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Pittman v. City of Mount Sterling

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois

February 9, 2018

LYNDSEY J. PITTMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF MOUNT STERLING, ILLINOIS and CHASE FOX, individually and in his capacity as police officer with City of Mount Sterling, Illinois Police Department, Defendants.

          OPINION

          TOM SCHANZLE-HASKINS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Chase Fox's Motion to Compel Plaintiff to Provide More Complete Responses to Written Discovery, to Compel Plaintiff to be Produced For Deposition, to Bar Plaintiff From Calling Any Non-Disclosed Witnesses, and to Extend Deadline for Defendants to Disclose Expert Witnesses (d/e 24) (Motion). The Motion is ALLOWED.

         This is Defendant Fox's second motion to compel. Defendant Fox filed a prior Motion to Compel which the Plaintiff did not oppose, and which the Court allowed. Unopposed Motion to Compel Plaintiff to Answer Outstanding Written Discovery by October 30, 2017 (d/e 20); Text Order entered October 27, 2017. Plaintiff did not oppose the prior motion and does not oppose this Motion.

         Plaintiff's counsel explained the failure to comply with this Court's Scheduling Order (d/e 15), Text Order entered October 27, 2017, and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as follows:

         Plaintiff and her counsel have not intentionally delayed in furnishing the foregoing information. Rather, of no fault of Plaintiff or any of the Defendants, Plaintiff's counsel has had unexpected professional obligations arise, in addition to the regular demands of practicing law which each attorney faces. Plaintiff's counsel, upon short notice, learned of an opening for public office (Circuit Judge), for which Plaintiff's counsel has been faced with deadlines and demands related thereto. Plaintiff's counsel understands his obligations to his client, opposing counsel, and this Court. Plaintiff's counsel determined it would not be practical or in Plaintiff's interest for Plaintiff's counsel to seek leave to withdraw from this matter, which may have necessitated further delay.

Plaintiff Lyndsey J. Pittman's Response to Defendant Chase Fox's Motion to Compel Plaintiff to Provide More Complete Responses to Written Discovery, to Compel Plaintiff to be Produced for Deposition, to Bar Plaintiff From Calling Any Non-Disclosed Witnesses, and to Extend Deadline for Defendants to Disclose Expert Witnesses (d/e 26) (Response), at 2.

         Plaintiff states that she has supplemented her discovery responses and her Rule 26 disclosures, copies of which are attached to her Response. She lists no expert witnesses in her Rule 26 supplemental disclosures attached to the response. She, therefore, may not call any expert witnesses. She lists the physician that treated her at the emergency room, Dr. Jennifer Sharp, M.D., as a fact witness, not an expert witness. See Response, attached Rule 26 Disclosures. The parties can address the scope of her fact testimony with the District Court prior to trial.

         Plaintiff also states that she will make herself and her mother Dianne Sargent available for depositions in the next 45 days after February 7, 2018, the filing date of the Response. By the Court's calculation, 45 days after February 7, 2018 is March 24, 2018. Plaintiff and her mother should make themselves available sooner than March 24, 2018. The Court directs that Plaintiff make herself available, and cause her mother to be available, on or before March 9, 2018 to be deposed. Because more time was granted to appear at a deposition than requested by Defendant Fox, the Court will also extend the Defendants' deadline to disclose expert witnesses to April 2, 2018 rather than the requested date of March 19, 2018.

         The Court hereby allows Defendant Fox's second motion to compel.

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states,

If the motion [to compel] is granted--or if the disclosure or requested discovery is provided after the motion was filed--the court must, after giving an opportunity to be heard, require the party . . . whose conduct necessitated the motion, the . . . attorney advising that conduct, or both to pay the movant's reasonable expenses incurred in making the motion, including attorney's fees. But the court must not order this payment if:
(i) the movant filed the motion before attempting in good faith to obtain the disclosure or discovery without court action;
(ii) the opposing party's nondisclosure, response, or objection was substantially ...

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