United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
TAYSHEEDRA D. ALLEN-NOLL, Plaintiff,
MADISON AREA TECHNICAL COLLEGE, et al., Defendants.
Stephen L. Crocker Magistrate Judge.
April 8, 2019, the court filed an order (dkt. 59) denying
plaintiff's motion to compel discovery (dkt. 31) and
ordering cost-shifting pursuant to Rule 37(a). See
dkt. 49. On May 15, 2019, defendants filed their bill of
costs and expenses, requesting $10, 578.75. See dkt.
59. On June 3, 2019, plaintiff filed a 24-page motion for
reconsideration of the court's substantive order, or in
the alternative, opposing cost-shifting. See dkt.
61. I am denying both motions.
Motion for Reconsideration
Allen-Noll had an ample opportunity to present her facts and
arguments in original motion to compel. In a 16-page brief
(dkt. 32), Allen-Noll sought to compel a second deposition of
defendant Lausch and more satisfactory answers to six of her
interrogatories and eight of her requests for production of
documents. In my order denying Allen-Noll's motion in its
entirety, I characterized her supporting brief as
“terse to the point of being inscrutable.” Dkt.
49 at 3. The defendants responded with a 20-page brief and 15
exhibits totaling over 200 pages. (Dkts. 44 and 45). Although
the court does not ordinarily allow replies in support of
discovery motions, see Preliminary Pretrial
Conference Order, dkt. 13, at 4, I invited a reply from
Allen-Noll to give her a chance to amplify her first brief. I
also granted Allen-Noll's request to suspend her deadline
to respond to defendants' summary judgment motion until
the court ruled on her motion to compel discovery.
See March26, 2019 text-only order, dkt. 47. The
reply brief would have been Allen-Noll's opportunity to
challenge the points that defendants had made in their
response. Instead, Allen-Noll filed a two-page reply on April
6, 2019 (dkt. 48), ten days after her deadline, citing one
case and getting the holding backwards.
Allen-Noll's failure to develop her arguments in her
supporting brief was a sufficient stand-alone ground to deny
the motion, I took the time and went to the effort of
reviewing the case file, doing my own legal research, and
deciding each of Allen-Noll's claims on its merits. This
led to a 22-page order in which I separately addressed each
of Allen-Noll's requests and found that she was not
entitled to additional discovery on any of them.
greatest concern was that her second attorney be allowed to
take a second deposition of defendant Lausch, based on her
claim that she was pursuing her claims under a different
theory of racial conspiracy. Having carefully considered both
sides' submissions, I found that
The absence of the word “conspiracy” [from
the deposition transcript], however, is not a reason to
compel a second deposition of Lausch when there is no showing
of any specific substantive gaps in the questions and
answers. Deposing Lausch again with an eye toward proving up
a hidden racial conspiracy would simply cover the same facts
a second time, with Lausch denying the existence of any such
conspiracy. The fact that Attorney Coe might approach
deposing Lausch differently than Attorney Kennelly did is not
a reason to make Lausch sit for a second deposition. Pursuant
to Rule 37(a)(5)(B), this is a circumstance under Rule 26(c)
in which Lausch is entitled be spared from another deposition
due to annoyance, undue burden and undue expense, all of
which would be disproportionate to the cost in time, effort
and money of attempting to adduce any new, relevant
Dkt. 49 at 20-21.
same was true for all of Allen-Noll's other requests. My
order speaks for itself but here is the headline version of
my decision on each request:
Interrogatory No. 9: The court cannot
discern any evidentiary basis for Allen-Noll's terse
contentions of inadequate disclosures by defendants.
Interrogatory 12 & RFP 7: On this
record, Allen-Noll has not fleshed out any facts or argument
that would suggest that this court should compel defendants
to provide any additional information.
Interrogatory 13 & RFP 15: The court
cannot discern from Allen-Noll's motion to compel what
else she is seeking or what else she thinks is out there that
defendants have not provided.
Interrogatory 14, Interrogatory 15 and RFP
17: Defendants are not required to acquiesce in
Allen-Noll's theory of prosecution when responding to her
discovery requests. As long as they have provided the
relevant information in their possession, they have met their
discovery obligations and there is nothing for the court to
Interrogatory 16: defendants clarified their
answer in their response to the motion to compel. There is
nothing left ...