Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Qayumi v. Duke University

United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina

December 28, 2017

ARIANA QAYUMI, Plaintiff,
v.
DUKE UNIVERSITY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Catherine C. Eagles, District Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on the plaintiff's motion for an extension of time to complete discovery. Doc. 53. On December 14, 2017, the Magistrate Judge entered a text order granting the plaintiff's motion for extension. The defendant Duke University objects to the Magistrate Judge's order. Doc. 56. Because the plaintiff has not shown good cause for the extension of the discovery period and has not acted with due diligence, the motion will be denied.

         This case was filed in state court and removed to this court in August 2016. See Doc. 1. On January 18, 2017, the Court entered the Rule 16 Scheduling Order. Doc. 32. Discovery thus began on January 18, 2017, and was scheduled to end on October 18, 2017. Id. This nine-month discovery period, which was agreed-upon by the parties, Doc. 31, is the longest contemplated by the Local Rules. See LR 26.1. By notice filed April 17, 2017, the case was set for trial during the July 2018 Civil term of court. Doc. 36.

         After Duke filed a Motion to Compel Discovery in August, Doc. 37, and a Motion to Exclude Expert Opinion Testimony, Doc. 39, the Court extended the discovery period until November 30, 2017. Text Order, Sept. 18, 2017. As part of that Order, the Court “emphasize[d] the importance of adhering and complying with the discovery schedule and other deadlines set by this Court.” Id.

         On the day the discovery period was scheduled to close, the plaintiff moved to extend the discovery period for two months. See Doc. 53. The plaintiff asserted she needed more time to produce documents in the custody of third parties and “additional time to conduct additional discovery relating to the roughly 10, 500 pages of documents Defendant produced in response to Plaintiff's requests” to produce documents. Id. at ¶ 6. The plaintiff asserted she would use this time to “streamline the issues, clarify the factual disputes, and ensure that she is able to present authenticated, admissible evidence to defend the motion for summary judgment that Defendant intends to file.” Id. at ¶ 7.

         In general, a scheduling order may be modified only for good cause and with the judge's consent. Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4). Good cause generally requires the exercise of reasonable diligence by the party seeking the modification. See Belcher v. W.C. English Inc., 125 F.Supp.3d 544, 549 (M.D. N.C. 2015); 3 James Wm. Moore et al., Moore's Federal Practice § 16.14[1][a], at 16-75 (3d ed. 2016)(stating that “the party seeking an extension must show that, despite due diligence, it could not have reasonably met the scheduled deadlines.”); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 16 advisory committee's note, 1983 Amendment, Discussion, Subdivision (b) (“[T]he court may modify the schedule on a showing of good cause if it cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of the party seeking the extension.”); LR 26.1(d) (providing that motions seeking to extend discovery period “must set forth good cause justifying the additional time and will be granted or approved only upon a showing that the parties have diligently pursued discovery”).

         The plaintiff has identified nothing which would support a finding that she acted with diligence during the discovery period. While she asserts in conclusory fashion that her efforts in pursuing discovery have been “extensive and exhaustive, ” Doc. 62 at 2, she fails to identify any such discovery. She does not dispute defense contentions, Doc. 56 at 2, that she:

-- served no interrogatories or requests to admit during the discovery period;
-- did not notice any depositions during the discovery period;
-- waited until late August 2017 - some seven months after the discovery period began and less than two months before the end of discovery, as then scheduled - to serve requests to produce documents;
-- received the bulk of Duke's document production on October 9, with the remainder served on October 26;
-- did not then seek to depose any witnesses about the documents, nor did she serve any Requests to Admit to authenticate any of the documents; and
-- waited for over a month after the last of these documents were produced to seek an extension of time to complete discovery.

         In her motion, the plaintiff did not identify what specific discovery she needed from Duke, nor did she explain why she had been unable to obtain it during the discovery period. While she has since noticed the deposition of seven witnesses, see Docs. 62-1 - 62-7, she has yet to offer any explanation for why she needs those depositions or why she did not depose these witnesses before November ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.