Thomas v. City of Rochester, NY et al
DECISION & ORDER denying 47 Motion to Compel; denying 56 Motion to Compel; denying 60 Motion to Compel; granting defendants' request for an extension of time until 7/31/2017 to respond to plaintiff's interrogatories. Signed by Hon. Marian W. Payson on 7/21/2017. Copy of this Decision & Order sent by First Class Mail to plaintiff Anthony Thomas to his address of record. (KAH) Modified on 7/21/2017 (KAH).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
DECISION & ORDER
J. PRINZI, D. HOGG and R. BEYEA,
Three motions to compel discovery filed by plaintiff Anthony Thomas are
pending before this Court. (Docket ## 47, 56, 60). The first seeks further responses to plaintiff’s
requests to admit, which defendants answered with simple denials. (Docket # 47). Specifically,
Thomas seeks an order compelling defendants “to state the reasons why they denied all requests
for admission.” (Id. at 1). The second seeks defendants to produce certain documents. (Docket
# 56). Although defendants have responded to Thomas’s document requests, he maintains that
pre-booking photographs and a report were requested, but not produced. (Id.). The third seeks
an order compelling defendants to respond to interrogatories served thirty days earlier. (Docket
All three motions are denied because they are not accompanied by a “certification
that the movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with the . . . party failing to
make disclosure or discovery in an effort to obtain it without court action,” as required by Rule
37(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Thomas is directed to confer with counsel for
defendants concerning the documents he seeks. If the disputes cannot be resolved, he may file
another motion accompanied by the required certification.
With respect to the interrogatories, Thomas’s motion is also premature because he
filed it before the time period within which to respond had expired. He filed it before the
thirtieth day had expired. (See Docket # 60). In the meanwhile, by letter dated July 18, 2017,
defendants have requested an extension until July 31, 2017, to respond. That application is
granted. If Thomas has any disputes regarding the adequacy of defendants’ responses, he must
attempt to resolve those disputes with defendants’ counsel before filing any motion to compel.
With respect to Thomas’s motion to compel defendants to explain their denial to
his requests for admission, I find that, even if Thomas’s motion were not procedurally defective,
it lacks merit. I have reviewed the requests to admit and agree with defendants that their simple
denials are adequate responses. See United Coal Cos. v. Powell Construction Co., 839 F.2d 958,
967 (3d Cir. 1988) (“Rule 36 should not be used unless the statement of fact sought to be
admitted is phrased so that it can be admitted or denied without explanation”) (internal quotation
omitted); Rahman v. Smith & Wollensky Rest. Grp., Inc., 2008 WL 3823958, *1 (S.D.N.Y. 2008)
Accordingly, plaintiff’s motions to compel (Docket ## 47, 56, 60) are DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/Marian W. Payson
MARIAN W. PAYSON
United States Magistrate Judge
Dated: Rochester, New York
July 21, 2017
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