Coleman v. Calvert County et al, No. 8:2015cv00920 - Document 45 (D. Md. 2017)

Court Description: MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge George Jarrod Hazel on 4/24/2017. (aos, Deputy Clerk)
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Coleman v. Calvert County et al Doc. 45 ,I IN TIlE UNITED STATES DISTRICT couln FOR TilE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND - ,, SOllllllm Dil'isioll \VA YNE E. COLEMAN. r". - I ~ * Plaintiff, * Case No.: G.JII-15-0920 \'. * CAL VERT COUNTY, el al.• * Befendants. * * * * * * * * * MEMORANDUM * * * * * OPINION Presently pending beli.)re the Court is a Motion li.Jr Sanctions or. In the Alternati\'e. Motion to Amend the Scheduling Order. ECF No. 44. tiled by Defendants Sherilf hans. Officer OO Phelps. and Ofticer Golt (OODelcndants ). o hearing is necessary. See Loc. R. 105,6 (D. Md. N 2(16). For the ti.)II01\'ing reasons. Detcndants' current Scheduling I. Motion is granted. in part. and denied. in part. The Order will be amended. extending the deadlines 11.)1' diseOlwy. BACKGROUNB I'm.l'l' plaintiff Wayne E. Coleman and other defcndants. originally brought suit against Evans. Phelps. Golt. alleging violations of his civil rights. pursuant to 42 U.s.c. ti'om a traftic stop in February 2014. Sec lOCI' No. 16. Upon Detcndants' ECF No. 27. the Court dismissed all but one aspect of Count I ofPlaintitrs - that is. the unreasonable individual capacities. Motion to Dismiss. Amended Complaint search and seizure claim against Gott. Phelps. and E\'ans in their See ECF No. 32 at 1.1 The Court issued a Scheduling 2016. requiring all depositions I Pin cites to doculllents ~ 19X3. arising and other discovery filed Of) the Court"s electronic to be completed tiling system (CM/ECF) Order on October 6. by January 16. 2017, ECF refer to the page ntJlnbcrs generated by that systC:ll1. No. Jo. The Court granted Plaintitrs discovery deadline to February On November Produetion 15.2017. No. J9-J at 2. Iklcndants J9-1 at J. On November Coleman's to schedule 21. 2016. Delendants' IiII' December did not appear Ii)r the deposition answer or respond to Delcndants' Coleman's deposition. ECF No. J9-1 at 2: IOcr 22. 2016. Id. According scheduled to Defcndants. on December on December receive Iklendants' initial disclosurcs. telephone fd. lie also inquired about the possibility of conducting liled their first Motion IiII' Sanctions Plaintilfto provide fiJiI and complete Interrogatories'" providing Mareh 5. 2017. ~CF No. 4J. Delcndants 17.2017. responses deelining Id to issue sanctions. to Defendant"s of Objections some \\Titten responses discovery and Responses and documents have not !iled a Motion to Compel. 2 by time at home'" oflhisl the deposition against Coleman on January J 1.2017. by March O. 2017. lOCI' No. 42. Plaintiff Ii led <In''Artidavit IkICndants' stated that. "Im]y about me. but will supply what you ECF No. YJ. The Court issued a l.etter Order on February but instructing requests but had yet to No. 39-X at2. Plaintilffurther because he "Iillllld it difficult to get about and spendlslmost Defendants 15. 2016. rtf. received a letter li'om 30. 2017. stating that he had rcceived the discovery thoughts are. that you wuuld havc access to everything Plainti ff 22. 201C!. and he did not PlaintilfonJanuary request. within reason'" IOcr No. counsel mailed a Notice of Deposition. phone calls. Id. at 3-4. Defendants Ecr li)r ECF No. J9-1 at 2: ECr No. J9-2 at 2-15. did not reply. nor did he respond to another letter sent by Delendants PlaintilTalso and Requests state that Plaintilf did not respond to these communications. deposition the ECF No. JX. to Plaintiff Coleman. counsel also requested scheduling of Time. ECF No. J7. extending 7. 2010. DeICndants Phelps and Gott sent Interrogatories of Doeuments Delcndants' Motion lil!"Extension requests to to DeICndants on but have now liled a second Motion ItJr Sanctions. to provide II. full and complete arguing that Plaintiff has lililed to comply with the Court's Order responses. LEGAL STA'iUARD Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure determining ,,"hether to impose sanctions Civ. 1'. 37(b)(2)(A). non-complying 37(b)(2)(A). the Court has broad diselTtion on a party ItJr lililing to obey a discovery To resolve this inquiry. the Court considers order. Feci. R. ItlUr lilctors: (I) whether the party acted in bad faith: (2) the amount of prejudice the non-compliance the other party: (3) the need ItJr deterring drastic sanctions would be effeetive.l'aic('. when this kind of non-compliance: I.LC \'. 1~l"lIllllai ,l/%r caused and (4) whether less Co. No. CIV. WDQ-12-499. 