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Estate of Klieman v. Palestinian Authority

United States District Court, District Circuit

September 5, 2013

ESTATE OF ESTHER KLIEMAN, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM ORDER

JOHN M. FACCIOLA, Magistrate Judge.

In my Memorandum Order [#200] of May 15, 2013, I denied Plaintiffs' Motion for Sanctions [#195] insofar as it was premised upon the Palestinian Authority's ("PA's") not appearing for the April 10, 2013 deposition. [#200] at 3. I did not, however, rule on the motion insofar as it was premised upon the PA's allegedly hiding and then belatedly producing certain documents. Id . As to that issue, I ordered the PA to file a response to plaintiffs' claims. Id . I further directed plaintiffs to show cause why they should not pay the PA's expenses for having to move for a protective order with respect to the April 10, 2013 deposition. Id . Both parties have responded and the issues are now ripe for resolution.

I. Plaintiffs' Motion for Sanctions

A. The Parties' Positions

Plaintiffs seek to have the PA[1] sanctioned for failing to produce certain documents in a timely fashion. Specifically, plaintiffs seek 1) a ruling by the Court that the documents at issue are authentic and admissible; 2) a ruling by the Court that an adverse inference will be allowed "for the [PA's] hiding of the documents, late disclosure, and improper, dilatory and obstructionist conduct;" and 3) an award of attorney's fees and costs. Plaintiffs' Opposition with Points and Authorities to Defendants' Motion for a Protective Order and Motion for Sanctions [#195] at 24.

The PA argues that plaintiffs' request for sanctions regarding its January 30, 2013 production of documents should be denied both on procedural as well as substantive grounds.

First, the PA contends that plaintiffs 1) failed to meet and confer with the PA prior to filing their motion for sanctions; 2) failed to include a certification in their motion, pursuant to Local Rule 7(m); and 3) failed to cite authority for their proposed sanctions. Defendant the Palestinian Authority's Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Sanctions Regarding the January 30, 2013 Production of Documents [DE 198] [#202] at 2. Second, the PA contends that sanctions are inappropriate because the January 30, 2013 document production was not "late" and the PA did not willfully "hide" any responsive documents. Id. at 2.

B. Analysis

The following chart[2] provides a graphic illustration of the relevant events regarding discovery on the various topics at issue in this Memorandum Order.

Date Description of Event Citation 1/9/09 Plaintiffs sought "any and all documents, [#195-2] at 16. including any personnel file, that relate or refer to" Hussam, Tamer Rimawi, Hadib, and Hashash. 3/31/09 [Previous deadline for close of fact Scheduling Order [#91] at 1. discovery.] 9/30/09 [Previous deadline for close of fact Minute Order dated 6/12/09. discovery.]

3/25/10 [Previous deadline for close of fact Order [#99] at 1. discovery.] 9/30/10 [Previous deadline for close of fact Minute Order dated 3/15/10. discovery.] 2/4/11 Plaintiffs sought issuance of a Hague Plaintiffs' Motion for Issuance of Convention Letter of Request seeking Letters of Request [#120]. documents relating to Zafer Rimawi. 3/16/11 Court denies [#120] without prejudice. Memorandum Order [#125]. 3/31/11 [Previous deadline for close of fact Minute Order dated 9/20/10. discovery.] 10/1//11 [Previous deadline for close of fact Memorandum Opinion [#124] at discovery.] 12. 12/5/11 Court grants Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion Minute Order dated 12/5/11. to Extend the Deadline for the Completion of Fact Discovery [#133] to 3/31/12. 12/13/11 Plaintiffs sought "[a] printout or screenshot [#202-1] at 13-14. of any official PA and/or PLO official website which references or at any time has ever referenced" Zafer Rimawi. 12/31/11 [Previous deadline for close of fact Minute Order dated 9/30/11. discovery.] 1/17/12 PA and PO filed objections to 12/13/11 [#202-1] at 14. requests. 2/29/12 Plaintiffs sought documents reflecting [#202-2] at 11-12. payments by defendants to Zafer Rimawi and William Khatib, as well as any written requests by Rimawi and Khatib for payments from defendants. 3/7/12 Plaintiffs sought issuance of a Hague Plaintiffs' Motion for Issuance of Convention Letter of Request seeking a Letter of Request [#147]. deposition of Zafer Rimawi. 3/31/12 [Previous deadline for close of fact Minute Order dated 12/5/11. discovery.] 4/2/12 PA and PO filed objections to 2/29/12 [#202-2] at 11-12. requests. 6/6/12 Court grants plaintiffs' motion for a Letter of Memorandum Opinion [#173] at Request to take ...


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