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Ashley v. City of Bridgeport

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

April 6, 2018




         Plaintiff Malcolm O. Ashley (“plaintiff”) has filed a motion to compel seeking responses from defendants City of Bridgeport, Ronald Mercado, Roderick Doda, and Marie Cetti (the “Bridgeport Defendants”)[1] to certain interrogatories and a request for production. [Doc. #47]. The Bridgeport Defendants have filed an objection to plaintiff's motion. [Doc. #50]. Also pending before the Court are two motions filed by the Bridgeport Defendants seeking an extension of time to respond to plaintiff's interrogatories and requests for production. [Doc. #50; #52]. For the reasons set forth herein, the Court GRANTS, in part, and DENIES, in part, plaintiff's Motion to Compel [Doc. #47] and GRANTS, in part, and DENIES, in part, the Bridgeport Defendants' motions for an extension of time [Doc. #50; #52].

         I. Background

         On March 15, 2018, plaintiff filed a motion to compel, seeking responses from the Bridgeport Defendants to plaintiff's “Interrogatories and Request for Production of Electronic video/film referenced in issued requests on 20 December 2017.” Doc. #47 at 1 (footnote omitted). The Bridgeport Defendants filed an objection to the motion to compel on March 21, 2018. See Doc. #50. The Bridgeport Defendants attached a copy of plaintiff's interrogatories to their objection. See Doc. #50-1.

         The Bridgeport Defendants also sought an extension of time “nunc pro tunc until thirty days following the Court's ruling on in which to answer and/or object to the Plaintiff's Interrogatories and Requests for production dated December 20, 2017.” Doc. #50 at 1 (sic). On March 23, 2018, the Bridgeport Defendants filed a Supplemental Motion for Extension of Time indicating that “[t]he undersigned has consulted with the plaintiff regarding the request for extension of time and the plaintiff has indicated that he consents to the relief requested.” Doc. #52 at 1.

         II. Legal Standard

         Rule 37(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states that “a party may move for an order compelling disclosure or discovery.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a). “The motion must include a certification that the movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with the person or party failing to make disclosure or discovery in an effort to obtain it without court action.” Id. Local Rule 37(a) requires that the party filing a motion to compel “file with the Court, as a part of the motion papers, an affidavit certifying that he or she has conferred with counsel for the opposing party in an effort in good faith to resolve by agreement the issues raised by the motion without the intervention of the Court, and has been unable to reach such an agreement.” D. Conn. L. Civ. R. 37(a). Local Rule 37(b)(1) further requires that memoranda filed in support or in opposition to a motion to compel “shall contain a concise statement of the nature of the case and a specific verbatim listing of each of the items of discovery sought or opposed, and immediately following each specification shall set forth the reason why the item should be allowed or disallowed.” D. Conn. L. Civ. R. 37(b)(1). “Every memorandum shall include, as exhibits, copies of the discovery requests in dispute.” Id.

         Rule 26(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure sets forth the scope and limitations of permissible discovery:

Parties 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 benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). “The party resisting discovery bears the burden of showing why discovery should be denied.” Cole v. Towers Perrin Forster & Crosby, 256 F.R.D. 79, 80 (D. Conn. 2009).

         III. Discussion

         A. Plaintiff's Motion to Compel

         Plaintiff asks the Court to compel the Bridgeport Defendants to respond to his interrogatories and request for production. See Doc. #47 at 1-2. Plaintiff argues the Court should grant his motion because he “has in good faith conferred with and asked the Defendant City of Bridgeport, to provide responses[, ]” but the Bridgeport Defendants have “not responded at all.” Doc. #47 at 1-2. The Bridgeport Defendants object to the motion to compel, arguing that “Plaintiff has filed extensive Interrogatories and Requests for Production directed to defendants as well as non-parties[.]” Doc. #50 at 3 (footnote omitted).

         The Bridgeport Defendants contend that “Plaintiff's requests for interrogatories are comprised of six interrogatories with one-hundred and eleven subparts[, ]” that Interrogatories One, Two, Three, and Six are directed to nonparties, and that Interrogatories ...

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