2015 WI. 302757. at *3 (D. Md . .Ian. 22. 2015) (citing SOll/h('m Sia/es Rack allli FixllIl"<'. Ille. Shml"ill-ll"iflilllIlS. I'. Co.. 318 F.3d 592. 597 (4th Cir. 20(3)). Sanctions that may be imposed (i) include the Itlllowing: directing that the matters embraced in the order or other designated lilcts be taken as established ItJr purposes of the action. as the prevailing (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) party claims: prohibiting the disobedient party li'om supporting or opposing designated claims or defenses. or Ii'om imroducing designated matters in evidence: striking pleadings in whole or in part: staying lim her proceedings until the order is obeyed: dismissing the action or proceeding in whole or in part: rendering a delilult judgment against the disobedient party: or (,"ii) treating as eomempt of court the failure to obey any order except an order to submit to a physical or memal examination. Feci. R. Civ. 1'. 37(b)(2). cases"'l'illkll(,Y "Dismissal with prejudice is ordinarily \." Thigl'(,II. No. CIV.A. WGC-12-2062. reserved 2014 WI. 4825884. 24. 2014) (citing DIII'(' \'. ('ot!('sm. 569 F.2d 807. 810 (4th Cir. 1978): fiJll"ll o(La I'la/a. ,\It! .. No. CIV.A. DKC 2004-1052.2005 3 ItJr the most egregious 1'('(' at *2 (I). Md. Sept. ar\{) (ioldrillg \'. WI. 1075435. at * I (D. Md. 1\lay 4. 2(05) (dcclining to dismiss casc and noting that "[sJuch a drastic sanclion , , , may not bc imposcd cxccpt in thc most compclling III. circumstanccs,"), ANALYSIS llerc. it appcars that Plainti 1'1' acting in bad filith. Thc Court acklllmledgcs is pro .Ie status and sell~dcscribcd appear I()r his deposition answcr Defcndants' eommunicatc hcalth issucs. See ECF No. 41, Howevcr. [vIr. Coleman Iililed to schcduled on Dcccmbcr 22. 2016. gavc no not icc to Dcfcndants. tclephonc calls on thc day of the deposition. with Defcndants Nevcrtheless. and apparently in any way until onc month latcr. Furthermorc. recent rcsponscs and productions and incompletc. Coleman's of documcnts. did not did not Plaintitrs most as dcscribcd morc fully below. are inadcquatc Such conduct should be dcterred. both in this case and futurc cases, the Court is mindful that PlaintifT did submit somc responses. though lacking in detail. in a timely Iilshion 1()lIowing the Court's February 21. 2017 Lcttcr Ordcr. COIIII"I/'e III/glrle.\'\', Leggell. No. CIV.A. DKC 11-3100.2013 (Iinding dismissal appropriate discovcry or otherwise attcmpt to participatc whcrc "plaintitTbrings rcspond"), Thus. PlaintilI suit and then uttcrly fails to participatc timc and resources" acting \\'ithout counscl. has madc at least somc is minimal at this juncture. invcstigating about actual prcjudicc to theircasc. While DclCndants may spcnd thc case. DelCndants make no spccilic allcgation See fil'{f(lI'/ll{\1' (finding no aclUal prejudice to dcfcndant's \', I'il.lack. 286 F,R.D. 133. 141 (D,D.C. 2012) casc whcrc plaintilThad delaycd discovcry. dclCndants madc no showing that thcy could not prcscnt thcir casc), Accordingly. dctcrmincs in in discovcry, Prcjudicc causcd to Dcfcndants "additional WI. 3353746. at *2 (D. Md. July 2. 2(13) that amcnding thc Scheduling Ordcr and issuing limhcr admonitions but thc Court to Plaintiff is suflieient at this juncture. following instructions Plaintiff should be aware. ho\\'e\'er. that any lililure to comply with the will result in the dismissal of his case with prejudice. First. Plaintiff shall work with Defendants loeationl()r his deposition. See Ro!Jil1.1'OI1 1', PlaintifTmust }'el10l1' I','eight to identify a mutually agreeable appear for this deposition and participate 132 F.R.D. 424. 42X (\V.D.N.C. \1"\'.' (4th Cir. 1991) (issuing three discovery orders "direeting time and in good f~lith. 1990). a(l'eI. 923 F.2d X49 Plaintiff to submit to the taking of his deposit ion"). Second. PlaintilTmust Rcquests f())"Production. instruction supplemcnt to Dclendants' Interrogatories as many of his answers are vague or incomplete. to thc Interrogatories person is requested. his Responses appropriatcly and Speeilieally. the provides that ,,[ \\' lhere thc name or identity of a and the question refers to any individual. partnership. your answer should include the full name. home addrcss. tclephonc firm. or corporation. numbcr and also business address. if known." See Eel' No. 39-2 at 2. Thus. Plaintiff shall provide a more detailed response regarding his employment names. telephone history under Delendant numbers. and addresses Goll's Interrogatory of his cmployers. numbers and addresses of the pcrsons PlaintifTnamed should also supplement his response. and other