooperat ion t o com plet e discovery in t his case. ECF# 455, p. 3. This ruling correct ly assessed t he part ies’ respect ive posit ions and right ly expressed disappoint m ent wit h bot h counsel for not cooperat ing but rat her invit ing conflict t hrough t he defendant s’ quest ionable delay and t he plaint iffs’ cont ent ious m ot ion. The Magist rat e Judge again urged counsel t o cooperat e in com plet ing discovery. The order displays a j udicious exercise of discret ion over one episode in a cont inuing spat e of discovery disput es t hat have been t im e consum ing, wast eful of j udicial resources, and cont rary t o t he spirit of Fed. R. Civ. P. 1. The plaint iffs’ m ot ion cont ent iously describes t en obj ect ions t o t his order. Each obj ect ion will not be addressed separat ely, as t hey repet it ively advance t he sam e basic point , t hat is, t he Magist rat e Judge erred in not doing m ore against t he defendant s’ for t heir dilat ory act ions in designat ing deposit ions aft er February 17, 2017. The plaint iffs’ m em oranda refer t o defendant s’ discovery conduct before February 17, 2017, and level obj ect ions against it t oo. The court , however, will consider t his ot her discovery conduct for purposes of background inform at ion only. 3 The plaint iffs prim arily t ake issue wit h t he Magist rat e Judge’s finding t hat “ [ t ] he act ions of defendant s’ counsel, while som ewhat dilat ory, cert ainly do not warrant sanct ions.” ECF# 455, p. 3. They com plain t hat t he ruling fails t o discuss t he applicable rules and t he governing st andards. They argue t hat t he defendant s’ delays are discovery violat ions on t heir face requiring sanct ions and t hat t he denial of sanct ions will encourage t he dilat ory behavior by t he defendant s. A m agist rat e j udge's order addressing non- disposit ive pret rial m at t ers is not reviewed de novo, but it is reviewed under t he m ore deferent ial st andard in which t he m oving part y m ust show t he order is “ clearly erroneous or cont rary t o t he law.” First Union Mort g. Corp. v. Sm it h, 229 F.3d 992, 995 ( 10t h Cir. 2000) ( quot ing Ocelot Oil Corp. v. Sparrow I ndust ries, 847 F.2d 1458, 1461- 62 ( 10t h Cir. 1988) ) ; see Fed. R. Civ. P. 72( a) . The plaint iffs’ m ot ion fails it s burden of showing t hat t he Magist rat e Judge’s order is clearly erroneous or cont rary t o t he law. The plaint iffs’ argum ent s do not est ablish how t he defendant s’ delayed responses necessarily violat ed t he plain requirem ent s or deadlines im posed by rule or order. The Magist rat e Judge act ed well wit hin his reasonable discret ion in handling t he plaint iffs’ m ot ion in t his m anner. As has been observed, t he defendant s could have act ed m ore prom pt ly and com plet ely in t heir responses on t he deposit ion designat ions, and t hey could have act ed m ore t im ely in offering t he proposed st ipulat ion. St ill, t he court agrees w it h t he 4 Magist rat e Judge t hat t his conduct by t he defendant s is not in it self a discovery violat ion warrant ing sanct ions. I n short , t he plaint iffs have failed t o prove any error in t he Magist rat e Judge’s findings and conclusions. ECF# 4 5 6 The Magist rat e Judge here denied t he plaint iffs’ m ot ion t o reconsider t he prior order of February 24, 2017, ( ECF# 436) , which had denied t he plaint iffs m ore t im e t o seek relief on t heir allegat ions t hat t he defendant s’ failed t o produce all docum ent s relevant t o discovery request s. The Magist rat e Judge out lined t he st andards governing a m ot ion t o reconsider and held: The court has carefully considered t he argum ent s of t he part ies. The court finds no m erit t o t he cont ent ions raised by t he plaint iffs. Plaint iffs have failed t o show any basis for reconsidering t he court ’s order of February 24, 2017. Plaint iffs have failed t o dem onst rat e t hat t hey diligent ly discovered t he “ new” docum ent s aft er receipt of t he docum ent s from t he defendant s on Decem ber 19, 2016. As point ed out by defendant s, plaint iffs could have sought relief during t he t hirt yday window. I n sum , t he court denies plaint iffs’ m ot ion t o reconsider. ECF# 456, p. 2. As t he Magist rat e Judge’s order cit ed, t he court ’s local rules require a m ot ion t o reconsider t o “ be based on: ( 1) an int ervening change in cont rolling law; ( 2) t he availabilit y of new evidence; or ( 3) t he need t o correct clear error or prevent m anifest inj ust ice.” D. Kan. Rule 7.3( b) . A m ot ion t o reconsider is not an opport unit y t o rehash or t o bolst er losing argum ent s. Voelkel v. Gen. Mot ors Corp., 846 F. Supp. 1482, 1483 ( D. Kan. 1994) . A decision on a m ot ion t o reconsider is com m it t ed t o t he court ’s 5 sound discret ion. Hancock v. Cit y of Oklahom a Cit y, 857 F.2d 1394, 1397 ( 10t h Cir. 1988) . The plaint iffs repeat edly accuse t he defendant s of not producing docum ent s and of not supplem ent ing t heir discovery request s. By all appearances, t he plaint iffs’ argum ent s before t he Magist rat e Judge sim ply rehashed t heir prior posit ion and failed t o show any clear error or m anifest inj ust ice in his February ruling. The Magist rat e Judge act ed well wit hin his discret ion in denying t he m ot ion t o reconsider. On review , t he dist rict court is not persuaded t hat t he plaint iffs’ filings dem onst rat e t hat t he Magist rat e Judge’s ruling on t he m ot ion t o reconsider is clearly erroneous or cont rary t o t he law. While replet e wit h cont ent ious and inflam m at ory language, t he plaint iffs’ filings are devoid of argum ent s t hat are cogent , concise and convincing. The plaint iffs have not carried t heir burden on t heir m ot ion t o review. I T I S THEREFORE ORDERED t hat t he plaint iffs’ “ Obj ect ions and Mot ion for Review” ( ECF# 463) of t he Magist rat e Judge’s Orders ( ECF# 455 and # 456) is denied. Dat ed t his 6t h day of June, 2017 at Topeka, Kansas. s/ Sam A. Crow Sam A. Crow, U.S. Dist rict Senior Judge 6