Pocasangre v. Escoba, Inc. et al
MEMORANDUM and ORDER GRANTING IN PART and DENYING IN PART 22 motion for sanctions and DIRECTING Defendants to provide complete responses to the requests propounded by Plaintiff by no later than December 4, 2017 (c/m to Defendants 11/13/17 sat). Signed by Judge Deborah K. Chasanow on 11/13/2017. (sat, Chambers)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
Civil Action No. DKC 16-3022
ESCOBA, INC., et al.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff filed this action against Escoba, Inc. d/b/a El
Triunfo Restaurant and against Vidal Escobar, Alexander Rivera,
and Rosario Rivera on August 30, 2016, alleging violations of
Defendants entered into settlement negotiations which apparently
fell apart when the corporate defendant went out of business.
requests to Defendants.
(ECF No. 21-4).
On July 18, 2017,
Defendants had failed to maintain communication with him.
defendants, and the corporate defendant, Escoba, Inc., was given
notice that it needed to obtain new counsel within 30 days or it
would be ordered to show cause why a default should not be
entered against it.
(ECF No. 15).
When counsel did not enter
timeframe, the show cause order was issued, and, when Defendant
Escoba failed to respond to the order, a default was entered
(ECF Nos. 19, 20).
Plaintiff moved for sanctions requesting a default judgment be
entered against Defendants pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 37.
Although the motion was mailed to Defendants, no response has
Default judgment is a possible sanction for a failure to
participate in the discovery process before a default judgment
However, defendants are “entitled to be made aware
Choice Hotels Int’l, Inc. v. Goodwin and Boone,
11 F.3d 469, 471 (4th Cir. 1993).
Moreover, courts will only
enter a default judgment when a less severe sanction would not
“be a reasonable alternative[.]”
Wilson v. Volkswagen of Am.,
Inc., 561 F.2d 494, 505 (4th Cir. 1977).
Here, the parties have
not received an order to comply with discovery and have not been
warned about the possible consequences of failing to comply.
Therefore, a default judgment is premature.
Defendants are warned that they are obligated to respond to
the discovery requests in a timely fashion. Defendants will be
responses or risk sanctions including a default judgment.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(d)(1)(A) provides:
The court where the action is pending may,
on motion, order sanctions if: (i) a party
or a party’s officer, director, or managing
agent – or a person designated under Rule
30(b)(6) or 31(a)(4) – fails, after being
served with proper notice, to appear for
that person’s deposition; or (ii) a party,
interrogatories under Rule 33 or a request
for inspection under Rule 34, fails to serve
The possible sanctions include:
(i) directing that the matters embraced in
the order or other designated facts be taken
as established for purposes of the action,
as the prevailing party claims;
(ii) prohibiting the disobedient party from
supporting or opposing designated claims or
defenses, or from introducing designated
matters in evidence;
(iv) staying further proceedings until the
order is obeyed;
(v) dismissing the action or proceeding in
whole or in part; [or]
(vi) rendering a default
the disobedient party[.]
In addition, “the court must require
the party failing to act, the attorney advising that party, or
both to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees,
caused by the failure[.]”
Accordingly it is this 13th day of November, 2017 by the
Plaintiff’s motion for sanctions (ECF No. 22) BE, and
the same hereby IS, GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART; as
Defendants BE, and the same hereby IS, DENIED;
The request to order Defendants to comply with
Plaintiff’s discovery requests BE, and the same
hereby IS, GRANTED;
Defendants are directed to provide complete responses
default judgment; and
Opinion and Order to Defendants and counsel for Plaintiff.
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW
United States District Judge
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