United States District Court, D. Kansas
GARY L. ABRAHAM, Plaintiff,
HILTON WORLDWIDE, INC., et al., Defendants.
P. O'HARA U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
race discrimination case, defendant MH Hospitality, LLC
(“MH”) has filed a motion asking the court to
compel plaintiff to respond to discovery requests (ECF No.
157). The motion also seeks an award of MH's expenses
incurred as a result of bringing the motion, as allowed by
has filed a separate motion for an award of his fees incurred
in responding to MH's motion to compel (ECF No. 182).
plaintiff failed to timely assert initial objections to
interrogatories and requests for production of documents, and
because plaintiff failed to reassert objections to requests
for admission, the court grants MH's motion to compel and
awards MH its associated expenses. The court denies
plaintiff's motion for fees as frivolous.
August 17, 2018, MH served plaintiff with nineteen
interrogatories and fifteen requests for production of
documents. On August 22, 2018, MH sent plaintiff
forty-four requests for admissions.
the course of this litigation, plaintiff has continuously
sought to delay or avoid responding to this discovery.
Plaintiff requested-and was granted-three extensions to
respond. In granting the second extension, the
undersigned U.S. Magistrate Judge, James P. O'Hara,
warned plaintiff-both in person and in the Amended Scheduling
Order-that the court would grant no further extensions of
discovery deadlines “absent a strong showing of truly
extraordinary circumstances.” Less than a week later,
plaintiff filed a motion to stay discovery. On November 2,
2018, the undersigned denied the motion to stay discovery,
but granted plaintiff a third extension to November 16, 2018,
to respond. In granting the third extension, the
Discovery must proceed in this case so that the case may
advance toward the trial plaintiff requests. The court finds
no good cause, let alone extraordinary circumstances, that
would justify further delaying the pretrial proceedings. . .
. Plaintiff is hereby warned . . . that if he fails
to meet the November 16, 2018-discovery deadline set in this
order such that defendants find it necessary to file a motion
to compel, the court will favorably entertain a motion for
plaintiff to pay defendants' fees incurred in bringing
November 16, 2018, plaintiff filed a motion for the presiding
U.S. District Judge, Daniel D. Crabtree, to review the
undersigned's November 2, 2018 order denying his request
for a discovery stay. Significantly, plaintiff did not
file a motion to stay the directives in the undersigned's
order-including the directive that he respond to discovery by
November 16, 2018-pending a decision by Judge
Crabtree. Plaintiff did respond to MH's
requests for admission on that date,  but did not
meet the deadline for responding to the interrogatories and
requests for production of documents.
November 30, 2018, MH filed the instant motion to compel
plaintiff to answer outstanding discovery. Plaintiff
responded that he “was under the impression that he
could wait until after the pending motion for review [of the
order denying the discovery stay]” was decided before
answering the discovery. On December 6, 2018, Judge Crabtree
denied plaintiff's motion for review. Plaintiff
then served his responses and objections to MH's
interrogatories and requests for production of documents on
December 12, 2018. MH filed its reply brief on December 20,
2018. Acknowledging plaintiff's December
12, 2018 responses, the reply states the discovery disputes
have been narrowed to interrogatories numbered 2, 4-10, and
19; requests for production of documents numbered 1, and
3-15; and requests for admission numbered 5-10, 12-15, 25,
27, 28, 31-36, and 41-44.
Interrogatories and Requests for Production of
is no dispute that plaintiff failed to object to MH's
interrogatories and requests for production of documents by
the November 16, 2018 extended response-deadline set by the
court. The law is well established that “[i]f a
responding party fails to lodge timely objections to
discovery requests, those objections are deemed waived unless
the court excuses the failure for good
cause.” To demonstrate good cause, the
“party failing to assert timely objections must show it
could not have reasonably met the deadline to respond despite
does not explicitly assert he had good cause for his late
discovery responses and objections. But plaintiff has
asserted his belief that the filing of his motion for review
of the undersigned's order denying a discovery stay
permitted him to “wait” to respond. Construing
this argument broadly as an assertion of good cause, it is
rejected. “[I]gnorance of the rules . . . generally
does not constitute ‘good
cause.'” And as the court has previously stated,
plaintiff's pro se status does not excuse him from
following the procedural rules of the court.
the court finds plaintiff waived any objections to MH's
interrogatories and requests for production of documents.
Plaintiff must therefore answer this discovery without
further objection. Within fourteen days of this
order, plaintiff shall provide, without objection,
amended responses to interrogatories numbered 2, 4, 6-10, and
19; and to requests for production of documents numbered 1,
and 3-15. Plaintiff is hereby warned if he fails to abide by
this order, he may be subject to sanctions under Fed.R.Civ.P.
37(b)(2) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b), which could include
dismissal of this case.
Requests for Admission
did assert timely answers and objections to MH's requests
for admission. MH moved the court to overrule plaintiff's
objections to requests for admission numbered 5-10, 12-15,
25, 27, 28, 31-36, and 41-44, and to deem them admitted under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(a)(6). In response to the motion, plaintiff
did not directly reassert his objections, but only made the
general statement that he could not “completely
answer” the requests because defendants had not
provided him certain discovery.
a party files a motion to compel and asks the Court to
overrule certain objections, the objecting party must
specifically show in its response to the motion how
each request [for admission] is
objectionable.” Objections initially raised in
response to a request but not relied ...