Court Rejects Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Discovery: Court Says Defendant’s Discovery Complete

1 Dec 2017

Follow our blog to learn more about ESIIn Pothen v. Stony Brook Univ., No. cv-13-6170 (E.D.N.Y. Sep. 8, 2017), Plaintiff filed multiple motions to compel discovery in a Title VII employment discrimination case.

Stephen Pothen (“Plaintiff”) filed this action against the State University of New York at Stony Brook (“Defendant”) on November 7, 2013, alleging violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, (“Title VII”) by discriminating and retaliating against him based upon his race, national origin, color, and religion.

During the February 2, 2017 discovery conference, Plaintiff raised several discovery disputes, Defendant responded, and the Court made several rulings. On April 21, 2017, the Court extended discovery until September 15, 2017, and advised parties that they must take the first step in dispositive motion practice no later than October 15, 2017.

As parties could not reach an agreement in forming a status letter, the Defendant submitted two individual status letters. Plaintiff also submitted his letter to the Court. In its letter, Defendant confirmed that Plaintiff’s deposition was complete, and advised the Court that Plaintiff had informed Defendant that he would not be conducting any depositions. Defendant, therefore, stated its belief that discovery was complete and asked the Court to leave the April 21, 2017 scheduling order unchanged. In sharp contrast, Plaintiff’s letter states that “disclosure is never complete,” and listed twenty-two requests that Plaintiff believes Defendant must answer.

The Court construes Plaintiff’s status letter to be a motion to compel. Many of the requests made by Plaintiff are substantially similar to his previous requests, which this Court has already addressed. As those orders directed Defendant to provide Plaintiff with certain information, this Court directed Defendant to respond to Plaintiff’s letter, and specifically set forth whether Defendant has complied with this Court’s previous directives.

The Court says the scope of discovery is set forth in Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The amendments have been aimed at striking the proper balance between the need for evidence, and the avoidance of undue burden or expense.

Looking at the obligations of proportionality, the Court denies Plaintiff’s requests regarding other employees. The Court denies Plaintiff’s request for information regarding denial of overtime. The Court denies Plaintiff’s request for information regarding denial of promotion. The Court denies Plaintiff’s requests for information regarding complaints of adverse treatment. The Court denies Plaintiff’s request for information regarding police reports. The Court denies Plaintiff’s request for information regarding OSHA complaints. This Court finds that the instant requests have been previously addressed.

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel is denied. Discovery shall close on September 15, 2017.

ILS–Plaintiff ESI Discovery Experts