Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Niblack v. Miglio

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

April 28, 2017

Niblack
v.
Miglio, et al., D.E. 47, 48

          LETTER OPINION-ORDER

          STEVEN C. MANNION, United States Magistrate Judge

         Dear Litigants:

         Before this Court is pro se Plaintiff Stanley L. Niblack's (“Mr. Niblack”) request for leave to compel discovery[1] and Defendants DHO Christy Ralph (“Ms. Ralph”) and Alexander Solanik's (“Mr. Solanik”) request that the Court accept written deposition responses in lieu of interrogatory responses.[2] The Court has reviewed the parties' submissions and decides this issue without oral argument. For the reasons set forth below, Mr. Niblack's request for leave to compel discovery is denied without prejudice[3] and Defendants Ralph and Solanik's request that the Court accept written deposition responses is also denied.[4]

         DISCUSSION

         I. The Controlling Scheduling Order

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure must be construed by the Court and the parties to secure “the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding.”[5] A Court's pretrial order “controls the course of the action unless the court modifies it.”[6] The Court maintains control over the schedule to expedite disposition of the action and to discourage wasteful pretrial activities.[7] Discovery disputes are therefore handled informally as prescribed by the Scheduling Order.

         The Court set forth the protocol for informally raising discovery disputes in its Initial Scheduling Order which provided:

Counsel shall confer in a good faith attempt to informally resolve any and all discovery disputes before seeking the Court's intervention. Should informal efforts fail to resolve the dispute, the matter shall be brought to the Court's attention via a joint letter that sets forth: (a) the specific discovery requested; (b) the response; (c) efforts to resolve the dispute; (d) why the complaining party believes the information is relevant and why the responding party's response continues to be deficient; including citations to appropriate caselaw; and (e) why the responding party believe the response is sufficient.[8]

         It further provided that “[f]ailure by any party to meet and confer in good faith, or to participate in the joint-letter protocol described above, absent good cause, will result in the Court deeming that party to have waived its right to take any position on the discovery issue(s) in dispute.”[9]

         The Amended Scheduling Order reiterates the same. It provides:

2. No discovery motion or motion for sanctions for failure to provide discovery shall be made without prior leave of Court. Should any informal efforts fail, the dispute shall immediately be brought to the Magistrate Judge's attention via dispute letter(s) filed on ECF not to exceed 4 pages that attaches or sets forth: (a) the request; (b) the response; (c) efforts to resolve the dispute; (d) why the complaining party believes the information is relevant and why the responding party's response continues to be deficient; and (e) why the responding party believe the response is sufficient. Courtesy copies of exhibits should be mailed to chambers. If the dispute is complex and requires the filing of briefs and affidavits, counsel may separately file and mail same. No further submissions regarding the dispute may be submitted without leave of Court.[10]

         II. Noncompliance with Discovery Dispute Protocol

         Mr. Niblack has written numerous letters complaining of discovery deficiencies following the Court's March 8 Letter Order requiring Defendants Anna Miglio, James McDonnell, James Hunsicker, Jonathon Henson, Ms. Ralph, and Mr. Solanik (hereinafter “State Defendants”) to provide copies of their respective interrogatory responses within fourteen days.[11] Interrogatory responses for Ms. Miglio, Mr. McDonnell, Mr. Hunsicker, and Mr. Henson, were provided by letter dated January 6, 2017.[12] On March 7, 2017, Ms. Ralph, Mr. Solanik, and Mr. Henson delivered responses to written deposition questions, and on March 10, 2017, Ms. Miglio, Mr. McDonnell, and Mr. Hunsicker provided the same.[13] Ms. Ralph and Mr. Solanik deny receiving interrogatory requests and ask that their deposition responses be accepted in lieu of interrogatory responses.[14] Mr. Niblack objects.[15] In the same letter, he acknowledges receipt of the State Defendants' discovery responses filed with the Court.[16]

         After review of Mr. Niblack's numerous letters complaining of discovery deficiencies, the Court denies his request for leave to file a motion to compel without prejudice. Mr. Niblack failed to abide by the Court's discovery dispute protocol set forth in the Initial and Amended Scheduling Orders. Instead, he wrote several letters complaining of untimely or non-existent responses to his discovery requests.[17] For example, on March 13, 2017, Mr. Niblack wrote that although he served the State Defendants with written deposition questions prior to January 31, 2017, he had not received ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.