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Equities v. The Taco Maker, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Utah, Northern Division

May 3, 2017

BRENTWOOD EQUITIES, Plaintiff,
v.
THE TACO MAKER, INC., Defendant.

          Robert J. Shelby District Court Judge

          MEMORANDUM DECISION & RULING

          Dustin B. Pead U.S. Magistrate Judge, District of Utah.

         INTRODUCTION

         This case is currently before Magistrate Judge Dustin Pead pursuant to a 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1)(A) referral from District Court Judge Robert Shelby. (Dkt. No. 35.)

         Currently pending is Plaintiff Brentwood Equities' (Plaintiff or Brentwood) Motion to Order Defendant to File Response (Dkt. No. 134) and its Motion for Sanctions. (Dkt. No. 150.) Also pending is Defendant Taco Maker's (Defendant or Taco Maker) Amended Motion for Sanctions. (Dkt. No. 148.)

         BACKGROUND

         The background of this case is familiar to the parties. As a result, the court addresses only those facts relevant to the pending motions. On July 7, 2015, Brentwood produced former property manager Jill Packham (Packham) for its 30(b)(6) deposition. (Dkt. No. 120-1.) At the deposition, Packham indicated she was unable to testify on mitigation or events occurring after February 11, 2015. Instead, Packham identified Sanford Sugar (Sugar) as an appropriate witness on those issues. (Dkt. No. 148-2, 54:1-25, 45:1-25.)

         After the deposition, Taco Maker filed its motion to compel a second deponent to complete Brentwood's 30(b)(6) deposition. (Dkt. No. 120.) The court granted the motion, awarding Defendant an additional four hours to depose Sugar. (Dkt. No. 129.) Sugar's deposition was taken on December 10, 2016. (Dkt. No. 148-1.)

         On February 1, 2017, Brentwood filed a motion (Dkt No. 134) requesting the court order Taco Maker to file a response to its motion for summary judgment as filed on January 13, 2016. (Dkt. No. 96.) Taco Maker opposed the motion asserting a resolution of alleged discovery violations was necessary before addressing any dispositive matters. (Dkt. No. 136.)

         Shortly thereafter, Taco Maker submitted its motion to file an over-length motion for sanctions. (Dkt. No. 140.) The court granted Defendant's motion and issued an Order limiting all briefing to ten pages. (Dkt. No. 144.) On February 26, 2017, four days after the court issued its Order, Taco Maker filed a thirty-three page motion for sanctions against Brentwood for failing to produce a knowledgeable 30(b)(6) witness. (Dkt. No. 145.) Plaintiff filed an opposition to the motion and objected to the merits of Defendant's claims along with the length of the brief. (Dkt. No. 146.)

         On March 20, 2017, Taco Maker withdrew its over-length motion (Dkt. No. 147), and filed a ten page amended motion for sanctions. (Dkt. No. 148.) Plaintiff filed an opposition to Defendant's amended motion (Dkt. No. 151), along with its own motion for sanctions seeking costs and fees incurred in preparing an opposition to Taco Maker's withdrawn motion. (Dkt. No. 150.)

         PENDING MOTIONS

         I. Taco Maker's Amended Motion For Sanctions

         Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 30 and 37, Taco Maker moves the court for dismissal of the case based upon Brentwood's: (1) failure to provide a knowledgeable 30(b)(6) deponent; (2) presentation of a witness who provided false testimony; and (3) improper redirection of questions between witnesses. Each of Taco Maker's claims are addressed herein.

         Sugar Was An Appropriate ...


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