United States District Court, W.D. Missouri.
LORRAINE D. BLACK, Plaintiff,
THE RESULTS COMPANIES, Defendant.
ORDER AND OPINION (1) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION
FOR SANCTIONS, AND (2) DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S
D. SMITH, SENIOR JUDGE
is Defendant's Motion for Sanctions. Doc. #43. For the
following reasons, Defendant's motion is granted, and
this matter is dismissed.
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.
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).
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
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
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,
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.
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.
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.
September 12, 2019, the Court received Plaintiff's
“Objections and Disputes to Defendant's Unlawful
Sanctions.” Doc. #45. 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.
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, ...