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Jiang v. Porter

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

May 4, 2017

REV. XIU HUI “JOSEPH” JIANG, Plaintiff,
v.
TONYA PORTER, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          CAROL E. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on plaintiff's motion for discovery sanctions against defendant N.M., pursuant to Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. N.M. has not filed a response to the motion, and the time allowed for doing so has elapsed.

         I. Background

         After granting plaintiff's motion to compel, the Court ordered N.M. to produce all documents relating to her divorce proceedings. Included in the documents were counseling and school records of N.M.'s minor child and the depositions of N.M. and her ex-husband A.M. The Court determined that these documents were relevant to the issue of the minor's mental state and to any efforts by A.M. to pressure the minor into making false allegations of sexual misconduct against plaintiff. The deadline for compliance was June 9, 2016. On June 9, defendant stated that she did not the responsive documents in her possession but told plaintiff that they could be obtained from her divorce attorney, Alexandra Hart. Plaintiff requested the documents from Ms. Hart, who stated that she did not represent N.M. in the divorce action and that she had no records pertaining to the case. Plaintiff then made multiple attempts to obtain the documents by contacting N.M.'s attorney in this case. However, these attempts proved unsuccessful and the documents still have not been produced.

         II. Discussion

         Rule 37(b)(2)(A) provides that a district court may “issue further just orders” to a party who fails to obey an order compelling discovery with a number of sanctions. These include:

(i) directing that the matters embraced in the order or other designated facts be taken as established for purposes of the action, as the prevailing party claims;
(ii) prohibiting the disobedient party from supporting or opposing designated claims or defenses, or from introducing designated matters in evidence;
(iii) striking pleadings in whole or in part
(iv) staying further proceedings until the order is obeyed;
(v) dismissing the action or proceeding in whole or in part;
(vi) rendering a default judgment against the disobedient party; or
(vii) treating as contempt of court the failure to obey any order except an order to submit to a physical or mental examination.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(b)(2)(A). Instead of or in addition to these orders, “the court must order the disobedient party, the attorney advising that party, or both to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, caused by the failure, ” unless the failure was substantially ...


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