United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CATHERINE D. PERRY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before me on defendants' motion and second
motion to set aside sanctions. On February 20, 2019, I struck
defendants' answers for their repeated, willful failures
to comply with the prior Orders of this Court, including
their failure to file their required pretrial filings. I
imposed this sanction after due consideration of the
repetitive nature of defendants' conduct and its effect
on the ability to proceed with the resolution of this case.
days after I struck defendants' answers and ordered
plaintiff to file a motion for default judgment, defendants
filed a trial brief and a motion to set aside sanctions. The
barebones motion is one page long and unsupported by any
legal authority or affidavits. In the motion, defense counsel
claims that his office was having difficulties with
electronic filing and that he mistakenly thought the trial
brief was filed on time. In the second motion to set aside
sanctions, defendants simply restate their first motion and
include an attachment entitled “Notice Regarding
Magistrate Judge Jurisdiction” dated February 14, 2019.
According to defendants, this document “was found today
indicating [defense counsel's] staff communication with
the Clerk's office during the failed attempt to e-file
the required pleading.”
plaintiff did not file a response to defendants' motions
to set aside sanctions, it did file a timely motion for
default judgment with accompanying evidence. Plaintiff seeks
declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief in the amount of
$461, 844.85. The requested damages include $20, 191.00 for
the unauthorized timber harvested from the easement and $441,
653.85 to restore the dams on the easement to their original
condition. The damages calculation is supported by the
affidavits of two witnesses, Clifford J. Baumer and Nate
due consideration, the motions to set aside sanctions will be
denied. Defendants argue that they attempted to comply with
the Court's December 17, 2018 Order by filing a trial
brief, but due to “filing difficulties” could
not. Defendants, however, offer no explanation as to what
these “filing difficulties” were or why they
waited eight days to correct these “filing
difficulties” or seek relief from this Court. Moreover,
the document entitled “Notice Regarding Magistrate
Judge Jurisdiction” does not demonstrate any alleged
“filing difficulties” that convince this Court to
set aside the sanctions.
importantly, even if defendants had not experienced these
“filing difficulties” and actually filed their
trial brief on time, they would have still failed to comply
with this Court's December 17, 2018 Order setting this
case for trial. That Order required defendants to file the
following pretrial materials by no later than February 14,
Meet and jointly prepare and file with the Clerk a JOINT
Stipulation of all uncontested facts, which may be read into
evidence subject to any objections of any party set forth in
(a) Deliver to opposing counsel, and to the Clerk, a list of
all proposed witnesses, identifying those witnesses who will
be called to testify and those who may be called.
(b) Except for good cause shown, no party will be permitted
to call any witnesses not listed in compliance with this
(a) Mark for identification all exhibits to be offered in
evidence at the trial (Plaintiffs to use Arabic numerals and
defendants to use letters, e.g., Pltf-1, Deft.-A, or Pltf
Jones-1, Deft Smith-A, if there is more than one plaintiff or
defendant), and deliver to opposing counsel and to the Clerk
a list of such exhibits, identifying those that will be
introduced into evidence and those that may be introduced.
The list shall clearly indicate for each business record
whether the proponent seeks to authenticate the business
record by affidavit or declaration pursuant to Fed.R.Evid.
902(11) or 902(12).
(b) Submit said exhibits or true copies thereof, and copies
of all affidavits or declarations pursuant to Fed.R.Evid.
902(11) or 902(12), to opposing counsel for examination.
Prior to trial, the parties shall stipulate which exhibits
may be introduced without objection or preliminary