Bledsoe v. Midland Funding LLC
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff Terry Bledsoe's Motion for Discovery Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 37 (Doc. 52 ) is DENIED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff Terry Bledsoe's Second Motion for Extension of Time t o Complete Discovery (Doc. 54 ) is GRANTED in part. Plaintiff shall be granted an additional 30 days from the date of this Order to complete a deposition of Defendant's designated representative under Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(6). Signed by District Judge John A. Ross on 10/13/20. (JAB)
Case: 4:19-cv-02779-JAR Doc. #: 61 Filed: 10/13/20 Page: 1 of 3 PageID #: 871
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MIDLAND FUNDING, LLC,
Case No. 4:19-cv-02779-JAR
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Terry Bledsoe’s Motion for Discovery
Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 37 (Doc. 52) and Second Motion for Extension of Time to Complete
Discovery. (Doc. 54). Defendant Midland Funding, LLC has filed responses (Docs. 55-56), and
Plaintiff has replied. (Docs. 59-60).
Plaintiff sued Defendant for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).
(Doc. 1). Plaintiff previously filed a Motion to Compel Discovery (Doc. 30) and this Court ordered
Defendant to respond to Plaintiff’s Interrogatories Nos. 1-18 and Requests for Production Nos. 129. (Doc. 51). Plaintiff argues that Defendant’s responses remain inadequate and asks this Court
to impose sanctions on Defendant by awarding attorney’s fees and deeming certain requests for
admission admitted. (Doc. 53 at 8-9). Plaintiff also seeks an extension of time to complete
depositions of Defendant’s representatives. (Doc. 54).
Case: 4:19-cv-02779-JAR Doc. #: 61 Filed: 10/13/20 Page: 2 of 3 PageID #: 872
This case, concerning a single claim under the FDCPA carrying a maximum statutory
penalty of $1,000, has become contentious due to various procedural issues unrelated to the
underlying dispute. A district court has broad discretion to impose sanctions for discovery
violations pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 37. See Nat’l Hockey League v. Metro Hockey Club, Inc.,
427 U.S. 639, 642-43 (1976) (per curiam). This Court declines to do so here.
Defendant has provided Plaintiff with recordings for each of Plaintiff’s calls with Midland
Credit Management, Inc. (“MCM”), an affiliated entity, and provided all relevant, non-privileged
documents in Defendant’s possession. (Doc. 55 at 4-5). Many of Plaintiff’s complaints concern
Defendant’s reliance on the distinction between Defendant and MCM. While the Court recognizes
the close relationship between the entities, it cannot sua sponte pierce Defendant’s corporate veil
without any showing by Plaintiff that such piercing is legally justified. Defendant has, moreover,
produced certain communications between Plaintiff and MCM. (Doc. 53-1 at 3). On various other
issues, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s requests are disproportionate to the needs of this case and
Defendant has produced sufficient (albeit imperfect) information to allow Plaintiff to fully pursue
his claim. Accordingly, no discovery sanctions against Defendant are warranted.
Plaintiff also seeks an extension of time to complete depositions. Defendant has indicated
that it does not oppose Plaintiff’s motion to the extent Plaintiff seeks to depose a Fed. R. Civ. P.
30(b)(6) witness. (Doc. 56 at 3). Plaintiff, however, claims that he is entitled to depose the agents
who conversed with him. (Doc. 60 at ¶ 2). Considering the applicable factors in Fed. R. Civ. P.
26(b)(1), this Court finds that Plaintiff’s requested discovery is not warranted at this time. It is
extremely unlikely that the individuals Plaintiff seeks to depose will recall their discussions with
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Plaintiff or have information which Plaintiff cannot obtain through a Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(6)
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff Terry Bledsoe’s Motion for Discovery
Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 37 (Doc. 52) is DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff Terry Bledsoe’s Second Motion for Extension
of Time to Complete Discovery (Doc. 54) is GRANTED in part. Plaintiff shall be granted an
additional 30 days from the date of this Order to complete a deposition of Defendant’s designated
representative under Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(6).
Dated this 13th day of October, 2020.
JOHN A. ROSS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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