United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division
Johnny Timpson, by and through his, Conservator, Sandra Timpson, and Sandra Timpson, in her individual capacity, Plaintiff,
Henry McMaster, et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
C. COGGINS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court upon Plaintiffs' Motion to
Reconsider. ECF No. 325. In light of the impending trial
date, the Court finds that responses are unnecessary and
rules as follows.
case was filed in the Court of Common Pleas for the County of
Greenville, South Carolina on February 19, 2016. ECF No. 1-1.
On April 15, 2016, Defendants filed a Notice of Removal. ECF
No. 1. The first Scheduling Order was entered on April 25,
2016 and set forth the following deadline:
No later than January 17, 2017 the
parties shall file and exchange Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(3)
pretrial disclosures. Within fourteen (14) days thereafter, a
party shall file and exchange Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(3)
objections, any objections to use of a deposition designated
by another party and any deposition counter-designations
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 32(a)(6).
20 (emphasis in original). On June 1, 2016, the Court entered
an Amended Scheduling Order moving this deadline to March 17,
2017. ECF No. 36. On September 21, 2016, the Court entered a
Second Amended Scheduling Order moving this deadline to April
17, 2017. ECF No. 59. On March 13, 2017, the Court entered a
Third Amended Scheduling Order moving this deadline to 90
days from the date of the Court's ruling on dispositive
motions. ECF No. 103. On September 13, 2017, the Court
entered a Fourth Amended Scheduling Order moving this
deadline to April 23, 2018. ECF No. 124. On July 9, 2018, the
Court entered a Fifth Amended Scheduling Order moving this
deadline to February 28, 2019. ECF No. 183. On January 29,
2019, the Court entered a Sixth Amended Scheduling Order
moving this deadline to 30 days from the date of the
Court's rulings on any remaining dispositive motions. ECF
No. 248. On March 14, 2019, the Court held a hearing and
ruled on all outstanding dispositive motions, making the
final deadline to file Rule 26(a)(3) Disclosures Monday,
April 15, 2019.
April 3, 2019, the parties filed a Consent Motion for
Extension of Time seeking to move the deadline to April 16,
2019. ECF No. 284. On April 4, 2019, the Court entered a Text
Order granting the parties' request to move the deadline
to April 16, 2019. ECF No. 285. On April 12, 2019, the Court
held a hearing on pretrial motions. ECF No. 293. During the
hearing, at the urging of the parties, the Court again moved
the deadline to file Rule 26(a)(3) Disclosures to April 19,
2019. ECF No. 294. In accordance with the final deadline,
Defendants Thrive Upstate, Anderson County Disabilities and
Special Needs Board, and Dale Thompson filed their Rule
26(a)(3) Disclosures on April 18, 2019. ECF No. 301, 306. The
remaining Defendants filed their Rule 26(a)(3) Disclosures on
April 19, 2019. ECF Nos. 310, 311, 314. Plaintiffs did not
file their Rule 26(a)(3) Disclosures.
April 21, 2019, Chambers contacted the parties by email
inquiring about the status of Plaintiffs' Rule 26(a)(3)
Disclosures. In response, Plaintiffs emailed a copy of their
Local Rule 26.05 Pretrial Brief, which had already been
submitted in a timely fashion. Chambers again emailed
counsel, explaining that Rule 26(a)(3) Disclosures are a
distinct document from Pretrial Briefs. On April 22, 2019,
the Court held Jury Selection and a Pretrial Conference and
directed Plaintiffs to file their Rule 26(a)(3) Disclosures,
including deposition designations, by midnight.
Plaintiffs' counsel expressed an understanding of this
deadline during the hearing.
11:57 p.m. on April 22, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for
Reconsideration, in which they state: "Plaintiffs were
ordered at 3:44 this afternoon to produce by midnight
excerpts from depositions that may be read at trial."
ECF No. 325 at 1. In the remainder of the Motion, Plaintiffs
outline the parameters of Rule 32, which sets forth the
procedures for using depositions in court proceedings.
Id. Concluding their Motion, Plaintiffs
"respectfully request[ed] that the Court will reconsider
its order requiring Plaintiffs to produce deposition excerpts
by midnight on the same day of the order." Id.
forth above, Scheduling Orders have been in effect in this
case for nearly three years requiring all parties to file
Rule 26(a)(3) Disclosures. Rule 26(a)(3) requires:
(i) the name and, if not previously provided, the address and
telephone number of each witness-separately identifying those
the party expects to present and those it may call if the
(ii) the designation of those witnesses whose testimony
the party expects to present by deposition and, if not taken
stenographically, a transcript of the pertinent parts of the
(iii) an identification of each document or other exhibit,
including summaries of other evidence-separately identifying
those items the party expects to offer and those it may offer
if the need arises.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(3) (emphasis added). The plain language
of this Rule requires parties to designate the deposition
testimony that it intends to offer at trial so that opposing
parties may file objections and counter-designations of
deposition testimony. See, e.g., Fed. R. Civ. P.
26(a)(3)(B) (outlining the process for filing objections to
the use of depositions). This is standard practice in federal
court, and the parties in recent trials before this Court
have complied with Rule 26(a)(3) without any difficulty.
See, e.g., W.S. v. Daniels, No. 8:16-cv-01032-DCC,
at ECF No. 201 (D.S.C. Feb. 11, 2019) (containing
Defendants' designation of deposition excerpts intended
for use at trial). Moreover, Defendants in this case have
complied with the Rule as well. See ECF Nos. 314,
314-1 (setting forth a designation of Anthony Keck's
deposition and attaching a copy of the pertinent excerpt).
Plaintiffs have had ample notice and opportunity to prepare,
serve, and file designations of the deposition testimony they
intend to use at trial. The Court has endeavored to extend
courtesies to all parties in this case in the spirit of
fairness and in light of the complexity of this case.
However, Plaintiffs initiated this lawsuit and have the
responsibility to comply with the rules. Therefore, 
Plaintiffs' Motion to Reconsider is DENIED.
Plaintiffs are directed to file their Rule 26(a)(3)
Disclosures, with proper deposition designations, by 11:59
p.m. on April 23, 2019. NO EXTENSIONS WILL BE GRANTED
UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. The Court realizes this puts the
Defendants at a significant disadvantage in terms of filing
objections and counter-designations. Therefore, the Court
will extend Defendants' deadline to file objections and
counter-designations of deposition testimony until 11:59 p.m.
on April 30, 2019. Defendants' deadline to file any other
objections pursuant to ...