United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
N. Parrish District Judge
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER RE: DEFENDANTS'
MOTION TO DISMISS
M. WARNER United States Magistrate Judge.
Judge Jill N. Parrish referred this matter to Magistrate
Judge Paul M. Warner pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A). Before the court is Dixie Freight Systems,
Inc., et al.'s (collectively, “Defendants”)
motion to dismiss,  which has been referred to this court
under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). While Defendants' motion
is captioned as a motion to dismiss, this court will treat it
as a motion for sanctions under Rule 37 of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37.
court has carefully reviewed the motion and memoranda
submitted by the parties. Pursuant to Civil Rule 7-1(f) of
the United States District Court for the District of Utah
Rules of Practice, the court elects to determine the motion
on the basis of the written memoranda and finds oral argument
would not be helpful and is unnecessary. See DUCivR
their motion for sanctions, Defendants seek dismissal of
Christopher Witt's (“Plaintiff”) complaint in
its entirety or, in the alternative, that (1) Plaintiff's
responses to Defendants' second request for admissions be
stricken and the assertions be deemed admitted; (2) the fact
discovery deadline be extended by 90 days and the dispositive
motion deadline be extended an additional 90 days after
receipt of complete discovery responses-both extensions for
Defendants only; and (3) Plaintiff be required to pay
Defendants' costs, expenses, and attorney fees incurred
in filing the instant motion. In response, Plaintiff agreed
to extend the discovery deadline for Defendants for 90 days,
but contends that the dispositive motion deadline should only
be extended for 30 days, rather than the 90 days sought by
order dated October 5, 2016, the court instructed the parties
to provide supplemental briefing regarding the instant
motion; Plaintiff was ordered to explain in detail its
failure to timely respond to Defendants' discovery
requests, and Defendants were ordered to explain in detail
efforts made to meet and confer with Plaintiff's counsel
prior to filing the instant motion.
December 2015 and August 2016, Defendants made efforts to
obtain discovery materials from Plaintiff in this matter.
Defendants sent an email to Plaintiff's counsel on June
10, 2016, but received no response. On June 15, 2016,
Defendant served Plaintiff with another set of
interrogatories, as well as a second request for admissions.
In response to the interrogatories, Plaintiff referred
Defendants to Plaintiff's medical records rather than
directly answering them. Additionally, Plaintiff provided no
response to Defendants' second request for admissions
until August 1, 2016, which was 47 days after Defendants'
second request for admissions was served.
was deposed on August 4, 2016. Plaintiff's counsel
arrived at the deposition with a large workers'
compensation file containing potentially relevant information
regarding Plaintiff's prior injuries. Plaintiff had not
previously produced this discovery to Defendants.
Plaintiff's counsel maintains that his failure to produce
the workers' compensation file prior to Plaintiff's
deposition was merely an oversight; the file was
“erroneously omitted in the production” of
opposition to Defendants' instant motion, Plaintiff
contends that Defendants did not make sufficient efforts to
meet and confer prior to filing their motion. However, it
appears that Plaintiff's counsel simply ignored
Defendants' attempts to communicate regarding discovery
matters. It was only after Plaintiff had failed to
produce discovery, ignored Defendants' attempts to
communicate, and provided insufficient answers to
interrogatories, did Defendants file the instant motion.
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that if a
party fails to provide information or serve answers to
interrogatories, the court may issue the following sanctions:
(i) directing that the matters embraced in the order or other
designated facts be taken as established for purposes of the
action, as the prevailing party claims;
(ii) prohibiting the disobedient party from supporting or
opposing designated claims or defenses, or from introducing
designated matters in evidence;
(iii) striking pleadings in whole or in part;
(iv) staying further proceedings until the order ...