United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. Poplin, United States Magistrate Judge
case is before the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636, the Rules of this Court, and Standing Order 13-02.
before the Court is Defendant City of Knoxville's Motion
to Compel Discovery [Doc. 33]. Attorney Joshua Headrick,
representing Defendant Hughett, and Attorney Ronald Mills,
representing Defendant City of Knoxville, appeared before the
Court for a telephone conference on December 3, 2019.
However, Plaintiff failed to call into the
previously-scheduled telephone conference. Further, the Court
notes that Plaintiff has not responded to Defendant City of
Knoxville's Motion, and the time for doing so has
expired. See E.D. Tenn. L.R. 7.2 (“Failure to
respond to a motion may be deemed a waiver of any opposition
to the relief sought.”).
for the reasons set forth below, the Court has considered
Defendant City of Knoxville's request, and finds it to be
well-taken. Therefore, Defendant City of Knoxville's
Motion to Compel [Doc. 33] is
brought suit on September 14, 2018 against Defendant Hughett,
in his individual and official capacities, as well as
Defendant City of Knoxville, under 42 U.S.C. §§
1983 and 1988 for alleged violations of her civil rights
under the Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. [Doc.
1]. The Court's Scheduling Order [Doc. 29] on January 25,
2019 detailed that all discovery shall be completed by
November 25, 2019. On March 26, 2019, the Court granted [Doc.
32] Attorney Marcos Garza, Attorney Jenny Rogers, Attorney
Timothy Baldridge, and Attorney Keith Lowe's Motion to
Withdraw as Counsel [Doc. 31], and admonished Plaintiff that
she was deemed to be proceeding pro se in this matter.
instant Motion, Defendant City of Knoxville requests that the
Court compel Plaintiff to respond to written discovery. For
grounds, Defendant City of Knoxville states that it served
its First Set of Interrogatories and Requests for Production
of Documents to Plaintiff on September 5, 2019. See
[Doc. 33-1]. Defendant City of Knoxville details that
Plaintiff has not responded to the above discovery requests.
Further, Defendant City of Knoxville states that after
failing to receive a response to the discovery requests,
counsel for the Defendant, Attorney Mills, wrote to Plaintiff
on October 10, 2019, advising her of the failure to respond
to the written discovery requests. See [Doc. 33-2].
Motion further relates that Attorney Mills spoke with
Plaintiff by telephone on October 17, 2019, wherein Plaintiff
confirmed that she had received the discovery requests and
counsel's previous letter, and that Attorney Mills stated
that he was willing to allow an additional two weeks for
responses to the discovery requests. Following continued lack
of communication and Plaintiff's failure to respond to
the outstanding discovery requests, Defendant City of
Knoxville filed the pending Motion. Attorney Mills also
included a certification that he attempted to confer in good
faith with Plaintiff in order to resolve the pending
discovery disputes, but such attempts have been unsuccessful.
the telephone conference, the Court previously contacted the
parties regarding their availability for a conference after
the filing of the present Motion. After Plaintiff replied
only to counsel for Defendant City of Knoxville, Attorney
Mills informed the Court of Plaintiff's stated
availability, and the telephone conference was scheduled for
December 3, 2019. Notice of the telephone conference was
mailed to Plaintiff at her provided address on November 27,
2019. During the conference, Attorney Mills related that
Plaintiff emailed him on December 2, 2019 at 9:45 p.m.
regarding the time of the scheduled telephone conference, to
which Attorney Mills responded with the scheduled time and
the Court's phone number.
Plaintiff has not responded to Defendant City of
Knoxville's discovery requests, has not filed a response
to the instant Motion, and did not participate in the
scheduled telephone conference. Pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 37(a), a party may move for an order
compelling answers to interrogatories and production of
documents. Because Plaintiff did not respond to the Motion,
and has not complied with her discovery obligations, the
Court finds Defendant City of Knoxville's request
well-taken. Plaintiff SHALL respond to
Defendant's First Set of Interrogatories and Requests for
Production of Documents by December 13,
2019. Plaintiff is hereby
ADMONISHED that the failure to respond may
warrant sanctions, up to and including dismissal of this
action. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(b)(2)(A)(i)-(vii).
The Court notes that it previously admonished Plaintiff that
although she was proceeding pro se, she was still responsible
for complying with all deadlines set by the Court and
responding to requests by other parties. [Doc. 32 at 2].
for the reasons stated above, Defendant City of
Knoxville's Motion to Compel Discovery [Doc.
33] is GRANTED.