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Black v. The Results Companies

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri.

September 16, 2019

LORRAINE D. BLACK, Plaintiff,
v.
THE RESULTS COMPANIES, Defendant.

          ORDER AND OPINION (1) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SANCTIONS, AND (2) DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS

          ORTRIE D. SMITH, SENIOR JUDGE

         Pending is Defendant's Motion for Sanctions. Doc. #43. For the following reasons, Defendant's motion is granted, and this matter is dismissed.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In October 2018, Plaintiff Lorraine Black, who is pro se, filed this lawsuit against Defendant The Results Companies, alleging claims under the Missouri Human Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Doc. #5. The Court granted Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Missouri Human Rights Act claims due to her failure to administratively exhaust the claims. Doc. #18. In the same Order, the Court denied Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment due to her failure to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Court's Local Rules. Id.

         In February 2019, the Court held a phone conference with Plaintiff and Defendant's counsel regarding Plaintiff's failure to comply with Rule 26(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Doc. #25. The Court directed Plaintiff to serve her Rule 26(a)(1) initial disclosures by no later than March 29, 2019. Id. The Court also warned Plaintiff that failing to comply with the Court's Order could result in sanctions, ranging from “being prohibited from calling witnesses and using documents at trial that were not included in her initial disclosures, to dismissal of this matter.” Id. at 1 (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 37).

         In June 2019, the Court a second phone conference with Plaintiff and Defendant's counsel regarding Plaintiff's failure to fully and completely respond to Defendant's First Interrogatories, First Requests for Admission, and First Requests for Production of Documents. Docs. #34-35. The Court ordered Plaintiff to serve, by no later than July 3, 2019, “full and complete answers and responses to Defendant's First Interrogatories and Defendant's First Requests for Admission, ” “all documents responsive to Defendant's First Requests for Production of Documents, ” and “executed releases” for third party records. Doc. #35. Plaintiff was informed that her “failure to fully and completely comply” with the Court's Order would “result in the exclusion of any evidence at trial that she should have provided in her interrogatories answers and/or responsive documents she should have produced.” Id. (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(b)(2)(A)).

         On August 7, 2019, the Court a third phone conference with Plaintiff and Defendant's counsel. This phone conference pertained to Plaintiff's failure to respond to Defendant's Requests for Production of Documents, her failure to respond to Defendant's Requests for Admission, and her failure to provide complete answers to Defendant's Interrogatories. Doc. #40, at 2. As a result of the phone conference, the Court directed Plaintiff to do the following:

Regarding her responses to Defendant's First Requests for Production and her answers to Defendant's First Interrogatories, the Court provides Plaintiff one last chance to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Local Rules, and the Court's Orders. By no later than August 21, 2019, Plaintiff shall serve supplemental answers to Defendant's First Interrogatories. Her supplemental answers must include all information requested by each interrogatory. Her answers shall be full, complete, and truthful. In addition, by no later than August 21, 2019, Plaintiff shall serve responses to Defendant's First Requests for Production. Plaintiff's responses, at a minimum, must specifically identify documents she has already produced or is contemporaneously producing to Defendant that are responsive to each request. To the extent Plaintiff has not produced all documents responsive to Defendant's First Requests for Production, Plaintiff shall produce all responsive documents to Defendant by no later than August 21, 2019.

Id. at 2-3. The Court notified Plaintiff her failure to comply with the Order would result in the matter being “dismissed without further notice.” Id. at 3.

         On August 26, 2019, Defendant filed the pending motion for sanctions seeking dismissal of this matter. Doc. #43. Defendant states “Plaintiff has not complied with the Court's Final Order, and has not provided any response to Defendant's First Request for Production of Documents.” Id. at 2. On August 30, 2019, Plaintiff sent an email to the undersigned's staff, which, in its entirety, stated the following:

Plaintiff is requesting a conference with the judge I have submitted information asked for by Defendants and the judge to the best of my knowledge while working Pro Se. acknowledgement on documents submitted I provided names and dates I Object and Dispute to Defendants racist input to Dismiss my case while experiencing on going race discrimination inhalation of second hand smoke working Pro Se. I have the rights to defend myself. And file on going cases withba discrimination history Racist behavior is not my fault. I have rights that are ignored with other and all cases listed. I Do Not have any further information to provide I have signed paperwork for the Defendants to receive what they need I Object and have followed the rules to the best of my knowledge Plaintiff Lorraine Black.

         On September 3, 2019, the Court issued an Order acknowledging receipt of Plaintiff's email and directing her to respond to Defendant's motion by no later than September 9, 2019. Doc. #44, at 2. The Court pointed out that Plaintiff's email neither addressed whether she served responses to the First Requests for Production nor attached her responses to the Requests for Production of Documents. Id. (citing Doc. #40, at 2-3). The Court informed Plaintiff that if she did not timely respond to the motion, it would consider her email as the response. Id. The Court cautioned Plaintiff that if she solely relied on her email, the Court would be left with no choice but to dismiss this matter as a sanction for failing to fully and completely comply discovery. Id.

         On September 12, 2019, the Court received Plaintiff's “Objections and Disputes to Defendant's Unlawful Sanctions.” Doc. #45.[1] Setting aside the ad hominem attacks on Defendant and the court system, Plaintiff contends she met “all date deadlines May 17, 2019[, ] July 3, 2019[, ] and August 21, 2019”; “submitted information on court order August 7, 2019”; “provided [her] entire life of information”; “submitted all document request [sic] to the best of [her] knowledge, ” and “submitted exhibits and documents.” Id. at 1-2. Also, in her response, Plaintiff purportedly cut and pasted her answers to Defendant's Interrogatories. Id. at 4-9.

         On September 13, 2019, Defendant filed its reply. Doc. #46. Defendant confirms Plaintiff has never responded to its First Requests for Production of Documents and has not identified the documents she produced prior to or after the Court's August 7, ...


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