United States District Court, D. Delaware
ERRICK M. WRIGHT, Plaintiff,
EXPERIAN INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, INC., et al., Defendants.
Honorable Maryellen Noreika, United States District Judge.
Wilmington this 24th day of July 2019, having considered
Plaintiff's motion to stay deposition (D.I. 75) and
motion to compel mediation (D.I. 82), Defendant Trans Union,
LLC's request for default (D.I. 77), and Defendant
Experian Information Solutions, Inc.'s motion for
extension of time for discovery and summary judgment motions
ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:
Background. Plaintiff Errick M. Wright
(“Plaintiff”) proceeds pro se and has
been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. The
First Amended Complaint is the operative pleading. (D.I. 9).
Defendants Experian Information Solutions, Inc.
(“Experian”), Trans Union, LLC (“Trans
Union”), and Equifax Information Services, LLC
(“Equifax”) answered the First Amended Complaint.
(D.I. 32, 33, 36). Trans Union filed a Counterclaim against
Plaintiff at the same time that it filed its answer. (D.I. 32
at 29-33). On February 22, 2019, the Court entered a
scheduling and discovery order setting a discovery deadline
of June 25, 2019 and a dispositive motion deadline of July
25, 2019. (D.I. 51). On the same day, the Court referred the
matter to United States Magistrate Judge Christopher J. Burke
for mediation. On February 27, 2019, Judge Burke entered an
Oral Order that if Plaintiff and Defendants jointly wished to
schedule a form of alternative dispute resolution such as
mediation with him, they should jointly contact Chambers by
phone to arrange a time.
Plaintiff's Deposition. On May 31, 2019, both
Experian and Equifax noticed Plaintiff's deposition to
take place on June 12, 2019. (D.I. 68, 72). Plaintiff opposed
the depositions scheduled by Equifax and Experian on the
grounds that the requests are “meant to be an
annoyance, oppressive of [his] character, and presents an
unnecessary expense.” (D.I. 73 at 1; D.I. 74 at 1). A
few day after he objected to his deposition, Plaintiff filed
a motion to stay his deposition. (D.I. 75). Defendants oppose
and argue that they are entitled to have Plaintiff appear and
submit to his deposition. (D.I. 78). Plaintiff's motion
will be denied.
Plaintiff invokes Fed.R.Civ.P. 26.2(b) and provides a number
of reasons to stay his deposition or order that is not be
taken, including that: (1) he has filed a motion for summary
judgment, there is no genuine issue of dispute of material
facts, and Defendants' intent on taking his deposition is
“in bad faith”; (2) he “may imminently be
harmed by the interrogatory questions” which would
“appear to harass, annoy, or cause alarm” to him;
(3) “such imminent harm would be traceable to the
direct actions” of Defendants' attorneys; (4) the
Court should construe the notices to depose Plaintiff as
“abusive and hostile and serves [sic] no purpose but
the delay the process of the proceedings or any proposal
offer to settle the dispute between the parties”; (5)
the notice lacks merit and attorneys for Experian and Equifax
have no standing to defend the negligent acts committed by
Experian and Equifax as alleged in the Complaint and Amended
Complaint; and (6) the scope of discovery is irrelevant to
the facts of the case and there is no further discoverable
evidence that would be in favor of Defendants. (Id.
Plaintiff commenced this action. The Federal Rules of Civil
Procedures contemplate that discovery will take place during
the pendency of the proceedings. This includes the taking of
depositions of parties to the case as set forth in
Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(a) that provides a party may take the
deposition of any person including another party. In
addition, the Rules provide that parties may “obtain
discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant
to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the
needs of the case[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(d)(1). The
reasons proffered by Plaintiff to stay his deposition or to
not depose him at all are not well-taken. Defendants are
entitled to depose Plaintiff to defend the claims he has
raised against them. Therefore, his motion will be denied.
(D.I. 75). The scheduling and discovery order (D.I. 51 ¶
2) will be amended.
Request for Entry of Default. Trans Union
requests entry of Plaintiff's default pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a) on its counterclaim for Plaintiff's
failure to plead or other defend. (D.I. 77). Plaintiff
responds that he filed a response to the counterclaim. (D.I.
79 ¶ 7). Trans Union's request will be denied
without prejudice to renew.
Counterclaim was filed on January 7, 2019. (D.I. 32).
Plaintiff advises the Court that he believed his motion for
summary judgment and counter-response against Trans Union
filed on January 23, 2019 sufficed as an answer to the
Counterclaim. (D.I. 41; D.I. 79 ¶¶ 11-12). The
Court has reviewed Plaintiff's filing titled
“Plaintiff Wright's Motion for Summary Judgment and
Counter-Response against Defendant Trans Union, LLC.”
(D.I. 41). The filing does not answer the allegations in the
counterclaim. Moreover, the filing improperly combines what
Plaintiff purports to be a response to the counterclaim with
a motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff, however, proceeds
pro se and is given some leniency. He will be
ordered to file an answer or otherwise plead to the
Motion for Extension of Time for Discovery and
Summary Judgment Motions. Experian moves to extend
time to complete discovery and to file dispositive motions.
(D.I. 80). Plaintiff opposes. (D.I. 81). In light of
Plaintiff's failure to attend his deposition while
discovery was still pending, the motion will be granted.
Deadlines will be amended.
Motion to Compel Mediation. Plaintiff has
filed a motion to compel mediation. (D.I. 82). He asks the
Court to order the parties to submit to mediation and to
negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement in principle
about resolving this lawsuit. Plaintiff advises that he has
spoken to defense counsel and the motion will be opposed. The
motion will be denied without prejudice.
February 27, 2019, Judge Burke entered an Oral Order that
advised the parties what to do should they wish to engaged in
mediation. The Oral Order was clear that the parties were to
“jointly” contact Judge Burke to schedule the
matter. It is clear from Plaintiff's motion that, at this
juncture, Defendants do not wish to engage in mediation.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff's motion to stay deposition (D.I. 75) is