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Corinthian Court Holdings, LLC v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Eastern Division

January 17, 2017

CORINTHIAN COURT HOLDINGS, LLC PLAINTIFF
v.
STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY DEFENDANT

          ORDER

          MICHAEL T. PARKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to Compel [48], Defendant's Motion to Quash [51], and the parties' Joint Motion for Extension of Time to Complete Discovery [59]. Having considered the parties' submissions, the record, and the applicable law, the Court finds that the Motions [48] [51] [59] should be DENIED.

         On August 28, 2015, Plaintiff filed this action asserting breach of contract, bad faith, and other claims against Defendant State Farm Fire and Casualty Company arising from Defendant's denial of Plaintiff's claim for insurance proceeds relating to property damage allegedly caused by Hurricane Isaac on August 29, 2012.[1] On December 21, 2015, the Court entered a Case Management Order [8], setting the discovery deadline as August 1, 2016. On January 22, 2016, Defendant served its first set of interrogatories and first set of requests for production. See Notices [10] [11]. On February 3, 2016, Plaintiff served its first set of interrogatories and first set of requests for production. See Discovery Requests [48-3] [48-4].[2]

         On February 10, 2016, Plaintiff filed another action against Defendant, Civil Action No. 2:16-cv-18-KS-MTP, asserting breach of contract, bad faith, and other claims arising from Defendant's denial of Plaintiff's claim for insurance proceeds relating to property damage allegedly caused by a tornado on February 10, 2013.[3] On May 25, 2016, the Court entered a Case Management Order [5], setting the discovery deadline as January 10, 2017.

         On April 15, 2016, Defendant responded to Plaintiff's discovery requests in the Hurricane Case. See Notices [12] [13]. On April 27, 2016, Defendant filed an unopposed Motion for Extension of Time to Complete Discovery [14] in the Hurricane Case. That same day, the Court denied the Motion [14] pointing out that “Defendant provides no explanation why the parties would be unable to complete discovery during the more than three months remaining in the discovery period.” See Order [15].

         On July 29, 2016, Plaintiff served its first set of interrogatories and first set of requests for production in the Tornado Case. See Discovery Requests [48-7] [48-8]. On September 6, 2016, Defendant served its first set of interrogatories and first set of requests for production in the Tornado Case. See No. 2:16-cv-18-KS-MTP, Notices [8] [9].

         On September 13, 2016, the Court entered an Order [19] consolidating the Hurricane Case and the Tornado Case. The Court replaced the deadlines in the Hurricane Case with those governing the Tornado Case. Thus, the Court set the discovery deadline as January 10, 2017. See Amended Case Management Order [21].

         On September 28, 2016, Defendant responded to Plaintiff's discovery requests from the Tornado Case. See Notices [22] [23]. Unsatisfied with Defendant's discovery responses from both the Tornado and Hurricane Cases, Plaintiff sent two letters to Defendant on December 2, 2016, and December 8, 2016, discussing its concerns. See Certificate [48-1]. On December 14 and December 19, 2016, the parties conferred regarding their discovery disputes, but the parties were unable to resolve the disputes.

         On December 29, 2016, Plaintiff filed its Motion to Compel [48], seeking an order from the Court compelling Defendant to completely respond to Interrogatory Nos. 3, 5, 8, and 15 and Requests for Production Nos. 4, 5, 6, 12, 22, and 25 from both the Tornado and Hurricane Cases. Plaintiff further requests that the Court compel Defendant to provide available dates for the depositions of Walter Vierman, Freddie Roberts, and Defendant's 30(b)(6) representative.[4]Finally, the Plaintiff requests that the Court extend the discovery deadline by thirty days to allow it to take these depositions.

         On January 9, 2017, the parties filed their Joint Motion for Extension of Time to Complete Discovery [59]. In this Motion [59], the parties request that the Court extend the discovery deadline by thirty days to allow the parties time to complete depositions. The parties also request that the Court extend the motions deadline by thirty days.[5]

         Motion to Compel [48]

         As previously mentioned, Plaintiff filed its Motion to Compel [48] on December 29, 2016. Local Rule 7(b)(2)(C) dictates that “[a] party must file a discovery motion sufficiently in advance of the discovery deadline to allow response to the motion, ruling by the court and time to effectuate the court's order before the discovery deadline.” The discovery deadline in this action, as extended by the Court, ran on January 10, 2016. See Amended Case Management Order [21]. Thus, Plaintiff filed its Motion to Compel twelve days prior to the discovery deadline.

         In the Hurricane Case, Plaintiff served its first set of interrogatories and first set of requests for production on February 3, 2016. See Discovery Requests [48-3] [48-4]. Plaintiff received Defendant's responses on April 15, 2016. See Notices [12] [13]. In the Tornado Case, the Case Management Order [5] was entered on May 2, 2016, but Plaintiff waited until July 29, 2016, to serve its first set of interrogatories and first set of requests for production. See Discovery Requests [48-7] [48-8]. Plaintiff received Defendant's responses on September 28, 2016. See Notices [22] [23].

         Plaintiff had a duty to expeditiously follow-up on discovery requests and timely move to compel when necessary. Plaintiff argues that Defendant's discovery responses were served beyond the response deadlines. Plaintiff also states that it made multiple good faith attempts to ...


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