Means v. Burns et al
ORDER GRANTING 10 Motion to Compel as follows: (a) Means shall fully respond to Defendants' discovery requests served on March 28, 2014, within 21 days from the date of this order, and (b) Means shall tender payment of the sum of $594 t o defense counsel within 21 days from the date of this order; GRANTING 13 Motion to Compel as follows: (a) Means shall attend and participate in her deposition now scheduled for September, and (b) Means shall tender payment of the sum of $330 to defense counsel within 21 days from the date of this order;GRANTING 16 Motion for Protective Order as follows: Means shall henceforth comply with the protective order agreed by the parties and approved by Judge McKay. The court declines to impose any sanction for Means actions which took place in state court. Signed by Judge John W. Sedwick on 8/19/14. (GMM, CHAMBERS STAFF)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF ALASKA
Nancy Carroll Means,
David Burns and the
Municipality of Anchorage,
ORDER AND OPINION
[Re: Motions at dockets 10, 13 & 16]
I. MOTIONS PRESENTED
This order addresses three motions. At docket 10 defendants David Burns and
the Municipality of Anchorage (collectively “Defendants”) move to compel plaintiff Nancy
Carroll Means (“Means”) to respond to discovery requests served on March 28, 2014.
The motion seeks an award of costs. Various exhibits are attached to the motion, and it
is supported by a memorandum at docket 11 and the Affidavit of Defendants’ lawyer
Pamela Weiss at docket 12. Means filed no response. In the second motion at
docket 13 Defendants ask the court to compel Means to attend her deposition and also
seek sanctions for failure to attend a previously noticed deposition. Again, various
exhibits are appended to the motion. A supporting memo is at docket 14, and another
affidavit from defense counsel is at docket 15. Means responds at docket 21 and
provides the affidavit of her lawyer Kevin Brady at docket 23. Defendants reply at
docket 25. The third motion at docket 16 asks the court to enforce a protective order
earlier agreed upon and asks for sanctions. A copy of the agreed protective order
approved by Superior Court Judge McKay prior to removal of the case to this court is
appended as an exhibit. A memorandum in support of the motion is at docket 17.
Means’ response is at docket 22. Defendants’ reply is at docket 28.
Oral argument was not requested with respect to any of the motions.
Means commenced this lawsuit in state court. It was timely removed to this court
on the basis that the amended complaint included a claim based on federal law. In her
amended complaint, Means pleads state law claims of false arrest and false
imprisonment, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and a
violation of her right to privacy. In addition, she pleads a claim for deliberate
interference with her state and federal constitutional rights. She also asks for a
declaratory judgment to support an order from the court requiring defendant
Municipality to seal the record of the criminal case filed against Means arising from her
arrest. Finally, Means seeks an award of punitive damages against defendant Burns
based on his allegedly outrageous behavior. Defendants deny liability on all claims.
A. Motion at docket 10
In the motion at docket 10 Defendants ask the court to compel Means to respond
to the discovery requests served on March 28, 2014, and to award of $594 as the costs
of making the motion. Means has not responded. Upon examination the motion is
found to have merit. Accordingly, the motion will be granted, and the requested costs
will be awarded.
B. Motion at docket 13
The motion at docket 13 asks the court to compel Means to attend her
deposition and to award costs in the total amount of $660, consisting of $110 in costs
incurred in attending the deposition at which Means failed to appear, and $550 in costs
for preparing the motion itself. In her opposition Means agrees to attend a deposition in
September. She also points to some extenuating circumstances and suggests that
under all of the circumstances an award of one-half of the costs requested by
Defendants would be appropriate. The court agrees. The motion at docket 13 will be
granted such that Means will be required to attend the September deposition, and
Defendants shall recover costs of $330. The court is not persuaded that any further
sanction is warranted.
C. Motion at docket 16
The gist of Defendants’ concern is that Means used documents produced by
Defendants and subject to the protective order to support her motion to amend her
complaint while the case was in state court. Means’ response is in essence that the
Defendants are attempting to prevent her use of relevant and important evidence
showing that Burns’ behavior was improper to prove her case. However, the protective
order does not go so far. Rather, it provides that if Means wishes to use documents
which are the subject of the protective order at trial, she must first seek leave of the
court to do so. If she obtains leave, the documents may be used as evidence.
This court cannot unring the bell rung in state court. Suffice it to say that Means
shall make no further disclosure of the documents without first seeking leave of court.
The court declines to impose sanctions for the use of the documents in state court.
For the reasons above;
(1) The motion at docket 10 is GRANTED as follows: (a) Means shall fully
respond to Defendants’ discovery requests served on March 28, 2014, within 21 days
from the date of this order, and (b) Means shall tender payment of the sum of $594 to
defense counsel within 21 days from the date of this order.
(2) The motion at docket 13 is Granted as follows: (a) Means shall attend and
participate in her deposition now scheduled for September, and (b) Means shall tender
payment of the sum of $330 to defense counsel within 21 days from the date of this
(3) The motion at docket 16 is Granted as follows: Means shall henceforth
comply with the protective order agreed by the parties and approved by Judge McKay.
The court declines to impose any sanction for Means’ actions which took place in state
DATED this 19th day of August 2014.
/s/ JOHN W. SEDWICK
SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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