EMILY N. PREISS and WINE AND DESIGN, LLC
WINE AND DESIGN FRANCHISE, LLC, HARRIET E. MILLS, PATRICK MILLS, and CAPITAL SIGN SOLUTIONS, LLC
pursuant to N.C. G.S. § 7A-27(a) from an order on motion
for sanctions dated 19 July 2018 entered by Judge Gregory P.
McGuire, Special Superior Court Judge for Complex Business
Cases, in Superior Court, Wake County, after the case was
designated a mandatory complex business case by the Chief
Justice under N.C. G.S. § 7A-45.4. Heard in the Supreme
Court on 6 March 2019.
Offices of Hayes Hofler, P.A., by R. Hayes Hofler, III, pro
Lee, PLLC, by Kari R. Johnson, Gloria T. Becker, and Matthew
D. Mariani, for defendant-appellees Harriet E. Mills, Patrick
Mills, and Capital Sign Solutions, LLC.
Justice did not participate in the consideration or decision
of this case.
ON MOTION FOR SANCTIONS AND TO COMPEL DEPOSITION
Gregory P. McGuire Special Superior Court Judge for Complex
MATTER comes before the Court upon Defendants Harriett E.
Mills, Patrick Mills, and Capital Sign Solutions, LLC's
("the Mills Defendants") Motion for Sanctions and
to Compel Deposition, ("Motion", ECF No. 93), and a
memorandum in support of the Motion. (ECF No. 94.) The Mills
Defendants seek sanctions pursuant to Rule 37 of the North
Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. N.C. Gen. Stat. §
1A-1, Rule 37 (hereinafter, references to the General
Statutes will be to "G.S." and references to the
Rules of Civil Procedure will be to "Rule(s)"). On
June 11, 2018, Plaintiffs filed a response in opposition to
the Motion. (Pl. Resp. Opp. Mot. for Sanctions and Compel
Depo., ECF No. 107.)
6, 2018, the Court held a hearing on the Motion. At the
hearing, the Court advised counsel that it would grant the
Motion and asked counsel for the Mills Defendants to file
with the Court an affidavit in support of her request for
attorneys' fees and costs. Thereafter, counsel for the
Mills Defendants, Gloria T. Becker ("Becker"),
filed two affidavits in support of her request for
attorneys' fees. (ECF Nos. 114 and 115.)
COURT, having carefully considered the Motion, the briefs
filed in support of and in opposition to the Motion, the
arguments of counsel at the hearing, and other appropriate
matters of record, concludes, in its discretion, that the
Motion should be GRANTED for the reasons set forth below.
February 12, 2018, the Court filed the Case Management Order
("CMO") in this action. (CMO, ECF No. 49.) The CMO
provided that "[t]he depositions of Plaintiffs Emily
Preiss and Wine and Design, L.L.C. shall take place . . . no
later than April 16, 2018. Defendants shall be permitted to
take Plaintiffs' deposition before any other party is
deposed." (ECF No. 49, at p. 4.)
March 16, 2018, Defendants noticed the deposition of Emily
Preiss ("Preiss") for April 11, 2018, after
confirming that date and time of was agreeable to all
Parties. (Pl. Mot. ...