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Henry v. Onsa

February 27, 2008

RONALD K. HENRY, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
WARD ONSA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Deborah A. Robinson United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Imposing Further Sanctions in Accordance With October 12, 2007 Ruling from the Bench Granting Plaintiffs' Motions for Sanctions, Document Nos. 21, 23

On October 12, 2007, Plaintiffs, through their counsel, and both Defendants, proceeding pro se, appeared before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for a hearing on Plaintiffs' then-pending motions for sanctions.*fn1 For the reasons set forth on the record, the undersigned granted both motions; awarded Plaintiffs their costs, including reasonable attorney's fees, of moving to compel and for sanctions;*fn2 and took under advisement Plaintiffs' request for the imposition of additional sanctions. Transcript of Hearing on Motions (Document No. 32) at Henry, et al., v. Onsa, et al. 2 50-52.

Since the October 12, 2007 hearing, Plaintiffs have filed two status reports. In their first report, which Plaintiffs filed on October 24, 2007, Plaintiffs represent that as of that date, Defendants had not paid the full extent of the costs which the undersigned awarded on October 12, 2007;*fn3 had "still failed to produce a single document in response to Plaintiffs' Document Request[;]" and continued their "stead[fast] refus[al] to provide any discovery that would support their single defense that they 'lost' Plaintiffs' money." Plaintiffs' Status Report (Document No. 30) at 2-3.*fn4 In their second status report, which Plaintiffs filed on February 6, 2008, Plaintiffs represent that as of that date, Defendants still had not paid the costs which the undersigned awarded on October 12, 2007;*fn5 had not "cured their defective Responses to Interrogatories [] . . . [and] defective Responses to Requests for Admissions[,]" and had not returned to the District of Columbia for their depositions.*fn6 Plaintiffs' February 6, 2008 Status Report and Request for Ruling on Pending Sanctions Motions ("Plaintiffs' February 6, 2008 Status Report") (Document No. 33) at 2.

Defendants did not seek further review of either the July 24, 2007 Order compelling discovery, or of the October 12, 2007 Order granting Plaintiffs' motions for sanctions and ordering Defendants to pay Plaintiffs their costs by October 19, 2007. Defendants did not file a status report, memorandum or motion to dispute any of the assertions made by Plaintiffs in their Henry, et al., v. Onsa, et al. 3 October 24, 2007 status report; nor have they filed any status report, memorandum or motion to dispute any of the assertions made by Plaintiffs in their February 6, 2008 status report. At no time have Defendants moved for an extension of time in which to comply with any provision of either the July 24, 2007 Order or of the October 12, 2007 Order.

DISCUSSION

Applicable Standards

Rule 37(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides, in pertinent part, that

[i]f a party . . . fails to obey an order to provide or permit discovery, . . . the court where the action is pending may issue further just orders. They may include the following:

(i) directing that the matters embraced in the order or other designated facts be taken as established for purposes of the action, as the prevailing party claims;

(ii) prohibiting the disobedient party from supporting or opposing designated claims or defenses, or from introducing designated matters in evidence;

(iii) striking pleadings in whole or in part;

(iv) staying further proceedings until the order is obeyed;

(v) dismissing the action or proceeding in ...


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