Evarts v. Quinnipiac University
RULING (see attached) denying as moot 23 Defendant's Motion to Compel Discovery Responses, and ORDER (see attached) reserving decision till further evidence is presented on 23 Defendant's Request for Sanctions. Plainti ff and his counsel are hereby notified and ORDERED that on or before December 20, 2017, they must file a written response to this Order and/or request a hearing to show cause why they should not be required to pay Defendant's reasonable expenses incurred in making the motion to compel, including attorney's fees. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(5)(A)(ii)-(iii) (requiring court to impose sanctions of reasonable expenses and attorney's fees upon party who "necessitate d" motion to compel, and/or attorney who advised his conduct, unless failure to comply was "substantially justified," or "other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust"). Moreover, on or before December 20, 2017,< /b> Defendant is ORDERED to present evidence to the Court of the "reasonable expenses" and "attorney's fees" incurred in making the motion to compel (including receipts to document expenses and contemporaneous attorney's records regarding the legal services provided). See New York Ass'n of Retarded Children v. Carey, 711 F.2d 1136, 1147 (2d Cir. 1983). Signed by Judge Charles S. Haight, Jr. on December 6, 2017. (Dorais, L.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
Civil Action No.
No. 3:15-cv-1509 (CSH)
DECEMBER 6, 2017
RULING ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY RESPONSES AND
ORDER REGARDING REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS [DOC. 23]
Plaintiff Ellsworth Evans brings this civil action against Defendant Quinnipiac University
("Quinnipiac') alleging that it discriminated against him on the basis of his disability in violation of
the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et seq., and the Family and
Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601, et seq. The facts of this case are set forth in this Court's
previous "Ruling," 2017 WL 2676405, at *1-3 (D.Conn. June 21, 2017), familiarity with which is
On October 19, 2017, Defendant filed a motion pursuant to Rule 37(a), Fed. R. Civ. P.,
requesting an order to compel Plaintiff to answer Defendant's "First Set of Interrogatories and
Request for Production," dated August 8, 2017, and to impose monetary sanctions on Plaintiff for
his failure to respond. See Doc. 23. The due date for said responses was September 7, 2017; and
Defendant's counsel had made several attempts to contact Plaintiff to obtain the responses. See Doc.
23-2 (Affidavit of Defendant's counsel, Caroline B. Park).
On November 8, 2017, one day before Plaintiff's deadline to respond to "Defendant's Motion
to Compel," Plaintiff filed an "Objection" [Doc. 27] to that motion, stating that "on this date,
November 8, 2017," he had "answered the defendant Quinnipiac University's First Set of
Interrogatories and Request for Production." He had also "produced documents Bate Stamped
1-525 in response" to said request for production. Doc. 27, at 1.
Defendant confirmed receipt of Plaintiff's responses in a motion for extension of the
dispositive motion deadline in light of Plaintiff's late service of his responses on November 8, 2017.
See Doc. 28. The Court extended that deadline to December 8, 2017.
The fourteen (14) day deadline for Defendant to file a reply to Plaintiff's "Objection to the
Motion to Compel" has expired and Defendant has filed no such reply. See D. Conn. L. Civ. R. 7(d).
Under these circumstances, the Court has no evidence to suggest that Defendant has found Plaintiff's
responses to be unsatisfactory, incomplete, or deficient. Therefore, the Court DENIES AS MOOT
Defendant's "Motion to Compel." [Doc. 23].
However, with respect to the Defendant's "Request for Sanctions" [Doc. 23], in light of the
fact that the "disclosure or requested discovery [was] provided after the motion [to compel] was
filed[,] the court must, after giving an opportunity to be heard, require the party . . . whose conduct
necessitated the motion, the party or attorney advising that conduct, or both to pay the movant's
reasonable expenses incurred in making the motion, including attorney's fees." Fed. R. Civ. P.
37(a)(5)(A). Plaintiff and his counsel are hereby notified and ORDERED that on or before
December 20, 2017, they must file a written response to this Order and/or request a hearing to show
cause why they should not be required to pay Defendant's reasonable expenses incurred in making
the present motion to compel, including attorney's fees. Id. Absent a showing that Plaintiff's failure
to comply was "substantially justified," or that "other circumstances make an award of expenses
unjust," Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(5)(A)(ii)-(iii), this Court "must" impose said costs and fees upon
Plaintiff and/or his counsel.
Finally, on or before December 20, 2017, Defendant is ORDERED to present evidence to
the Court of the "reasonable expenses" and "attorney's fees" incurred in making the motion to
compel. Included in Defendant's submissions should be receipts to document expenses and
contemporaneous attorney's records regarding the legal services provided (the name(s) and
experience level(s) of counsel, dates, numbers of hours, and description of services rendered). See
New York Ass'n of Retarded Children, Inc. v. Carey, 711 F.2d 1136, 1147 (2d Cir. 1983)
("announc[ing] for the future that contemporaneous time records are a prerequisite for attorney's fees
in this Circuit") (citing Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 440-41 (1983) (Burger, C.J.,
Upon review of the parties' submissions, the Court will either set a date for oral argument
– if such argument is requested and/or would assist the Court – or rule on the papers. Finally,
Plaintiff is reminded that this is the second occasion on which he has failed to provide timely
discovery responses. Future such incidents may result in additional sanctions in accordance with
Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(f), 37.
The foregoing is SO ORDERED.
Dated: New Haven, Connecticut
December 6, 2017
/s/Charles S. Haight, Jr.
CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR.
Senior United States District Judge
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