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Holzman v. Malcolm S. Gerald Associates, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Florida

October 15, 2019

Stephen Holzman, Plaintiff,
v.
Malcom S. Gerald Associates, Inc., and LVNV Funding, LLC, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S AMENDED MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY RESPONSES TDE 641

          WILLIAM MATTHEWMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         THIS CAUSE is before the Court on Plaintiff Stephen Holzman's Amended Motion to Compel Discovery Responses [DE 64]. Fact discovery in this case closed on September 2');">23, 2');">2019 per DE 45, which is the same date that Plaintiff filed his Amended Motion to Compel [DE 64]. Defendants Malcolm S. Gerald Associates, Inc. ("MGA") and LVNV Funding, LLC ("LVNV") have filed a Response [DE 66], Plaintiff has filed a Reply [DE 67], Defendants filed a Joint Discovery Notice [DE 74], and Plaintiff filed a Supplement to the Joint Notice [DE 75].

         In light of the fast-approaching substantive motion deadline of October 2');">21, 2');">2019, the Court set a hearing on the pending motion for October 15, 2');">2019. However, when the parties requested a two-week continuance of that hearing, the Court entered an October 14, 2');">2019 Order [DE 76] cancelling the scheduled discovery hearing and advising the parties that it would rule on the pending motion without a hearing. Accordingly, the motion is ripe for review.

         II. The Pending Discovery Motion

         The Court is very disappointed Plaintiff waited until the very last day of fact discovery to file his Amended Motion to Compel [DE 64]. This was obviously due to the lengthy discovery bickering between counsel. Parties and their counsel are expected to cooperate in the discovery process and, in this case, it appears that cooperation has been lacking-at least until the very last' minute when some attempted discovery cooperation occurred after the Court ordered the parties to personally meet and confer and file a joint notice of their conferral efforts. Defendants did file a Joint Notice [DE 74] and Plaintiff did file a Supplement to the Joint Notice [DE 76], but both notices were poorly drafted, confusing, and inconsistent. It is clear to the Court that the parties ignored discovery until the last minute and then put the burden on the Court to resolve their last-minute dispute.

         Plaintiffs Amended Motion to Compel [DE 64] seeks discovery from each Defendant in the form of better interrogatory answers, request for production responses, and answers to requests for admissions. Upon careful review of the entire docket, Plaintiffs Amended Motion to Compel [DE 64], Defendants' Response [DE 66], Plaintiffs Reply [DE 67], Defendants' Joint Notice [DE 74], and Plaintiffs Supplement to the Joint Notice [DE 75], the Court disposes of this discovery dispute below as to each Defendant.

         III. Discovery Served on Defendant MGA

         Plaintiff propounded Requests for Admissions ("RFAs"), Requests for Production ("RFPs"), and Interrogatories to Defendant MGA. The Court addresses each category of discovery requests below:

         A. RFAs served on Defendant MGA

         The parties have been somewhat successful in confusing the Court as to which of Plaintiff s RFAs served on Defendant MGA remain at issue. Defendants' Joint Notice [DE 74] states that RFAs 2');">2, 30, and 31 remain in dispute [DE 74, 2');">2');">p. 2');">2, ¶ 11]. However, Plaintiffs Supplement to Joint Notice [DE 75] states that he did not move to compel Defendant MGA to respond to RFAs 2');">2, 30, and 31 [DE 75, 2');">2');">p. 2');">2, ¶ 15]; rather he moved to compel Defendant MGA to respond only to RFAs 19 and 2');">22');">2 [DE 75, p. 1, ¶ 15]. Therefore, the Court will not address RFAs 2');">2, 30, and 31. The Court will only rule on RFAs 19 and 2');">22');">2, as follows:

         As to RFA 19 [DE 64-1, p. 4, ¶ 19], which requests that Defendant MGA respond that LVNV approved Defendant MGA's use of the Template, Plaintiffs Amended Motion to Compel [DE 64] is GRANTED and Defendant MGA is ordered to amend its response on or before October 18, 2');">2019. RFA 19 seeks relevant and proportional information under Fed.R.Civ.2');">2');">p. 2');">26(b)(1).

         As to RFA 2');">22');">2 [DE 64-1, p.5, ¶ 2');">22');">2], which requests that Defendant MGA respond that Defendant would not send a letter based on the Template to a consumer in the State of Florida if Defendant had a record that the consumer made a payment toward the debt, to Defendant or to any previous creditor, in the past five years, Plaintiffs Amended Motion to Compel [DE 64] is GRANTED and Defendant MGA is ordered to amend its response on or before October 18, 2');">2019. RFA 2');">22');">2 seeks relevant and proportional information under Fed.R.Civ.2');">2');">p. 2');">26(b)(1).

         B. RFPs served ...


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