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Turner v. Griffin

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division

April 24, 2019

GEOFFREY TURNER, Plaintiff,
v.
LOWELL S. GRIFFIN, in his official capacity as Sheriff of Henderson County, and OHIO CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, in its capacity as Surety on the Official Bond of the Sheriff of Henderson County, Defendants.

          ORDER

          W. CARLETON METCALF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on the following motions: (1) Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery Responses (Doc. 29); (2) Plaintiff's Motion for an Extension of Time to Complete Discovery, for Amendments to the Scheduling Order, and to Designate Expert Economist (Doc. 31); and (3) Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition (Doc. 32).

         I. Relevant Procedural Background

         Plaintiff filed this action on December 7, 2017 alleging discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, 38 U.S.C. § 4301 et seq. See Compl. (Doc. 1).

         On March 28, 2018, the parties filed a Certification and Report of F.R.C.P. 26(f) Conference and Proposed Discovery Plan (Doc. 6). That plan proposed discovery be completed by February 1, 2019, each party be allowed a maximum of 25 interrogatories and a maximum of 50 requests for admission, and Plaintiff and each Defendant be allowed to take up to 10 depositions lasting up to seven hours each.

         The next day, a Pretrial Order and Case Management Plan (Doc. 9) was entered. The Pretrial Order essentially adopted these limits, though it set December 1, 2018 as the deadline for the close of discovery.

         Seven (7) months later, on October 30, 2018, with Defendants' consent, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (Doc. 10). Defendants answered (Doc. 11) on November 1, 2018.

         On November 8, 2018, the parties requested an additional 45 days to engage in discovery and conduct mediation, and a corresponding 45-day extension to file dispositive motions. (Doc. 12). The Court granted that request and amended the Pretrial Order to, among other things, extend the discovery deadline to January 15, 2019 and the motions deadline to February 15, 2019. (Doc. 13).

         On the last day of the extended discovery period, January 15, 2019, the parties filed a joint request seeking further extensions of the discovery deadline and the dispositive motions deadline. (Doc. 16).

         The Court denied that joint request. (Doc. 17).

         On January 30, 2019, Plaintiff, now acting unilaterally, filed a Motion for an Extension of Time to Complete Discovery and for Amendments to the Scheduling Order (Doc. 19).

         The Court conducted a hearing on the Motion on February 15, 2019, and considering the circumstances of this individual case, and the more complete record that had been presented, allowed the Motion in part and denied it in part by order dated February 28, 2019 (Doc. 21). Among other things, the discovery deadline was extended through and including April 1, 2019, the per party deposition allocation was increased to twelve (12) depositions, and the dispositive motions deadline was extended through and including May 1, 2019.

         On March 19, 2019, the undersigned conducted a telephone conference with counsel to address certain potential discovery disputes, after which the parties were directed to confer and explore in further detail possible resolution of said disputes.

         On March 29, 2019, the undersigned held two additional conference calls with counsel regarding certain discovery disputes. A joint oral request for a one-week extension of the discovery deadline was allowed, and the discovery period was extended to April 8, 2019. (Doc. 26). The parties were advised that no further extensions of the discovery deadline would be allowed absent emergent circumstances.

         Plaintiff's current motions were all filed on April 8, 2019, the last day ...


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