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Jones-Walton v. Villas at Lake Eve Condominium Association, Inc.
United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
May 2, 2017
BONLYDIA JONES-WALTON, FREDERICK HARRIS, JOHN HARRIS, PAUL HARRIS, SR., A.H., PAUL HARRIS, JR., RICHARD HARRIS, LISA LESTER, R.H., LAMAR SIMMONS, DEREK MCNEAL, J.H., BONIRIS MCNEAL, CHRISTINA HARRIS, S.M., RICHARD HARRIS, JR., S.M., TRACIE AUSTIN, OCTAVIA HARRIS, JESSICA AUSTIN, DANITICA SIMMONS, JAMES AUSTIN, DENISE AUSTIN, BRANDON SCOTT, RICHARD HARRIS, IV, ERIKA BELL-SCOTT, ZELMA MILLER-JOHNSON, MARK COOKE, T.H., M.H., K.H., B.H., DANIEL HARRIS, MARY HALL, DIONNE HARRINGTON, D.E., D.S., D.S., L.S., J.H., DARREN HARRIS, MARETTA HARRIS, DANIELLE HARRIS, DENISE STRICKLAND, DARRYL STRICKLAND, D.S., DENEEN STRICKLAND, DENE STRICKLAND, DAVID HARRIS, JOSHUA HARRIS, MATTHEW HARRIS, MALCOLM HARRIS, AMBER HARRIS, JAVON JORDAN, ESTHER AUSTIN-HALL, LENORE AUSTIN-FULFORD, THOMAS FULFORD, JOHN JORDAN and EDDIE PARKER, Plaintiffs,
VILLAS AT LAKE EVE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC., KA AND KM DEVELOPMENT INC., VK AND MK DEVELOPMENT INC., EVE MANAGEMENT INC., LISA CATENA, VINOD KALIDAS, TROY PEARSON, LAURA REEVES, ROBERT LARSON, TERRANCE MARTINEC, DARRYL MARK HOPPER, THOMAS LIN, PAUL HOLLINGSWORTH, BRENT BAGSHAW, TODD BUTLER and JOHN DOES 1-10, Defendants.
B. SMITH United States Magistrate Judge
case comes before the Court without oral argument on
Defendants, Troy Pearson, Laura Reeves, Robert Larson,
Terrance Martinec, Darryl Mark Hopper, Thomas Lin, Paul
Hollingsworth, Brent Bagshaw and Todd Butler's Renewed
Motion to Enlarge Number of Depositions (Doc. 186).
Defendants, Villas at Lake Eve Condominium Association, Inc.,
KA and KM Development Inc., VK and MK Development, Inc., Eve
Management, Inc., Vinod Kalidas and Lisa Catena have joined
in the motion (Doc. 187).
have not filed a response to the motion and the time within
to do so has expired. When a party fails to respond, that is
an indication that the motion is unopposed. Foster v. The
Coca-Cola Co., No. 6:14-cv-2102-Orl-40TBS, 2015 WL
3486008, at *1 (M.D. Fla. June 2, 2015); Jones v. Bank of
Am., N.A., 564 Fed.Appx. 432, 434 (11th Cir.
2014) (citing Kramer v. Gwinnett Cty.,
Ga., 306 F.Supp.2d 1219, 1221 (N.D.Ga. 2004); Daisy,
Inc. v. Polio Operations, Inc., No.
2:14-cv-564-FtM-38CM, 2015 WL 2342951, at *1 (M.D. Fla. May
14, 2015) (when defendant did not respond court could
consider motion to compel unopposed); Brown v. Platinum
Wrench Auto Repair, Inc., No. 8:10-cv-2168-T-33TGW, 2012
WL 333808, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 1, 2012) (after party failed
to respond, court treated motion for summary judgment as
unopposed). The Court proceeds on the basis that this motion
case is brought by fifty-nine Plaintiffs who allege that they
were wrongfully evicted from the Lake Eve Resort in Orlando,
Florida based on their race (Doc. 158). The parties
originally requested permission to take one hundred
depositions per side (Doc. 130, ¶ 112). That request was
denied, with the Court limiting the parties to ten
depositions per side (Doc. 134, at 4). In September, 2016,
movants requested leave to take up to eighty depositions
(Doc. 172). That motion was denied because the facts offered
in support of the motion were insufficient, and the motion
was premature (Doc. 177).
have now taken ten depositions (Doc. 186, ¶ 7). Nine of
the deponents were identified by a Plaintiff as having direct
interaction with movants and the tenth was identified as
possibly being involved in a dispute and/or altercation that
occurred when Plaintiffs were evicted (Doc. 186, ¶ 7).
