The Wellness Group, LLC v. King Bio, Inc.
ORDER denying 61 Motion to Compel. Discovery in this case is CLOSED. Summary Judgment motions are due November 21, 2013. No extension of the Summary Judgment deadline shall be granted by this Court. Signed by Magistrate Judge Dennis Howell on 11/01/13. (emw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
THE WELLNESS GROUP, LLC,
KING BIO, INC., et al.,
Pending before the Court is the Motion to Compel [# 61]. Plaintiff moves
to compel discovery responses from Defendant King Bio, Inc. (“King Bio”) related
to its 2012 federal tax returns. In addition, Plaintiff seeks leave of Court to reopen
discovery to allow it to conduct further discovery related to Defendants’ personal
finances. Finally, Plaintiff seeks leave of Court to conduct further discovery in
order to obtain the personal cell phone numbers and service providers for two of
the Individual Defendants.
Upon a review of the record, the Court DENIES the
On November 19, 2012, this Court entered a Pretrial Order and Case
Management Plan allowing Plaintiff and Defendant King Bio until July 1, 2013, to
conduct discovery. On May 9, 2013, Plaintiff filed a motion seeking leave to file
an Amended Complaint adding several defendants and new claims. The Court
struck the motion from the record because it failed to comply with the
requirements of the Local Rules. (Order Striking Mot. Amend, Jun. 4, 2013.)
Plaintiff also requested a sixty day extension of time to conduct discovery, which
the Court granted in part and extended the discovery deadline until August 1, 2013.
(Order Granting in part Mot. Extend Time, Jun. 4, 2013.) Subsequently, Plaintiff
filed a second Motion to Amend that complied with the Local Rules. The Court
granted the motion and allowed Plaintiff leave to file an Amended Complaint
(Order Granting Mot. Amend, Jul 16, 2013), which Plaintiff filed on July 23, 2013.
The parties then filed a Joint Motion for Discovery, which the District Court
granted. (Order Granting Joint Motion for Discovery, Aug. 9, 2013.) In its Order,
the District Court granted Plaintiff leave to take the depositions of Frank King and
Suzie King and extended the discovery period until October 30, 2013, “for the
limited purpose of allowing individual Defendants . . . to conduct discovery related
to the new claims that have been asserted against them in the Amended
Complaint.” (Id. at 2.) On October 31, 2013, after the close of regular discovery
and after the close of the limited extended discovery period, Plaintiff moved to
compel Defendant King Bio to produce tax returns and to reopen discovery to
obtain financial information for the Individual Defendants, as well as cell phone
numbers and providers from two of the Individual Defendants.
As threshold matter, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s motion, to the extent it
seeks to compel Defendant King Bio to product tax returns or to compel the
Individual Defendants to produce documents is untimely. Discovery motions such
as motions to compel, motions to quash, or motions for protective orders seeking to
limit the scope of discovery must be filed prior to the close of discovery. See
Days Inn Worldwide, Inc. v. Sonia Invs., 237 F.R.D. 395, 397-98 (N.D. Tex. 2006)
(collecting cases); Synovus Bank v. Karp, Civil Nos. 1:10-cv-00172-MR-DLH,
1:10cv201, 1:10cv202, 1:10cv215, 1:10cv217, 1:10cv218, 1:10cv220, 1:10cv221,
1:10cv231, 2013 WL 4052625, at *1 (W.D.N.C. Aug. 12, 2013) (Reidinger, J.);
Surrett v. Consolidated Metco, Inc., Civil No. 1:11cv106, 212 WL 1340548, at *2
(W.D.N.C. Apr. 18, 2012) (Reidinger, J.); Murphy v. Auto Advantage, Inc., No.
1:11cv11, 2012 WL 2878, at *1 (W.D.N.C. Jan. 5, 2012) (Howell, Mag. J.);
Rudolph v. Buncombe Cnty Gov’t, No. 1:10cv203, 2011 WL 5326187 (W.D.N.C.
Nov. 4, 2011) (Howell, Mag. J.); Lane. v. Lucent Techs., Inc., No. 1:04cv789,
2007 WL 2079879 (M.D.N.C. Jul. 13, 2007). Accordingly, the Court DENIES
the motion to the extent it seeks to compel Defendant King Bio to produce the tax
returns or to compel the Individual Defendants to produce documents.
The Court also DENIES the motion to the extent it seeks to reopen the
discovery period and obtain further discovery from the Individual Defendants.
Again, discovery in this case is closed. Discovery in this case has dragged on for
approximately a year. Plaintiff has had ample opportunity to obtain the
information sought during the discovery period or to file a motion seeking leave
for additional discovery prior to the close of discovery. This Court will not reopen
the discovery period that has been extended multiple times to allow Plaintiff leave
to seek financial information that it could and should have obtained during the
discovery period. Plaintiff previously conducted the deposition of two of the
Individual Defendants, to the extent they refused to answer questions related to
their net worth, Plaintiff could have filed a timely motion to compel these
Defendants to answer these question. Plaintiff, however, failed to do so. Instead,
Plaintiff waited until after the close of discovery to move the Court to reopen
discovery and allow it an unspecified time to serve additional interrogatories, serve
request for production of documents, and conduct further depositions of the
The time for obtaining additional discovery has passed, and the Court will
not re-open discovery to allow Plaintiff to conduct further discovery. Plaintiff
either should have obtained this discovery during the relevant discovery period or
moved this Court during the ninety day extended time period for leave to serve
additional interrogatories and discovery requests. The time has come to end the
discovery period and move this case to resolution. Accordingly, the Court
DENIES the motion [# 61]. Discovery in this case is CLOSED. Summary
Judgment motions are due November 21, 2013. No extension of the Summary
Judgment deadline shall be granted by this Court.
The Court DENIES the Motion to Compel [# 61].
Signed: November 1, 2013
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