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Robinson v. Bridgewater Owners Association, Inc.

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

August 8, 2017

ABBY ROBINSON, INDIVIDUALLY AND D/B/A NEW ENGLAND CONTRACTORS, LLC PLAINTIFF
v.
BRIDGEWATER OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC., MIKE ROSENTHAL AND JOHN / JANE DOES 1-5 DEFENDANTS

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO COMPEL, GRANTING MOTION TO EXTEND DISCOVERY DEADLINE, AND AMENDING CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER

         Before the Court are two motions: (1) Defendants Bridgewater Owners Association, Inc. (“BOA”) and Mike Rosenthal's Motion to Compel certain interrogatory responses from Plaintiff Abby Robinson [24], and (2) Robinson's Motion to Extend Discovery Deadline and Trial Date [42]. Having considered the motions and responses, the Court finds that both motions are well-taken and should be granted.

         Facts and Procedural History

         This case concerns a disagreement between Defendants and Plaintiff regarding whether the house Robinson built in the Bridgewater Subdivision of Madison County, Mississippi, met with the Bridgewater Subdivision's covenants and BOA's building and architectural requirements. See [1] at 3; [28] at 2. Robinson claims that the house she constructed through her company, New England Contractors, LLC., was fully approved by Rosenthal, Bridgewater's Architectural Review Coordinator, prior to construction. See [1] at 3. She claims that despite having approval of both the original plans and subsequent modifications to those plans, Defendants “harrasse[d], intimidated and/or otherwise prevented [her] from the quiet enjoyment of her property” and discriminated against her on account of her race and gender. Id. at 4-5. The underlying dispute between BOA and Robinson is the subject of ongoing litigation in the Chancery Court of Madison County, Mississippi.[1] See [28] at 2.

         Bridgewater's Motion to Compel

         Defendants served interrogatories on Robinson on January 19, 2017. [12]. Defendants now move to compel Robinson to give more complete answers to two interrogatories.[2] At issue are the following interrogatories and responses:

Interrogatory No. 1: Please state the addresses of all homes in which you have lived after the age of 25, and the addresses of all homes constructed by you or any construction company in which you owned an ownership interest.
Response: Objection. This Interrogatory seeks information that is not relevant to any party's claim or defense and not proportional to the needs of the case. Plaintiffs further object because this interrogatory is not important in resolving the issues and is calculated to annoy, embarrass and harass.
Supplemental Response: Without waiving the previous objections, Plaintiff Abby Robinson states she has built the houses at 100 Bridgewater Crossing and a house at 301 Buckingham Place, Ridgeland, Mississippi 39157.
Interrogatory No. 18: With regard to those aspects or components of your home which differ from the plans, specifications, and other documents which you submitted to BOA, as described in your answer to the preceding Interrogatory, please identify by address all other homes within the Bridgewater Subdivision under the jurisdiction of BOA which you contend have the same materials or components as installed in your home.
Response: Please see Plaintiff's Response to Interrogatory No. 18.
Supplemental Response: Objection. This Interrogatory is confusing as it references the preceding Interrogatory but fails to use the preceding Interrogatory's conjunctive (“and”) language, resulting in a materially different question. Without waiving said objection, please see Plaintiffs' deposition testimony referencing specific addresses of homes. Further, Plaintiffs will supplement, again, in writing, the addresses which have the same materials or components as installed at 100 Bridgewater Crossing.

[24] at 2-4.

         Defendants argue that these interrogatories are relevant because they relate directly to the dispute between Defendants and Robinson over the construction of her home, and seek information that is likely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. See, generally, [24]. Defendants contend that the existence of other houses that Robinson has constructed is relevant, as she claims to be an expert in construction. [24] at 2-3. Defendants allege that Robinson claims the materials used in construction and the architectural elements of her home are no different than other homes in Bridgewater, making Robinson's knowledge of the materials used in construction of the other homes relevant. Id. at 4. Robinson responds that she either already provided the requested information in her deposition or that the interrogatories have little or no relation to any claim or defense in this case. [31] at 2-3.

         Robinson's Motion to Extend the Discovery ...


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