United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
CAMERON MCGOWAN CURRIE Senior United States District Judge.
matter is before the court on Plaintiff's “Notice
of Objections/Appeal of Magistrate Judge's 31 May 2019
Docket Text Orders Dismissing Plaintiff' Motions to
Compel Discovery and Sanction Defendants.” ECF No. 210.
Defendants have not filed a reply. For the reasons below, the
Magistrate Judge's ruling is affirmed.
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule 73.02
(B)(2)(e), DSC, this matter was referred to United States
Magistrate Judge Paige J. Gossett for pretrial matters.
During the course of proceedings in this matter, Plaintiff
filed a motion to compel discovery, arguing Defendants'
responses to his Requests for Production were “overly
evasive and incomplete, ” and that Defendants failed to
respond to his First Set of Interrogatories. ECF No. 157. He
requests “Defendants be sanctioned individually for the
herein referenced actions.” Id. at 2.
Plaintiff also a “supplement” to his motion to
compel discovery and for sanctions. ECF No. 184. This
supplement essentially restates the grounds in his original
motion, but includes more recently filed discovery Plaintiff
alleges Defendants also have not addressed. Defendants did
not respond to either the motion to compel or the supplement.
The Magistrate Judge denied the motions (among others) by
text order on May 31, 2019:
DOCKET TEXT ORDER dismissing as moot in light of the
court's Second Amended Scheduling Order: Plaintiff's
motion to compel and for sanctions (ECF No. 157),
Plaintiff's motion to stay (ECF No. 176), Plaintiff's
motion to supplement his motion to compel and for sanctions
(ECF No. 184), Defendants' motion for extension of time
(ECF No. 186), Plaintiff's motion to supplement his
motion to compel and for sanctions (ECF No. 192). The court
observes without deciding that Plaintiff's motion to
compel appears to be untimely pursuant to Local Civil Rule
37.01(A) (D.S.C.) and the scheduling order in this case and
does not fully comply with Local Civil Rule 7.04 (D.S.C.). In
light of the Second Amended Scheduling Order, Plaintiff may
re-serve any discovery requests in accordance with the
extended deadline, if he so elects. Entered at the direction
of Magistrate Judge Paige J. Gossett on 5/31/2019. (kkus, )
objections to/appeal of the Magistrate Judge's Order were
filed on June 13, 2019. ECF No. 210. He requests the court
compel Defendants to “turn over all of the discovery
that Plaintiff requested, and sanction the Defendants and
their Counsels of Record for their flagrant abuses of the
Discovery Process.” Id. at 1. He argues
Defendants' assertion they are “not in
possession” of many of the documents requested is
“without merit and was obviously some type of stalling
tactic.” Id. He also notes Defendants said
they would supplement but have failed to do so. Regarding his
interrogatories, he argues Defendants have failed to respond.
He also contends Judge Gossett ordered Defendants to respond
to a discovery request in November 2018, yet they have failed
to do so. Id. at 2. He notes he has received no
response after serving his Second Set of Requests for
Production, Second Set of Interrogatories, and First Set of
Requests for Admission in March and April of 2019.
Id. He requests “judgment of default”
against Defendants in each of his cases, as he has been
prejudiced and unable to prepare his cases adequately.
When a pretrial matter not dispositive of a party's claim
or defense is referred to a magistrate judge to hear and
decide, the Magistrate Judge must promptly conduct the
required proceedings and, when appropriate, issue a written
order stating the decision. A party may serve and file
objections to the order within 14 days after being served
with a copy. . . . The district judge in the case must
consider timely objections . . .
Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a).
respect to a Magistrate Judge's ruling on a
nondispositive pretrial matter, a district court shall
“modify or set aside any portion of the
magistrate's order found to be clearly erroneous or
contrary to law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a); see also
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) (“A judge of the court
may reconsider any [nondispositive] pretrial matter . . .
where it has been shown that the magistrate's order is
clearly erroneous or contrary to law.”). The Supreme
Court has stated that a finding is “clearly
erroneous” when, “although there is evidence to
support it, the reviewing court on the entire evidence is
left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has
been committed.” United States v. U.S. Gypsum
Co., 333 U.S. 364, 394 (1948).
court agrees with the Magistrate Judge Plaintiff's
motions to compel and for sanctions were properly dismissed
in light of the court's Second Amended Scheduling Order,
and that no sanctions should be imposed for these alleged
discovery violations. It does not appear Plaintiff's
motions to compel were timely filed within 21 days after the
response was due, as required by Local Rule 37.01. Plaintiff
is now allowed to re-serve his previous discovery requests,
if he so chooses, and can file a renewed motion to compel
within 21 days of the response deadline if Defendants fail to
answer, fail to supplement, or answer incompletely.
Defendants are put on notice they cannot simply ignore
discovery requests by Plaintiff, including the requirement to
supplement previous requests. However, the court notes this
order does not restrict Defendants' ability to propound
specific objections to the discovery requests served by
Plaintiff. Based on the Second Amended Scheduling
Order currently in place, discovery requests would need to be
served no later than August 24, 2019, to allow 30 days for
response before the discovery deadline expires.See ECF