United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Central Division
RONALD W. HANSEN and PAIGE R. HANSEN, Plaintiff,
VISTA OUTDOORS INC., VISTA OUTDOOR SALES LLC, SAVAGE ARMS CO., and SAVAGE ARMS INC., Defendant.
WILLIAMS CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court pursuant to plaintiffs' Motion
to Compel filed timely on March 28, 2017. (Doc. 16).
Plaintiffs requested a telephonic oral argument on the
motion. Defendants filed a timely resistance on April 10,
2017. (Doc. 22). On April 12, 2017, the Court heard the
parties' arguments on the motion. (Doc. 23).
Ronald Hansen, alleges that on or about December 6, 2014, he
was injured when a 10ML-II muzzle-loading rifle manufactured
by Savage exploded. Plaintiffs (Mr. Hansen and his wife)
filed this suit in the Iowa District Court In and For
Franklin County. (Doc. 8). Defendants timely removed this
suit to federal court under diversity jurisdiction. (Doc. 2).
Plaintiffs' petition at law reads as follows:
“Count I (Facts Applicable to All Counts . . . [rifle
exploded] causing severe personal injury to Plaintiff, Ronald
W. Hansen); Count II (Products Liability); Count III
(Negligence); Count IV (Compensatory Damages); and Count V
(Exemplary Damages).” (Doc. 8).
trial in this matter is scheduled for November 19, 2018, at
9:00 a.m. before Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. (Doc. 19).
Furthermore, the Court recently entered the standard
Stipulated Protective Order. (Doc. 24).
MEET AND CONFER REQUIREMENT
the local rules and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
impose a meet-and-confer requirement. Before the parties can
file discovery motions with the Court, they must meet and
confer in good faith with each other in an attempt to resolve
the dispute without court intervention. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37; LR
37, 7(1). Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
requires that a motion to compel include a certification that
the movant “has in good faith conferred or attempted to
confer with the person or party failing to make disclosure or
discovery in an effort to obtain it without court
action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(1). Likewise, the
applicable local rule mandates that the movant attach, to his
or her motion to compel, a declaration attesting that
“[c]ounsel, in good faith, has conferred personally
with counsel for the opposing party in an attempt to resolve
or narrow by agreement the issues raised by the motion; [t]he
lawyers have been unable to reach an agreement; and [t]he
nature of the disagreement.” LR 37(a). Alternatively,
the local rule also allows counsel to attach a declaration
attesting that “a personal conference with opposing
counsel was impossible” with a description of the
efforts taken to schedule a personal conference. Id.
The local rule specifies that merely “[a]n exchange of
written communications or a single telephone message will
not, by itself” satisfy the requirement of attempting
to confer in good faith. Id.
other courts have noted, courts take the meet-and-confer
District Court in the Eastern Division of Missouri noted:
The meet-and-confer requirement is “not an empty
formality.” Robinson v. Napolitano, No. Civ.
08-4084(VLD), 2009 WL 1586959, *3 (D. S.D. 2009). “Good
faith” requires “a genuine attempt to resolve the
discovery dispute through nonjudicial means, ” and
“conferment” requires the parties “to have
had an actual meeting or conference.” Shuffle
Master, Inc. v. Progressive Games, Inc., 170 F.R.D. 166,
171 (D. Nev. 1996). Therefore, prior to filing a motion to
compel, “a moving party must personally engage in
two-way communication with the nonresponding party to
meaningfully discuss each contested discovery dispute in a
genuine effort to avoid judicial intervention.”
Id. Unilateral communication demanding that the
other side comply with a discovery request does not satisfy
the requirement. Id. at 172; see also Alexander
v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, 186 F.R.D. 197,
198-99 (D. D.C. 1999) (stating that calling opposing counsel
and leaving a vague message two hours before filing the
discovery motion does not satisfy the meet-and-confer
requirement). Nor is the requirement satisfied by
communication in which a party indicates a motion to compel
will be filed if the opposing party does not comply with
discovery requests. Bolger v. District of Columbia,
248 F.R.D. 339, 343-44 (D. D.C. 2008).
Williams v. Central Transport Intern., Inc., No.
4:13-CV-2009 (CEJ), 2014 WL 6463306, at *2 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 17,
move to have the Court compel defendants to take two actions.
The first action involves defendants consenting to the
testing of a part of the rifle barrel that peeled away during
the explosion. The second ...