United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SANCTIONS
(ECF No. 55) ORDER DENYING AS MOOT ZAIC'S MOTION TO STAY
DISCOVERY (ECF No. 53) ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN
PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (ECF No.
P. GORDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Joyce Zaic sued College of Southern Nevada police officers
Michael Giddens and Timothy Wall for Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendment violations arising from her 2012 arrest. The
defendants move for case-ending sanctions based on Zaic's
failure to comply with the court's discovery timeline.
Zaic moves to stay discovery. In the alternative, the
defendants move for reconsideration of Judge Boulware's
order granting in part and denying in part their motion to
dismiss and denying their motion for summary judgment.
that Zaic did not comply with the discovery process in good
faith, despite a warning from Judge Boulware that failure to
do so could result in dismissal of the case. I therefore
grant the defendants' motion for case-dispositive
sanctions. I deny Zaic's motion to stay discovery as
moot. To correct the record regarding a point of law in the
prior order, I grant in part and deny in part the
defendants' motion for reconsideration.
the factual and procedural background described by Judge
Boulware in his prior order. ECF No. 46. In that order, Judge
discovery shall reopen for 60 days until October 24, 2016.
Written discovery must be propounded by September 6, 2016 and
responded to by September 20, 2016. . . . All depositions
must be noticed by September 30, 2016 and scheduled to be
completed within the discovery period. . . . If Plaintiff
does not properly engage in discovery in good faith the Court
may issue case-dispositive sanctions.
Id. at 10.
DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SANCTIONS
defendants move to dismiss the case because Zaic failed to
comply with Judge Boulware's discovery order. “If a
party . . . fails to obey an order to provide . . .
discovery, . . . the court . . . may . . . (v) dismiss the
action or proceeding in whole or in part.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
defendants contend that despite Judge Boulware's
warnings, Zaic failed to engage in good faith in the
discovery process that Judge Boulware laid out. Zaic refused
to consent to be contacted by the defendants' counsel by
telephone or email, instead requiring that discovery
communications be sent to a post office box that she
designated for this case. ECF No. 57 at 6. Zaic then
neglected to pick up at least five documents from that box,
which caused the documents to be returned as
“undeliverable.” Id. at 2. Zaic failed
to appear at her scheduled deposition, and she never told the
defendants she would not attend or was unavailable. ECF No.
55 at 4. Because of Zaic's dilatory tactics, the 60-day
discovery period elapsed with important issues unresolved.
Id. at 5.
Boulware held a hearing on January 26, 2017 on all three
motions at issue in this order, but recused himself before he
could issue a decision. As to the failure to pick up the
documents the defendants sent, Zaic vacillated as to whether
she had picked up the documents, but concluded that it was
unimportant because she could access them through PACER.
Judge Boulware responded that many documents are not filed in
PACER, which Zaic should have known given her over two years
of experience in this lawsuit. Asked why she failed to attend
her scheduled deposition, Zaic stated she wanted discovery
put on hold while the court considered the defendants'
motion for reconsideration. Judge Boulware responded that
Zaic was not entitled to unilaterally stay discovery without
an order from the court, which he had not issued.
with Judge Boulware that Zaic's explanations for her
conduct in the discovery process are inadequate. This is
especially true given that Zaic was put on notice to comply
with Judge Boulware's discovery timeline in good faith
because of her earlier failures to comply with discovery
rules. Judge Boulware also notified Zaic that he would likely
dismiss the case if she did not comply. I therefore find that
dismissal is just and appropriate under Rule 37(b)(2)(C).
ZAIC'S MOTION TO STAY DISCOVERY
I grant the defendants' motion for case-dispositive