Williams v. Quicken Loans
ORDER DENYING Plaintiff's 22 Motion to Compel; granting in part and denying in part 27 Motion for Order.--Signed by Magistrate Judge Anthony P. Patti. (MWil)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 2:16-cv-11496
District Judge David M. Lawson
Magistrate Judge Anthony P. Patti
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO COMPEL SANCTIONS
(DE 22), GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF’S
MOTION TO COMPEL (DE 27), GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S REQUEST
FOR COURT ORDER TO SET DISCOVERY CONFERENCE (DE 24), AND
RESCHEDULING THE FINAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE
This matter is before me for consideration of two motions and one request
filed by Plaintiff: 1) a December 14, 2016 motion to compel sanctions (DE 22),
Defendant’s response (DE 23), Plaintiff’s reply (DE 25), and Plaintiff’s
supplement (DE 28)1; 2) a January 31, 2017 motion to compel discovery (DE 27)
and Defendant’s response (DE 29); and 3) Plaintiff’s request to set a discovery
conference (DE 24). The parties also filed a Joint List of Unresolved Issues on
The Eastern District of Michigan Local Rules do not allow the filing of
supplemental responses without prior leave of court. E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(e). The
Court considered the supplement in this instance, but Plaintiff is cautioned that
future filings must comply with Court rules.
February 24, 2017. (DE 31.) Both motions and the request came before me for a
hearing on February 28, 2017. I will address each item in turn.
Motion to Compel Sanctions (DE 22)
In her motion, Plaintiff accuses Defendant (through its counsel) of engaging
in “willful and unethical conduct” during her December 8, 2016 deposition. (DE
22 at 1.) Specifically, she asserts that Defendant improperly brought up an issue of
Bates numbering in her discovery responses, and waited until the day of the
deposition to address the issue instead of contacting her about it before they were
on the record.
Defendant opposes the motion. It asserts that Plaintiff’s allegations lack any
arguable basis in fact or law and accordingly asks the Court to award it costs and
fees pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37. (DE 23.) Defendant provides
relevant excerpts from the deposition testimony, in which counsel explained the
Bates-stamping process and verified that the documents provided were complete.
(Id. at 6-8.) In her reply, and again at oral argument, Plaintiff takes issue with the
timing of the explanation, and seems to contend that counsel addressed the issue
during the deposition in order to make her look bad on the record or before the
jury. (DE 25.)2
In her supplemental response, Plaintiff also asserts that Defendant violated
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(e)(1)(A), which addresses supplementing
responses provided under Rule 26(a), and 26(d)(3)(B), which governs the sequence
The Court observes that nothing in the deposition testimony paints either
party in a bad light, so Plaintiff’s concerns appear to be largely unfounded.
Furthermore, both the testimony at the hearing and a review of the papers filed by
both parties reveal no evidence that Defendant or its counsel engaged in “willful or
unethical” conduct. Likewise, the Court has seen no evidence of “badgering.”
(See DE 22 at 2.) To the contrary, the deposition testimony reveals that counsel
appropriately explained the need for Bates-stamping to allow Plaintiff to easily
turn to appropriate documents during the deposition, and acted professionally. (DE
23-2 at 46.) Additionally, counsel was diligent in ensuring that all of Plaintiff’s
responses were present in the document. (Id. at 47-48.) For these reasons, and the
reasons stated on the record, Plaintiff’s motion is DENIED. (DE 22.) The issue of
costs will be addressed in Section II.
Motion to Compel Discovery (DE 27)
Plaintiff seeks an order compelling Defendant to supplement its responses to
Interrogatories 6, 9, and 15 and to Request for Production of Documents 14. (DE
27.) Defendant contends that it completely answered the interrogatories, made
appropriate objections, and provided the documents requested. (DE 29.) At the
of discovery. At the hearing Plaintiff conceded that those provisions do not apply
to the matter at issue.
hearing, Plaintiff withdrew her motion as to Request for Production of Documents
14. Accordingly, the Court considered only the responses to interrogatories.
As stated on the record, Defendant’s objections to Interrogatories 6 and 9 are
sustained and its responses are deemed sufficient. Defendant’s response to
Interrogatory 15, however, is not responsive, or alternatively, is unclear.
Specifically, it does not make clear whether Quicken Loans ever contacted
Plaintiff about jobs for which she applied in 2015. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s motion
is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. (DE 27.) Defendant is
ordered to supplement its response to Interrogatory 15 within TWO WEEKS OF
THE DATE OF THIS ORDER, answering the question “yes” or “no,” and if
“yes,” supplying the additional information requested. Defendant may also
provide any additional information it deems necessary to clarify a “no” response.
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37, where a discovery motion is
granted in part and denied in part, the court “may . . . apportion reasonable
expenses for the motion.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(5)(C). Here, despite Plaintiff’s
motion for sanctions being to some degree frivolous, the Court will decline to
order costs in this matter, as there was some degree of discovery-related fault on
both sides, as identified in the motion to compel. However, Plaintiff is cautioned
that filing motions without a certification that she has met and conferred with the
other side or that are in any way frivolous could result in the imposition of costs or
Request to Set a Discovery Conference (DE 24)
The Court granted Plaintiff’s request and allowed the parties to have a
discovery conference at the hearing. As a result of those discussions, the Final
Pretrial Conference has been moved to MAY 19, 2017 at 2:00 PM.
IT IS SO ORDERED
Dated: February 28, 2017
s/Anthony P. Patti
ANTHONY P. PATTI
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was sent to parties of record
on February 28, 2017, electronically and/or by U.S. Mail.
Case Manager for the
Honorable Anthony P. Patti
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