United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
C. Keesler United States Magistrate Judge.
MATTER IS BEFORE THE COURT on “Plaintiff's
Motion To Compel Discovery” (Document No. 22). This
motion has been referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b), and immediate review is
appropriate. Having carefully considered the motion, the
record, and applicable authority, the undersigned will
grant the motion.
Laura B. Greene (“Plaintiff” or
“Greene”) initiated this action with the filing
of her “Complaint” (Document No. 1-1) in the
Superior Court of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, on May
9, 2017. The Complaint asserts claims against Shapiro &
Ingle, LLP (“Defendant”) for: (1)
sexually-hostile working environment / retaliatory discharge;
and (2) violation of the N.C. Wage & Hour Act. (Document
No. 1-1, pp.14-17). Plaintiff contends that she was sexually
harassed by one of Defendant's managers, James Albert
(“Albert”), and was then terminated from her
employment with Defendant because of her gender and in
retaliation for complaining about unwelcome sexual advances.
(Document No. 1-1, p.7).
filed its “Notice Of Removal” (Document No. 1)
with this Court on May 17, 2017. The Court issued its
“Pretrial Order And Case Management Plan”
(Document No. 6) on June 20, 2017. The “…Case
Management Plan” includes the following deadlines:
expert reports - November 6 and 13, 2017; discovery
completion - February 1, 2018; and dispositive motions -
March 1, 2018. (Document No. 6).
pending before the undersigned is “Plaintiff's
Motion To Compel Discovery” (Document No. 22) filed
February 22, 2018. The motion has been fully briefed.
See (Document Nos. 23, 32 and 39). Although the
Court had planned to hold a telephone conference, in the
interests of judicial economy and efficient case management
the undersigned issues this decision.
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that:
Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged
matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense
and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the
importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount
in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant
information, the parties' resources, the importance of
the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden
or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely
benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not
be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). The rules of discovery are to be
accorded broad and liberal construction. See Herbert v.
Lando, 441 U.S. 153, 177 (1979); and Hickman v.
Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, 507 (1947). However, “[t]he
court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party
or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression or undue
burden or expense.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1).
to grant or deny a motion to compel is generally left within
a district court's broad discretion. See Lone Star
Steakhouse & Saloon, Inc. v. Alpha of Va., Inc., 43
F.3d 922, 929 (4th Cir. 1995) (denial of motions to compel
reviewed on appeal for abuse of discretion); Erdmann v.
Preferred Research Inc., 852 F.2d 788, 792 (4th Cir.
1988) (noting District Court's substantial discretion in
resolving motions to compel); and LaRouche v. National
Broadcasting Co., 780 F.2d 1134, 1139 (4th Cir. 1986)
pending motion, Plaintiff seeks to compel Defendant to fully
respond to Request Nos. 26 and 27 of Plaintiff's Third
Request for Production of Documents. (Document No. 22, p.1).
These requests seek the following information from Defendant:
26. Produce all documents which purport to show the badge
entry swipes and/or the time of entry or egress for each
attorney employed by Defendant at its Charlotte, NC office
during the ...