Hayes v. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER...IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis's Renewed Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs Complaint (ECF No. 61 ) is DENIED without prejudice. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall provide a veri fication for his interrogatory answers no later than June 10, 2016. IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that the parties shall file their Designation of Neutral with the Court no later than June 20, 2016, and the parties shall complete mediation no later than Ju ly 20, 2016. ( ADR Completion Deadline due by 7/20/2016., ADR Compliance Report Deadline due by 8/3/2016., Designation of Neutral/Conference Report due by 6/20/2016., Response to Court due by 6/10/2016.). Signed by District Judge Ronnie L. White on 5/26/2016. (NEB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF ST. LOUIS, )
GLENN HA YES,
No. 4:15-CV-653 RLW
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the court on Defendant Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' s
Renewed Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs Complaint (ECF No. 61).
The Federal Reserve Bank ("FRB") asks this Court to dismiss Plaintiffs Complaint
pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(b)(2)(A) and 41(b), as well this Court' s April 13, 2016 Order.
FRB argues that Plaintiff has failed to serve proper initial disclosures and complete responses to
FRB' s discovery requests, which warrants dismissal of this case. FRB complains of several
The interrogatories are not verified as required by the Federal Rules of Civil
Interrogatory 4 seeks information regarding any expert witness.
provided the names of a few purported experts, but does not provide their
addresses, telephone numbers, backgrounds, expertise, or the opinions they may
Interrogatory 6 seeks information regarding Plaintiffs damages. Plaintiff
provided a spreadsheet but did not provide any reference for his damages
Interrogatories 8 and 9 seek information about Plaintiffs alleged emotional
distress and other physical and mental damages. Plaintiff provided the name of
his physician but did not identify the area of practice, dates of treatment, nature of
treatment or any diagnoses received;
Interrogatory 11 seeks information regarding Plaintiffs claim that FRB targets
older employees for discrimination and/or termination. Plaintiff identifies three
employees he alleges made statements that FRB targets older employees, but fails
to provide dates that the statements were made, whether those statements were
oral or written, whether there were any witnesses to those statements, and whether
any documents support his allegation;
Interrogatory 12 seeks information as to the person(s) whom allegedly made the
statement that if Plaintiff was terminated he would not be eligible to receive
retirement benefits. Plaintiff provides a name, but does not provide the date of the
statement, if any witnesses were present, whether the statement was oral or
written, and the identity of any related documents;
Interrogatory 13 seeks information regarding Plaintiffs allegation that he was
denied a promotion on the basis of age. Plaintiff states that younger employees
were granted better job opportunities but does not identify any promotion that he
alleges he was entitled to but did not receive, does not state whether he
complained about a failure to promote him, does not identify any individuals he
claims were promoted in his stead, and fails to identify any documents which
support his allegation;
Interrogatory 14 seeks information regarding Plaintiffs claim that he was
discriminated against based on his age. Plaintiff does not describe any instance of
discrimination due to Plaintiffs age, but notes that he cannot recall the dates and
locations of the incidents;
Interrogatory 17 seeks information regarding Plaintiffs allegation that he
complained to FRB regarding the alleged harassment, discrimination, and
retaliation. Plaintiff states the names of people he complained to but fails to
describe the circumstances that caused the complaint;
Interrogatories 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 19 seek the names of any witnesses.
Plaintiff states for each of these Interrogatories that " [t]here are other witnesses
but these individuals are currently employed at the FRB and are fearful of
retaliation." FRB asserts that this is an "unacceptable response as the FRB is
entitled to the identity of all witnesses to Plaintiffs allegations;
Plaintiff provided copies of his bank statements.
Plaintiff also referred to a
statement by Jean Lovati, but he failed to provide that statement.
indicated that he will provide that statement "during the mediation process." FRB
states that withholding such information is unacceptable; and
Plaintiff did not provide a response to each Request for Production as required by
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
(ECF No. 62 at 2-5).
FRB argues that dismissal of Plaintiff's action is warranted, given the repeated warnings
from the Court regarding Plaintiff's ongoing discovery failures.
(ECF No. 62 at 6 (citing
Farnsworth v. City of Kansas City, Mo., 863 F.2d 33 , 34 (8th Cir. 1988) (affirming dismissal
where district court gave appellants meaningful notice of what was expected of them during the
course of discovery, initially imposed less stringent sanctions when they failed to cooperate, and
warned them that their failure to comply with subsequent court orders would result in dismissal
of their action)).
" [D]ismissal with prejudice for failure to comply with discovery rules is an extreme
sanction, often reserved for willful or bad faith default[.]"Anderson v. Home Ins. Co., 724 F.2d
82, 84 (8th Cir. 1983) (citing Societe Internationale v. Rogers, 357 U.S. 197, 212 (1958)). The
Court holds that Plaintiff's actions have not met this threshold.
Plaintiff has repeatedly
attempted to comply with this Court' s orders and to provide discovery information. Although
Plaintiff's discovery production is not exhaustive, the Court holds that it is not so woefully
incomplete that the case cannot proceed. 1 Plaintiff has provided the basic information necessary
for FRB to be on notice of Plaintiff's claims and for FRB to formulate its defenses. Any lacking
information-e.g., Plaintiff's expert opinions-can be provided during the course of discovery or
from deposition testimony.
Further, the Court finds the discovery violations in this case were not as egregious as in
the cases cited by FRB for the proposition that dismissal is appropriate. See ECF No. 62 at 6-7.
In Anderson v. Home Ins. Co. , 724 F.2d 82 (8th Cir. 1983), the plaintiff entirely filed to answer
defendant's discovery requests even after the court' s order.
In Reehten v. Mayberry, No.
The Court, however, finds that verification of Plaintiff's discovery responses is required before
the case can continue. The Court assumes that Plaintiff may not understand what a verification
is. Plaintiff need only sign and date a statement certifying under penalty of perjury that the
answers and responses to the interrogatories are true and correct.
4:10CV2159 FRB, 2012 WL 5471221 , at *2 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 9, 2012), the plaintiff failed to
appear for his deposition, and refused to answer interrogatories and otherwise cooperate in
discovery. Finally, in McCarthy v. Webster Univ., No. 4:11-CV-1614 CAS, 2013 WL 136466, at
*5 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 10, 2013), the plaintiff willfully disregarded the Court's orders, including fully
responding to defendant's written document requests and executing the appropriate
authorizations for records.
Instead, the Court holds that Plaintiffs incomplete discovery
responses do not constitute "willful disregard of a Court order and of his duty to cooperate in
discovery[.]" Reehten, 2012 WL 5471221, at *2. As a result, the Court denies FRB's motion to
dismiss without prejudice.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' s
Renewed Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs Complaint (ECF No. 61) is DENIED without prejudice.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall provide a verification for his
interrogatory answers no later than June 10, 2016.
IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that the parties shall file their Designation of Neutral with
the Court no later than June 20, 2016, and the parties shall complete mediation no later than
July 20, 2016.
Dated this 26th day of May, 2016.
UNITED ST ATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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