The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Smyser
The complaint in this employment discrimination case was filed on March 4, 2009. A case management order was entered on July 28, 2009, setting a January 8, 2010 discovery deadline. An amended case management order (Doc. 30) was entered on December 23, 2009, setting an April 2, 2010 discovery deadline. The case was stayed from February 4, 2010 to May 10, 2010 after a Bankruptcy Judge had confirmed a Media News Group, Inc. reorganization plan. (Doc. 36). On June 29, 2010, a second amended case management order was entered and the discovery deadline was extended until November 1, 2010. (Doc. 40). On October 20, 2010, a third amended case management order was entered. (Doc. 51). The discovery deadline was extended to January 20, 2011.
On December 28, 2010, the case was referred to this magistrate judge for the purpose of assisting counsel regarding a discovery dispute between the parties. (Doc. 53). On December 29, 2010, after a conference with counsel, it was ordered that:
1) the plaintiffs shall provide full and complete responses to the defendants' outstanding interrogatories and document requests on or before January 31, 2011;
2) if the plaintiffs fail to provide full and complete responses to the defendants' outstanding interrogatories and document requests by January 31, 2011, the defendants may file a motion to compel discovery and for sanctions on or before February 3, 2011;
3) the discovery deadline is extended to March 18, 2011;
4) the deadline for reports of experts is extended to April 1, 2011; and
5) the deadline for response reports to expert reports is extended to April 15, 2011.
(Doc. 55). On February 1, 2011, the defendants filed a motion (Doc. 59) to compel discovery and for sanctions because the plaintiffs had not complied with the Order of December 29, 2010. A supporting brief was filed. (Doc. 61). A brief in opposition was filed (Doc. 67) and a reply brief was filed. (Doc. 69).
The defendants filed a motion (Doc. 71) on March 29, 2011 for an extension of case management deadlines. This motion bore an incorrect caption. A subsequent motion (Doc.
72) filed on May 17, 2011 seeks the same relief as the improperly captioned March 29, 2011 motion.
By Order of May 18, 2011, the pending motion (Doc. 59) to compel discovery and for sanctions was referred to me. The Order also directs me to supervise discovery and to address the pending motions (Docs. 71, 72) for extensions of the pretrial deadlines.
The plaintiffs' attorney in his brief (Doc. 67) in opposition to the motion to compel discovery and for sanctions acknowledges that the plaintiffs have failed to make discovery as required under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Order of December 29, 2010. The attorney states that responsibility for the delay rests squarely with counsel, and refers generally to health issues. Counsel asserts that the correct disposition of the defendants' ...