Timpson et al v. Haley et al
ORDER denying 325 Motion for Reconsideration. Signed by Honorable Donald C Coggins, Jr on 4/23/2019.(abuc)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Johnny Timpson, by and through his,
Conservator, Sandra Timpson, and Sandra
Timpson, in her individual capacity,
Henry McMaster, et al.,
C/A No. 6:16-cv-1174-DCC
OPINION AND ORDER
This matter comes before the Court upon Plaintiffs’ Motion to Reconsider. ECF No. 325.
In light of the impending trial date, the Court finds that responses are unnecessary and rules as
This case was filed in the Court of Common Pleas for the County of Greenville, South
Carolina on February 19, 2016. ECF No. 1-1. On April 15, 2016, Defendants filed a Notice of
Removal. ECF No. 1. The first Scheduling Order was entered on April 25, 2016 and set forth the
No later than January 17, 2017 the parties shall file and exchange Fed. R. Civ. P.
26(a)(3) pretrial disclosures. Within fourteen (14) days thereafter, a party shall file
and exchange Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(3) objections, any objections to use of a
deposition designated by another party and any deposition counter-designations
under Fed. R. Civ. P. 32(a)(6).
ECF No. 20 (emphasis in original). On June 1, 2016, the Court entered an Amended Scheduling
Order moving this deadline to March 17, 2017. ECF No. 36. On September 21, 2016, the Court
entered a Second Amended Scheduling Order moving this deadline to April 17, 2017. ECF No.
The case was initially assigned to the Honorable Mary Geiger Lewis and was transferred to the
undersigned on December 15, 2017. ECF No. 152.
59. On March 13, 2017, the Court entered a Third Amended Scheduling Order moving this
deadline to 90 days from the date of the Court's ruling on dispositive motions. ECF No. 103. On
September 13, 2017, the Court entered a Fourth Amended Scheduling Order moving this deadline
to April 23, 2018. ECF No. 124. On July 9, 2018, the Court entered a Fifth Amended Scheduling
Order moving this deadline to February 28, 2019. ECF No. 183. On January 29, 2019, the Court
entered a Sixth Amended Scheduling Order moving this deadline to 30 days from the date of the
Court's rulings on any remaining dispositive motions. ECF No. 248. On March 14, 2019, the
Court held a hearing and ruled on all outstanding dispositive motions, making the final deadline
to file Rule 26(a)(3) Disclosures Monday, April 15, 2019.
On April 3, 2019, the parties filed a Consent Motion for Extension of Time seeking to
move the deadline to April 16, 2019. ECF No. 284. On April 4, 2019, the Court entered a Text
Order granting the parties' request to move the deadline to April 16, 2019. ECF No. 285. On April
12, 2019, the Court held a hearing on pretrial motions. ECF No. 293. During the hearing, at the
urging of the parties, the Court again moved the deadline to file Rule 26(a)(3) Disclosures to April
19, 2019. ECF No. 294. In accordance with the final deadline, Defendants Thrive Upstate,
Anderson County Disabilities and Special Needs Board, and Dale Thompson filed their Rule
26(a)(3) Disclosures on April 18, 2019. ECF No. 301, 306. The remaining Defendants filed their
Rule 26(a)(3) Disclosures on April 19, 2019. ECF Nos. 310, 311, 314. Plaintiffs did not file their
Rule 26(a)(3) Disclosures.
On April 21, 2019, Chambers contacted the parties by email inquiring about the status of
Plaintiffs' Rule 26(a)(3) Disclosures. In response, Plaintiffs emailed a copy of their Local Rule
26.05 Pretrial Brief, which had already been submitted in a timely fashion. Chambers again
emailed counsel, explaining that Rule 26(a)(3) Disclosures are a distinct document from Pretrial
Briefs. On April 22, 2019, the Court held Jury Selection and a Pretrial Conference and directed
Plaintiffs to file their Rule 26(a)(3) Disclosures, including deposition designations, by midnight.
