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Brown v. University of Illinois

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

April 16, 2014

JERRY BROWN, Plaintiff,


MARY M. ROWLAND, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff's Expedited Motion for Court to Extend the Date for Close of Discovery [168] is DENIED. Plaintiff is ORDERED to take the depositions of Drs. Rajagopalan and Miller during the week of April 21, 2014, as previously scheduled.



Plaintiff filed his pro se Complaint on September 23, 2010, alleging discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII. This is Plaintiff's fifth Title VII lawsuit against the University or its predecessor, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources; the previous four were all dismissed on summary judgment, finding that Plaintiff failed to make out a prima facie case of discrimination.[1]

During 2010 and 2011, the parties conducted limited discovery in relation to Defendant's motion to dismiss. (Dkt. 32, 36, 39). On February 14, 2012, the District Judge denied the motion to dismiss. (Dkt. 53). On April 4, 2012, the District Judge set a discovery cutoff of October 25, 2012, and referred the matter to the Magistrate Judge for discovery supervision and settlement. (Dkt. 54, 55). On November 1, 2012, the Magistrate Judge granted Defendant's motion for extension of time and continued the discovery cutoff until February 22, 2013. (Dkt. 71, 74).

On January 18, 2013, Plaintiff filed an unopposed motion to extend discovery, asserting that he needed time to propound additional discovery requests and to file a motion to compel. (Dkt. 83). On February 7, 2013, the Court granted the motion, extending discovery until April 19, 2013. (Dkt. 92). On February 26, 2013, the parties agreed to conduct settlement discussions, and the Court vacated the discovery cutoff date. (Dkt. 96). After being postponed several times, an unsuccessful settlement conference was held on October 22, 2013. (Dkt. 109).

On October 28, 2013, the Court reset the close of discovery for February 28, 2014, admonishing the parties that this was "a firm deadline." (Dkt. 110). On November 21, 2013, the Court reminded the parties that discovery closes on February 28, 2013, admonished Plaintiff to conduct his depositions prior to that date, and ordered Defendant's deposition of Plaintiff to be conducted on February 28, 2014. (Dkt. 114). The Court explicitly stated that the "[discovery cutoff] date will not be extended." ( Id. ). On January 8, 2014, the Court ordered Plaintiff to "submit to Defendant the names and dates for depositions he wishes to take by January 10, 2014." (Dkt. 119). On January 17, 2014, the Court granted Defendant's motion for protective order related to Plaintiff's deposition notices in part, reiterating that discovery closes on February 28, 2014, and would not be extended. (Dkt. 124).

On January 21, 2014, Plaintiff filed an expedited motion to extend discovery, arguing that his efforts to conduct discovery have been thwarted by the "considerable amount of time and effort [he has] expended on discovery disputes." (Dkt. 125 at 5). He asserted that because of his pro se status and working at a job, he has not had "time to sort through Defendant's various answers to determine what additional information is needed." ( Id. at 6). Plaintiff also complained that Defendant "repeatedly cites res judicata as an objection, " requiring Plaintiff to file motions to compel. ( Id. ). On January 22, 2014, the Court granted Plaintiff's motion, allowing the parties an additional six weeks to complete discovery:

Discovery closes on April 15, 2014. No further extensions will be granted. The Court recognizes that Plaintiff is pro se and is, therefore, granting the extension. However, the Court is concerned that Plaintiff is focused on issues that have been litigated in previous cases and are not at issue here. Therefore, there will be no further extensions.

(Dkt. 127).

On February 19, 2014, Plaintiff filed another motion for extension of time to complete discovery. (Dkt. 144). In this motion, he stated that because he would not receive some discovery responses until March 1, he would be unable to prepare for depositions prior to the April 15 deadline. ( Id. at ¶ 2). Plaintiff also argued that he needed additional time because of Defendant's "delaying tactics [and] incomplete discovery answers." ( Id. at ¶ 3). On February 25, 2014, the Court denied Plaintiff's motion:

On January 7, 2014, this Court, at Plaintiff's request, extended discovery until April 15, 2014. This case was filed in September of 2010 and, the last time the parties appeared before this Court, not a single deposition had been completed. Plaintiff complains that the Court ordered
Defendant to produce certain discovery information, but gave Defendant until March 1, 2014 to do so. But that Order only concerned the Defendant's obligation to respond to Requests to Admit, which will have no impact on the course of the depositions in this case. The Court has repeatedly warned the parties that ...

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