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Jinrun Gao v. Snyder Companies and Brickyard Apartments )By Snyder

September 20, 2011

JINRUN GAO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SNYDER COMPANIES AND BRICKYARD APARTMENTS )BY SNYDER, LLC, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Byron G. Cudmore, U.S. Magistrate Judge

E-FILED Tuesday, 20 September, 2011 11:17:11 AM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

This matter comes before the Court on pro se Plaintiff Jinrun Gao's Motion to Compel Answers to Interrogatories (d/e 43) (Motion 43); Motion to Compel Production of Documents (d/e 44) (Motion 44); Motion to Renew Portion of Motion to Compel Production of Documents (d/e 46) (Motion 46); and Plaintiff's Motion for Extension of Time (d/e 47) (Motion 47). For the reasons set forth below, Motions 43 and 47 are ALLOWED in part and DENIED in part, and Motions 44 and 46 are DENIED.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Jinrun Gao alleges that he and his wife Shengju Rong rented an apartment in Bloomington, Illinois, from Defendant Brickyard Apartments by Snyder, LLC (LLC), from January 25, 2007, to February 29, 2008. Amended Complaint (d/e 19), ¶¶ 6. Gao alleges that he and his wife Rong are of American Chinese and Chinese origin. Id. Gao alleges that Defendant Snyder Companies owns LLC (collectively Snyder). Id. ¶ 5. Gao alleges that in January 2008, cigarette smoke started seeping into his apartment. His wife, Rong, developed asthma because of the smoke. Gao alleges that Rong became handicapped, as that term is used in the Fair Housing Act (Act), as a result of her asthma. Id. ¶¶ 5, 9, 13(c); 42 U.S.C. § 3602(h). Gao alleges that he and his wife complained and were discriminated against in violation of the Act because of their Chinese ethnicity and also retaliated against because of their assertion of their rights under the Act. Amended Complaint, ¶¶ 10-15; 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604, 3617. Gao also alleges that Snyder refused to accommodate his wife's asthma in violation of the Act. Amended Complaint, ¶ 13; 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f). Gao alleges that the discrimination and retaliation was intentional and willful. Amended Complaint, ¶ 15. Gao alleges that he is seeking damages for himself and Rong. Rong did not sign any pleadings and has not made an appearance as a party in the case.

On July 6, 2011, Gao served Plaintiff's Second Set of Interrogatories and his Second Request to Produce to Snyder. Motion 43, attached Plaintiff's Second Set of Interrogatories to Defendants; Motion 44, attached Plaintiff's Second Request to Produce to Defendants. Snyder responded.

Gao believes some of the responses were inadequate. The parties conferred to resolve their differences. Gao still believes Snyder's responses are insufficient and has brought Motions 43 and 44.

Gao filed Motion 46 in response to this Court's Opinion entered August 17, 2011 (d/e 45) (Opinion). Gao had asked the Court to compel Defendants to produce "documents that show Defendants barred JoAnne Teal and Joseph Kennedy from common facilities (clubhouse and office), if Defendants did so." Motion 46, ¶ A. The Court denied the request because Snyder stated that they had produced all responsive documents. Opinion, at 9. The Court stated that Gao could renew the request if he had evidence that Snyder possesses such documents. Id.

Gao renews request in Motion 46 based on the deposition testimony of Snyder's Assistant Manager Lindsay Thacker. Gao and Thacker had the following colloquy regarding Teal and Kennedy:

Q. . . .

Next question. Joanne Teal and Joseph Kennedy, were these persons, Joanne Teal and Joseph Kennedy, banned from the clubhouse and the office in 2005? . . . .

A. I don't know-- they were banned, but I don't know what year they were banned. Yes.

Q. Your answer is yes?

A. I don't know what year they were banned, but they both were banned from the clubhouse at one point.

Q. Just make sure. Do you have a document to prove that?

A. Yes. Documents, is that what you're asking?

Q. Yes.

A. Yes.

Motion 46, attached, Excerpt of the Deposition of Lindsay Thacker, at 17-18. Based on Thacker's responses, Gao renewed the request for documents regarding Teal and Kennedy.

Finally, Gao asks for an extension of time to complete discovery because several requests remain outstanding. Snyder objects to any ...


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