United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
MIRANDO United States Magistrate Judge
matter comes before the Court upon review of the Joint Motion
to Extend Discovery Cutoff (Doc. 55); Plaintiff's Motion
to Compel Punitive Discovery Responses (Doc. 56);
Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Responses to Plaintiff's
Interrogatories (Doc. 57); and Plaintiff's Motion to
Compel Responses to Plaintiff's Request for Production
(Doc. 58) filed on June 9, 2017. Defendant opposes
Plaintiff's motions to compel. Docs. 56 at 5, 57 at 23,
58 at 20.
24, 2016, Plaintiff initiated this proceeding by filing a
complaint against Defendant. Doc. 1. With leave of the Court,
Plaintiff amended her complaint twice and filed a Second
Amended Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial (the
“Second Amended Complaint”) on April 17, 2017,
which includes a claim for punitive damages. Docs. 16, 17,
18, 49, 50. The Second Amended Complaint alleges that
Defendant violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
(“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692 - 1692p,
and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act
(“FCCPA”), sections 559.55 to 559.785 of the
Florida Statutes. Doc. 50 ¶ 2. Specifically, Plaintiff
alleges that Defendant violated section 559.72(9) of the
Florida Statutes and 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e(2)(A),
1692e(10), and 1692f. Id. ¶¶ 35, 42, 48,
55. Plaintiff is a resident of Collier County, and Defendant
is a foreign limited liability company operating in Texas.
Id. ¶¶ 4-5. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendant is a debt collector under the definitions of the
federal and state statutes. Id. ¶ 5.
to the Second Amended Complaint, on July 14, 2008, Plaintiff
filed a voluntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition with this
District's bankruptcy court. Id. ¶ 6.
Plaintiff states that the schedules filed with her bankruptcy
petition included a mortgage on real property owed to
Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP
(“Countrywide”). Id. ¶ 7. Plaintiff
alleges that she clearly indicated her intention to surrender
the mortgaged property, and Countrywide was included in the
mailing matrix filed with her bankruptcy petition.
Id. ¶¶ 8-9. Subsequently, on July 18,
2008, the Clerk of Court issued a written notice of filing
and of the creditors' meeting to all parties on the
master mailing matrix. Id. ¶ 10. Plaintiff
claims that Countrywide did not attend the creditors'
meeting, and the bankruptcy case discharged Plaintiff's
debts including the mortgage loan owed to Countrywide.
Id. ¶¶ 11-13.
alleges that on or about May 1, 2013, Countrywide transferred
servicing of Plaintiff's discharged mortgage loan to
Defendant, which sent a notice of transfer to Plaintiff.
Id. ¶ 14. Defendant also allegedly sent a loan
statement dated May 21, 2013, which stated that Plaintiff
owed the discharged mortgage loan to Defendant. Id.
claims that upon receiving the notice and the statement,
Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Defendant for violating the
discharge injunction under the federal bankruptcy code.
Id. ¶ 16. Plaintiff argues that the parties
amicably resolved that proceeding by entering into a
settlement agreement and filing a stipulation to dismiss the
proceeding with prejudice on May 26, 2014. Id.
¶¶ 17-18. As a material condition of the settlement
agreement, Defendant agreed to cease and desist any further
collection activity with the mortgage loan in dispute.
Id. ¶ 17.
the settlement agreement, Plaintiff asserts that Defendant
sent informational statements demanding her payment on the
discharged debt for over a year. Id. ¶ 19.
Plaintiff claims that although her counsel sent a cease and
desist letter, Defendant continued to send statements to
Plaintiff. Id. ¶¶ 23-25. Plaintiff argues
that Defendant's actions constitute violations of the
FDCPA and the FCCPA. Id. ¶ 29.
16, 2016, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's
complaint (Doc. 1), which United States District Judge Sheri
Polster Chappell denied. Docs. 10, 14. On October 4, 2016,
the Court entered a Case Management and Scheduling Order
(“CMSO”) setting the mediation deadline to April
27, 2017, the deadlines to disclose expert reports for
Plaintiff to May 5, 2017 and for Defendant to May 19, 2017,
the discovery deadline to June 9, 2017, the deadline for
dispositive motions to July 14, 2017, and a trial term of
November 6, 2017. Doc. 23 at 1-2.
one month prior to the discovery deadline, on May 5, 2017,
Plaintiff provided an Amended Notice of Taking Deposition
(“Notice”) to Defendant, seeking to depose
Defendant's corporate representative on June 6, 2017.
Doc. 52-1 at 2. In the Notice, Plaintiff proposed to examine
twenty-three matters during the deposition. Id. at
3-6. Plaintiff also demanded that Defendant bring eleven
categories of documents to the deposition. Id. at
6-7. Defendant objects to nine proposed topics for the
deposition and requests to bring four types of documents.
Doc. 52 at 3-10. On May 12, 2017, Defendant filed a motion
for a protective order based on its objections. Doc. 52. On
May 31, 2017, the Court issued an Order granting in part and
denying in part Defendant's motion, which resolved the
discovery disputes regarding the deposition. Doc. 54 at 4-21.
The Court ordered that the parties conduct the June 6, 2017
deposition pursuant to the Order. Id. at 21.
The Joint Motion to Extend Discovery Cutoff (Doc.
discovery cutoff date, June 9, 2017, the parties jointly
filed a motion to extend the discovery deadline to July 19,
2017. Doc. 55. The parties state that Defendant's counsel
had a medical emergency and could not attend the deposition
on June 6, 2017. Id. at 1. As a result, the parties
seek to extend the discovery deadline to July 19, 2017 in
order to reschedule the deposition and accommodate any issues
arising therefrom. Id. The parties' motion,
however, does not address the extended discovery
deadline's impact on other CMSO deadlines, although the
requested discovery deadline will be five days after the
deadline of July 14, 2017 for dispositive motions. Docs. 23,
courts have broad discretion when managing their cases in
order to ensure that the cases move to a timely and orderly
conclusion. Chrysler Int'l Corp. v. Chemaly, 280
F.3d 1358, 1360 (11th Cir. 2002). Rule 16 requires a showing
of good cause for modification of a court's scheduling
order. Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4). “This good cause standard
precludes modification unless the schedule cannot be met
despite the diligence of the party seeking the
extension.” Sosa v. Airprint Sys., Inc., 133
F.3d 1417, 1418 (11th Cir. 1998) (internal quotations and
citations omitted). To establish good cause, the CMSO in this
matter states that “[t]he moving party must show that
the failure to complete discovery is not the result of lack
of diligence in pursuing discovery.” Doc. 23 at 4.
although this matter has been pending for approximately one
year since May 26, 2016, Plaintiff scheduled a deposition on
June 6, 2017, three days before the discovery deadline. Doc.
55 at 1. Despite having one year to conduct discovery,
however, the parties seek additional time to reschedule the
deposition and to conduct unlimited discovery
because Defendant's counsel was unavailable for the
deposition on June 6, 2017. Id. Given the length of
time this case has been pending and the Court's Order
resolving the parties' disputes regarding the deposition,
the Court finds that ...