Plaintiffs' counsel expressed an understanding of this deadline during the hearing.2
At 11:57 p.m. on April 22, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Reconsideration, in which
they state: "Plaintiffs were ordered at 3:44 this afternoon to produce by midnight excerpts from
depositions that may be read at trial." ECF No. 325 at 1. In the remainder of the Motion, Plaintiffs
outline the parameters of Rule 32, which sets forth the procedures for using depositions in court
proceedings. Id. Concluding their Motion, Plaintiffs "respectfully request[ed] that the Court will
reconsider its order requiring Plaintiffs to produce deposition excerpts by midnight on the same
day of the order." Id. at 3.
As set forth above, Scheduling Orders have been in effect in this case for nearly three years
requiring all parties to file Rule 26(a)(3) Disclosures. Rule 26(a)(3) requires:
the name and, if not previously provided, the address and telephone number
of each witness—separately identifying those the party expects to present
and those it may call if the need arises;
the designation of those witnesses whose testimony the party expects to
present by deposition and, if not taken stenographically, a transcript of the
pertinent parts of the deposition; and
an identification of each document or other exhibit, including summaries of
other evidence—separately identifying those items the party expects to
offer and those it may offer if the need arises.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(3) (emphasis added). The plain language of this Rule requires parties to
designate the deposition testimony that it intends to offer at trial so that opposing parties may file
The Court also notes that Plaintiffs begin their instant Motion by representing the Court's Order
in this regard occurred at 3:44 p.m. This is inaccurate. The Order was issued from the Bench
during the pre-trial conference which concluded shortly after 2:00 p.m. The Court will assume
that the 3:44 time was a typographical error rather than a deliberate misrepresentation.
objections and counter-designations of deposition testimony. See, e.g., Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(3)(B)
(outlining the process for filing objections to the use of depositions). This is standard practice in
federal court, and the parties in recent trials before this Court have complied with Rule 26(a)(3)
without any difficulty. See, e.g., W.S. v. Daniels, No. 8:16-cv-01032-DCC, at ECF No. 201
(D.S.C. Feb. 11, 2019) (containing Defendants' designation of deposition excerpts intended for use
at trial). Moreover, Defendants in this case have complied with the Rule as well. See ECF Nos.
314, 314-1 (setting forth a designation of Anthony Keck's deposition and attaching a copy of the
In sum, Plaintiffs have had ample notice and opportunity to prepare, serve, and file
designations of the deposition testimony they intend to use at trial. The Court has endeavored to
extend courtesies to all parties in this case in the spirit of fairness and in light of the complexity of
this case. However, Plaintiffs initiated this lawsuit and have the responsibility to comply with the
rules. Therefore,  Plaintiffs' Motion to Reconsider is DENIED. Plaintiffs are directed to file
their Rule 26(a)(3) Disclosures, with proper deposition designations, by 11:59 p.m. on April 23,
2019. NO EXTENSIONS WILL BE GRANTED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. The Court
realizes this puts the Defendants at a significant disadvantage in terms of filing objections and
counter-designations. Therefore, the Court will extend Defendants' deadline to file objections and
counter-designations of deposition testimony until 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2019. Defendants'
deadline to file any other objections pursuant to Rule 26(a)(3) (i.e., to exhibits) remains Friday,
April 26, 2019, as Defendants have had a copy of Plaintiffs' Exhibit List since April 19. Plaintiffs'
deadline to file objections to Defendants' Rule 26(a)(3) Disclosures remains Friday April 26, 2019.
All other deadlines in this case remain in place, and STRICT COMPLIANCE IS
REQUIRED. Therefore, the Court expects jury instructions from all parties TODAY BY 5:00
P.M. The parties should file their proposed jury instructions on ECF and email Chambers a Word
version. The Court further expects proposed verdict forms from all parties TOMORROW BY
If any parties have ANY QUESTIONS about remaining deadlines, they are directed to
contact Chambers by 4:00 p.m. today for clarification.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/Donald C. Coggins, Jr.
United States District Judge
April 23, 2019
Spartanburg, South Carolina
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?