Frey v. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER re: 29 IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendant's motion to compel [Doc. #29] is granted. Plaintiff shall provide defendant proper initial disclosures and responses to defendants discovery requests no later than December 23, 2015.. Signed by District Judge Carol E. Jackson on 12/8/15. (KKS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK
OF ST. LOUIS,
No. 4:15-CV-737 (CEJ)
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on defendant’s motion to compel plaintiff to
serve proper initial disclosures and responses without objection to defendant’s
discovery requests pursuant to Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Plaintiff has not responded, and the time to do so has expired.
Plaintiff Kenneth Frey filed this action pro se against his former employer,
defendant Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, alleging that the bank discriminated
and retaliated against him on the basis of age in violation of the Age Discrimination
in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. § 621, et seq. A case management
order was entered on September 1, 2015. The order required the parties to make
all Rule 26(a)(1) disclosures no later than September 25, 2015. [Doc. #26].
Defendant served its initial disclosures on plaintiff on September 23.
next day, plaintiff served on defendant a document entitled “Disclosure of
Interests,” in which plaintiff provided the names and phone numbers of witnesses
upon which he intended to rely.
The document did not provide a copy or
description of all documents plaintiff might use to support his claims or defenses
and did not provide a computation of each category of damages claimed by
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(1)(A)(ii)–(iii).
Defendant notified plaintiff of
these deficiencies by electronic and first class mail on September 28.
responded by e-mail that he had received the correspondence and was working on
a response with advice from an attorney.
On October 6, 2015, defendant served its first request for production of
documents and its first set of interrogatories on plaintiff. Plaintiff did not respond
to these discovery requests. On November 10, defendant sent a letter to plaintiff
again addressing his initial disclosure deficiencies, as well as his failure to timely
respond to discovery requests. Defendant noted that it would provide plaintiff an
extension of time until November 16 to serve proper initial disclosures and his
responses to the discovery requests, after which defendant would seek a motion to
compel. Plaintiff initially responded by e-mail that he was meeting with his lawyer
the coming Monday and would respond back after that meeting.
Plaintiff sent a
subsequent e-mail that same day stating that he was unable to comply with
defendant’s requests without legal knowledge and planned to meet with a lawyer on
November 16 to seek legal assistance.
Defendant did not receive any responses to discovery from plaintiff by
November 19. On that date, defendant sent plaintiff an e-mail notifying him that,
despite allowing plaintiff additional time to seek advice from counsel and provide
discovery responses, defendant had not received the requested responses or any
further communication from him. Defendant informed plaintiff that it intended to
file a motion to compel with the court and invited plaintiff to contact defense
counsel to discuss the matter. As of the date of the filing of defendant’s motion to
compel on November 23, plaintiff had not contacted defendant nor otherwise
responded to discovery.
Rule 26(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that “[p]arties
may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any
party’s claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the
importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the
parties’ relative access to relevant information, the parties’ resources, the
importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or
expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefits.”
within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be
discoverable.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). “A district court is afforded wide discretion
in its handling of discovery matters.” Cook v. Kartridg Pak Co., 840 F.2d 602, 604
(8th Cir. 1988).
Because the rules of discovery are broad, the burden is typically on the party
resisting discovery to explain why discovery should be limited. Jo Ann Howard &
Assocs., P.C. v. Cassity, 303 F.R.D. 539, 542 (E.D. Mo. 2014). That is, after the
proponent of discovery makes a threshold showing of relevance, the party opposing
a motion to compel has the burden of showing its objections are valid by providing
specific explanations or factual support as to how each discovery request is
improper. Hofer v. Mack Trucks, Inc., 981 F.2d 377, 380 (8th Cir. 1993); St. Paul
Reinsurance Co., Ltd. v. Commercial Fin. Corp., 198 F.R.D. 508, 511–12 (N.D. Iowa
The party resisting discovery “must demonstrate to the court ‘that the
requested documents either do not come within the broad scope of relevance
defined pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1) or else are of such marginal relevance
that the potential harm occasioned by discovery would outweigh the ordinary
presumption in favor of broad disclosure.’”
St. Paul Reinsurance Co., Ltd., 198
F.R.D. at 511–12 (quoting Burke v. New York City Police Dep’t, 115 F.R.D. 220, 224
Defendant seeks discovery it is entitled to as initial disclosures under Rule
26(a)(1) and other information and documents relevant to potential claims or
defenses pursuant to Rule 26(b)(1).
Defendant has conferred or otherwise
attempted to confer with plaintiff in good faith in an effort to obtain the disclosures
and discovery sought without court action.
Plaintiff has failed to respond to the
instant motion, and thus has not met his burden of explaining his objections to
defendant’s discovery requests. See E.D.Mo. L.R. 3.04 (“Upon the filing of a motion
to compel, the Court may summarily overrule an objection to any discovery request
if the object is not stated in detail.”).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendant’s motion to compel [Doc. #29] is
granted. Plaintiff shall provide defendant proper initial disclosures and responses
to defendant’s discovery requests no later than December 23, 2015.
CAROL E. JACKSON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 8th day of December, 2015.
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?