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Beck v. American Honda Finance Corporation

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

April 17, 2014

TERESA M. BECK, Plaintiff,
v.
AMERICAN HONDA FINANCE CORPORATION d/b/a HONDA FINANCIAL SERVICES, Defendant,

OPINION

TOM SCHANZLE-HASKINS, Magistrate Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant American Honda Corporation's (Honda) Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to FRCP 37 and FRCP 30 (d/e 33) (Motion). For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is ALLOWED in part and DENIED in part.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Teresa Beck brings this case against Honda for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227, the Illinois Uniform Commercial Code, 810 ILCS 5/9-625, and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, 815 ILCS 505/2. Beck alleges that Honda violated these statutes in its efforts to collect on Beck's obligations under a retail installment contract for the purchase of a Honda Accord automobile (Accord), including the attempted repossession of the Accord in alleged breach of the peace. See Amended Complaint (d/e 16).

Beck filed this action on May 9, 2012. She was represented by counsel at that time. The parties were required to make initial disclosures under Rule 26(a) by October 7, 2012. Scheduling Order entered August 23, 2012 (d/e 12), ¶ 1; see Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a). Beck's counsel served her initial disclosures on October 5, 2012. Response to Motion for Sanctions (d/e 36) (Beck Response), attached Plaintiff's Initial Disclosures Pursuant to Rule 26(a)(1) (Rule 26 Disclosures). The initial disclosures must include,

a copy-or description by category and location-of all documents, electronically stored information, and tangible things that the disclosing party has in its possession, custody, or control and may use to support its claims or defenses, unless the use would be solely for impeachment;

Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(1)(A)(ii). In response to this requirement, Beck's Rule 26 Disclosures stated,

Ms. Beck is in possession of records of her cell phone usage documenting the times she spoke with Defendant as well as self-assembled records documenting the total number of their calls. She is also in possession of copies of the letters sent to Defendant demanding that they cease calling her phone.

Rule 26 Disclosures, at 1. Beck did not provide copies of any of the listed documents with the Rule 26 Disclosures.

On May 23, 2013, this Court allowed Beck's counsel to withdraw from this case. Text Order entered May 23, 2013. Beck secured extensions of time to find new counsel, but was unsuccessful. See Text Order entered August 2, 2013. Beck is now proceeding pro se.

On November 21, 2013, Honda served on Beck a Second Amended Fifth Notice of Discovery Deposition (Notice of Deposition). Motion, Exhibit A, Notice of Deposition. The Notice of Deposition stated that Beck would be deposed on December 16, 2013, in Springfield, Illinois. The Notice of Deposition further required Beck to bring the following documents to the deposition:

[Y]ou are also required to have present at the date, time and place stated all documents under the Plaintiff's possession or control which the Plaintiff intends to introduce at trial, and any and all other documents or tangible things in Plaintiff's possession or control which Plaintiff contends, in any way, is related to Plaintiff's claims against Defendant.

Notice of Deposition.

Beck appeared at the Deposition, but brought no documents or other tangible things with her. Counsel for Honda questioned Beck regarding the requested documents. During the colloquy, Beck stated that she did not bring any documents with her, and she did not know where any of her documents were. She stated that her husband put some her documents in storage in an empty building. She did not know the location of the building or the identity of the ...


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