McDaniel v. Burlington Coat Factory of Florida LLC
ORDER denying 20 Defendant's Motion for Involuntary Dismissal and/or for Sanctions for Plaintiff's Failure to Attend IME/CME and/or to Compel Plaintiff to Submit to an IME/CME. Please see Order for details. Signed by Magistrate Judge Barry S. Seltzer on 3/10/2017. (pb00)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
CASE NO. 16-62739-CIV-COHN/SELTZER
BURLINGTON COAT FACTORY OF
THIS CAUSE has come before the Court upon Defendant’s Motion for Involuntary
Dismissal and/or for Sanctions for Plaintiff’s Failure to Attend IME/CME and/or to Compel
Plaintiff to Submit to an IME/CME [DE20]. Defendant argues that Plaintiff failed to appear
for a scheduled compulsory medical examination (CME) without objection or notice and,
therefore, should be subject to sanctions, including involuntary dismissal of the Complaint
and taxation of the costs and fees associated with the missed appointment and the making
of the present motion. Although an alternative request to compel Plaintiff to attend a CME
appears in the title of the Motion, that request does not appear in the body of the Motion
or in the prayer for relief.
Rule 35, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, governs the examination of a party
whose mental or physical condition is in controversy. The examination may be ordered by
the court “only on motion for good cause and on notice to all parties and the person to be
examined” and the order “must specify the time, place, manner, conditions, and scope of
the examination, as well as the person or persons who will perform it.” Fed. R. Civ. P.
35(a)(2). Examination may also be made by the parties’ agreement, Fed. R. Civ. P.
35(b)(6), but nowhere does Rule 35 authorize a party to unilaterally and without court order
schedule a physical examination of another party.
Without either a court order or, apparently, an agreement with Plaintiff, Defendant
unilaterally set a CME of Plaintiff by serving a Request for Compulsory Medical
Examination upon Plaintiff through her attorney [DE 20-1]. Defense counsel did not seek
to coordinate a date for the CME with Plaintiff’s counsel. When Plaintiff failed to appear
for the medical examination, Defendant filed the present motion. Although Plaintiff’s
counsel does not dispute receiving the Request for Compulsory Medical Examination, he
claims to have “inadvertently overlooked” the notice and, therefore, Plaintiff was never
made aware of the appointment [DE 22]. According to Plaintiff’s counsel, he first became
aware of the CME when the present motion was filed. Defendant, however, incurred
expenses as a result of the missed CME appointment.
Taking the representations of counsel at face value, the Court finds error on the part
of Defendant for not securing an agreement or court order authorizing the CME as required
by Rule 35, as well as error by Plaintiff’s attorney in overlooking the Request for
Compulsory Medical Examination. As the party seeking sanctions for failure to appear at
a CME, Defendant has the burden of establishing a violation of a proper order under Rule
35. Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(b)(2)(A). This it cannot do, as Defendant failed to obtain either an
order or an agreement for a physical examination. For this reason, the Court finds that
sanctions are not appropriate. Accordingly, it is hereby
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Defendant’s Motion for Involuntary Dismissal
and/or for Sanctions for Plaintiff’s Failure to Attend IME/CME and/or to Compel Plaintiff to
Submit to an IME/CME [DE20] is DENIED. Defendant may, within the remaining discovery
period, secure either an agreement or an Order authorizing a physical examination of
Plaintiff in accordance with Rule 35.
DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this 10th day of
copies furnished counsel via CM/ECF
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?