expcnses NO.2." including the and also provide the telephone in Goll's Interrogatory tn the extent he has such knowledge. No.5 ..' Plaintiff regarding "medical ... incurred as a result of the injuries" under Interrogatory No. 14.4 ~ "ldcntifYall of your employers during the past tell years. the inclusive dates afyour employment with each such employer. your duties for each such employer. and the reason for cessation of your employment with each such employer:' ECF No. 39-2 al 3 ~ 2. '; "Identity all persons 1101 previously identified in your ans\\ers to these interrogatories \\ho Illay have personal knowledge orallY l~lCls concerning the cause or circulllstances of tIll' occurrence of which you complain and' or of any injuries or damages resulting fromlhc occurn:ncc. stating as to each such persoll the nature of his or her personal Fuller. knowledge."' his .. potential '''ltcmize result in <ktail of the thc identity at J'i 5. Plaintilfhas EeF No. 44-2 i<il'ntilied that resulted from the rellwining 1)L'rson 10 "hol11 such expense "Brenda Jones:. his landlord. and Ilt:rbcl1 at 3. allmcdic<J1 and other expenses (including injuries orthc ECF No. 39-2 busincss pal1ncr:. claims propcl1y damages of"hich was incurreu. 5 or losses) that you incurred you complain. the date on which as a ~Ialillgfor cach such cxpcnse such c:\pcnsc \\-as incurrcd. the Addilionally. Interrogatories Coleman shall provide a more responsive Nos. 2-5 and GoU's Interrogatories Nos. 2:1-24.; Speeitically. should deserihe the physiealloeation of any ofColeman's limited to his personal identilication card and/or Virginia's February 4.2014 identilieation dri,'er's Phclps' such answers cards. including but not lieense. throughout the trame SlOP thlill beginning to end (i.e. on his i)erson. in his vehicle. etc.). With respect to Delendants' Requests tllr Production. possesses any recordings or transcripts consistent treatment or prognosis Plaintiff is to clarity whether he with Request No.8." Plaintiff shall also provide the "medical reports and other documents Illr injuries or complaints that contain any diagnosis. description that resulted Irom the occurrence:' his custody or control. retCrenced in Request NO.4. .Ionathan.l. answer 10 Defendant 7 of which are in to which Plainti 1'1' responded. "Contact has I Iennessee. DO:" Should Plaintiff choose not to comply with these disc(1\wy orders moving Illrward. his case will be dismissed with prejudice. Delendants' Alternative Motion to Amend the Schcduling Order is hereby gralllcd. in part. and the current deadlines will be extended to June 15.2017 and July 15. 2017. respectively. S"" Eel' No. 38. total amount ofslIch expense. and i'-such expense has been pnid. by \\'hol1l. and idclltilY every bill. receipt. or rhcd. evidencing. such expenses:" ECF No. J9':! at 5 ~i14. PlailltilTrcsponds. "Conlael .Iol1<llhan.l. IIcllncsscf".'. DO for medical." PlaintitTalso ~tatcs that the brakes on his truck had to be rcpl<lccd. hut docs not provide any more in lC.lrJll<l1ion. 5 Phelps' Intcrrog<ltory No.::!. for example. states: "IdentifY the location orallY state or telkrai government idcntific<tlion issued to you Ii"om the time the vehicle you were driving was stopp~d for a traffic violalion until the time you bt:,ganto walk away from the traffic stop:' ECF No. 39-2 at 7. Defcndants claim that PlaintilTwas being "cvasive" and avoiding. the ,.thrust of the interrogatory" in his response. ECF No. 44-1. This is possible; howcvcr. it is also possible that Plaintiff did not understand the .'thrust of the interrogatory:' h "All recordings or trnnsnipts of any orndal proceedings that rcsulted n.olll the occurrence of which you complain:' ECF No. 39-2 at II ,; 8. 7 "i\lImedil'al rrpol1s and other documents that contain any diagnosis. description oftr~atment or prognosis for injuries or complaints that n:sullcd t1'omthe occurrencc:' ECF No. 39-2 at 11 4. x Plainliffhas sought comrcnsatory and punitive damages for alleged injuries suffered in this case. ECF No. 16 at 17. Thus. such records arc plainly relevant. "Plaintifl's may not \\ithhold frumthl.' defendant as irrelevant medical records that could be probative of potential causes l'ontributing to plaintiffs' alleg~dinjuries:' .\loore \'. ('her/t!tr 'i No. OO-'l53(R\VR)(Il;\R). 200G \VL 1442447. at '3 (Il.D.C. May 22.2(06). 6 I IV. CONCLUSION For thc forcgoing rcasons. Dclendants' Motion to Amend the Scheduling separatc Motion for Sanctions Order. Eel' No. 44. is granted. in part. and dcnicd. in part. A Ordcr shall issuc. Datc: April 1- i. or. In the Alternativc. dLr ~O17 GEORGE J. HAZEL Unitcd Statcs District 7 J udgc