Based on those depositions and other discovery, movants
assert that the following persons were directly involved in,
or witnessed some of the actions giving rise to
Plaintiffs' claims: Mary Hall, Paul Harris, Lamar
Simmons, Ester Austin-Hall,  James Austin, Darryl Strickland,
Richard Harris, III, Richard Harris, IV, David Harris, John
Jordan, Javon Jordan, Malcom Harris, Matthew Harris, Octavia
Harris, and Jasmine Harris. According to movants, these
persons must be deposed concerning their potential economic
and non-economic damages, and concerning allegations of
misconduct by movants (Doc. 186, ¶ 8). Movants represent
that Plaintiffs consent to the taking of these fifteen
additional depositions (Doc. 186 at 8). In addition to these
depositions, movants say they will likely need to depose more
Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs' experts (Id., ¶
8). Consequently, movants argue it is reasonable to expect
that they will need to take at least thirty-five additional
depositions (Id., ¶ 9).
Rule of Civil Procedure 30(a)(2) provides that a party may
not take more than ten depositions absent consent of the
other parties or leave of court. At least two objectives
underpin this requirement. The first is “to assure
judicial review under the standards stated in Rule 26(b)(2)
before any side will be allowed to take more than ten
depositions in a case without agreement of the other
parties.” Advisory Committee Note to the 1993
Amendment. The second is “to emphasize that counsel
have a professional obligation to develop a mutual
cost-effective plan for discovery in the case.”
additional depositions are permitted, the moving party must
ordinarily justify the necessity of the depositions already
taken in the case. See F.D.I.C. v. Nason Yeager Gerson
White & Lioce, P.A., Case No. 2:13-cv-208-FtM-38CM,
2014 WL 1047245 at *2 (M.D. Fla. Mar. 17, 2014); AIG
Centennial Ins. Co. v. O'Neill, Case No. 09-60551,
2011 WL 4116555 at *16 (S.D. Fla. Oct. 18, 2010)
(“Courts have construed Rule 30(a)(2)(A) Fed. R. Civ.
P., to require a party seeking leave of court to exceed the
ten-deposition limitation to justify the necessity of each
deposition previously taken without leave of
court.”); Royal v. Bahamian Ass'n, Inc. v. QBE
Ins. Corp., Case No. 10-21511-CIV, 2010 WL 3003914 at *2
(S.D. Fla., July 29, 2010) (“[A] party seeking a
court's leave to take more than ten depositions under
Rule 30 ‘must demonstrate the necessity for each
deposition she took without leave of court pursuant to the
presumptive limit of Rule 30(a)(2)(A).'”) (quoting
Barrow v. Greenville Indep. Sch. Dist., 202 F.R.D.
480, 482 (N.D.Tex. 2001)); Bituminous Fire and Marine
Ins. Corp. v. Dawson Land, No. 3:02-cv-793-J-21TEM, 2003
WL 22012201, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 13, 2003) (A party seeking
to exceed the presumptive number of depositions must make a
“particularized showing of why the discovery is
necessary.”) (quoting Archer Daniels Midland Co. v.
Aon Risk Services, Inc., 187 F.R.D. 578, 586
(D. Minn. 1999). Movants have satisfied this requirement.
decisions also generally hold that a party seeking to take
additional depositions “must make a particularized
showing of why the discovery is necessary.” Archer
Daniels Midland Co. v. Aon Risk Services, Inc., 187
F.R.D. 578, 586 (D. Minn. 1999); F.D.I.C. v. Nason Yeager
Gerson White & Lioce, P.A., 2014 WL 1047245 at *2;
Bituminous Fire and Marine Ins. Corp. v. Dawson Land Dev.
Co., 2003 WL 22012201, at * 1; Royal v. Bahamian
Ass'n, Inc. v. QBE Ins. Corp., 2010 WL 3003914 at
*2. Defendants have now identified fifteen additional
witnesses by name who are either Plaintiffs or persons
believed to have witnessed movants' alleged wrongdoing.
Movants have also identified additional witnesses by
category, i.e., additional Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs'
experts. The Court finds that in this unique case, this is
sufficient to satisfy the particularized showing requirement.
the motion is GRANTED. Movants may depose the fifteen persons
identified by name in this Order, and an additional twenty
persons who fall into one or more of the following
categories: Plaintiff, Plaintiff's expert, or persons
believed to have witnessed movants' alleged illegal
 “Unpublished opinions are not
considered binding precedent, but may be cited as persuasive
authority.” CTA11 Rule 36-2.
 Movants list Ester Austin-Hall twice
in their motion. Assuming this is a scrivener's error, it
appears that Plaintiffs have consented to fifteen additional