Stokes v. Captain D's, LLC et al
ORDER denying 110 Motion to Strike. Signed by Magistrate Judge David A. Sanders on 2/13/18. (jcm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
LARRY J. STOKES
CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:16-cv-152-SA-DAS
CAPTAIN D’S, LLC,
STORE MASTER FUNDING I, LLC,
AND SHN PROPERTIES, LLC
Before the Court is a motion styled Plaintiff’s Motion to Remove Stipulation and Strike
Defendants’ Amended Answer and Allow All Proof of Foreseeability and Negligence of
Defendants . However, as argued at the motion hearing held on February 5, 2018, the Court
will treat the motion as a motion to compel. Stokes argues that he sought documents which
Captain D’s not only refused to provide, but actively sought to conceal. Captain D’s counters
that it objected to the requested documents as irrelevant and that objection was never challenged.
As an example, Stokes requested, among other things, safety manuals “which were in
effect on September 29, 2013 [the date of the incident], as well as any subsequent additions,
deletions, and/or edits . . . since September 29, 2013.” Captain D’s responded with an
“object[ion] to the production of any procedures that postdate the accident because they are not
relevant to this case.” Stokes continued to request additional discovery. While Captain D’s
supplemented its responses over time, it continued to object to any documents that postdated the
incident. After close of discovery in the instant case, plaintiff’s counsel discovered in an
unrelated case documents he believed were responsive to the request for documents in the instant
case. However, those documents would have fallen under Captain D’s “postdate” objection.
The Court is well aware of the frustration between the parties over the last year. At oral
argument, both parties concede that their counsel exchanged approximately five hundred emails
regarding whether Defendants had been fully cooperative and forthcoming in responding to
discovery requests. However, If Plaintiff believed he was entitled to discovery that he had not
received, he was obligated to file a motion to compel pursuant to Rule 37. During the hearing,
plaintiff’s counsel argued she did not file a motion to compel because defense counsel repeatedly
told her they “had provided everything.” Nevertheless, based on the number of emails
exchanged, it is clear the plaintiff was unhappy with the productions, and only long after the
discovery period has ended does he now ask the court to compel production. The court has no
choice but to deny the motion. While the instant motion is clearly one to compel, the
requirements of Rule 37 have not been met.1 Rule 37 thus mandates a denial of the motion for
failure to comply with these requirements. See UNIF. LOC. R. 37. While Rule 37 provides for a
“Motions raising issues concerning discovery . . . must quote verbatim each interrogatory, request for production,
or request for admission to which the motion is addressed, and must state:
(1) the specific objection;
(2) the grounds assigned for the objection (if not apparent from the objection itself); and
(3) the reasons assigned as supporting the motion.
The objections, grounds and reasons must be written in immediate succession to the quoted discovery requested.
The objections and grounds must be addressed to the specific interrogatory, request for production, or request for
admission and may not be general in nature.”
UNIF. LOC. R. 37.
denial without prejudice to refile in conformity, discovery has long since closed, and the Court
declines to reopen discovery.
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that the Plaintiff’s Motion to Remove Stipulation and
Strike Defendants’ Amended Answer and Allow All Proof of Foreseeability and Negligence of
Defendants , which this Court treats as a motion to compel, is DENIED.
SO ORDERED this, the 13th day of February, 2018.
/s/ David A. Sanders
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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