United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Catherine C. Eagles, District Judge.
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
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.
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.
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 ¶
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[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”).
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
-- did not notice any depositions during the discovery
-- 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
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 ...