Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

The John Ernst Lucken Revocable Trust v. Heritage Bankshares Group, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division

May 17, 2017

THE JOHN ERNST LUCKEN REVOCABLE TRUST, and JOHN LUCKEN and MARY LUCKEN, Trustees, Plaintiffs,
v.
HERITAGE BANKSHARES GROUP, INC., Defendants.

          ORDER

          C .J. Williams Chief United States Magistrate Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the Court pursuant to defendants' submission of attorney's fees and expenses pursuant to the April 14, 2017, order (Doc. 84). The Court granted in part and denied in part defendants' motion for sanctions regarding plaintiffs' expert William Tank. (Doc. 67). The Court ordered plaintiffs shall pay defendants' reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in the filing of this motion, cover the cost of William Tank's deposition, and that defendants shall submit to the Court an itemized list of costs and attorney's fees incurred with the filing of this motion and costs incurred in taking William Tank's deposition. (Doc. 84).

         On May 3, 2017, defendants submitted an itemized list of attorney's fees and expenses totaling $16, 706.79. (Doc. 92). On May 9, 2017, plaintiffs resisted defendant's submission of attorney's fees and expenses pursuant to the April 14, 2017, order (Doc. 84), in that the Court did not order plaintiffs to pay attorney's fees related to preparing or taking of William Tank's deposition. Plaintiffs requested the Court reduce the award to defendants to no more than $9, 498.04. (Doc. 95).

         For the reasons that follow, the Court agrees that its April 14, 2017, order does not include attorney's fees accrued in preparing and taking William Tank's deposition, but only attorney's fees related to costs incurred pursuant to the filing of the motion for sanctions regarding plaintiffs' expert William Tank. (Doc. 67). Accordingly, the Court grants award of $10, 203.04 to be paid by plaintiffs to defendants pursuant to its April 14, 2017, order (Doc. 84).

         II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit on January 14, 2016. (Doc. 1). On April 27, 2016, the Court adopted the parties' agreed-upon scheduling order that, among other things, set the deadline for discovery as February 15, 2017. (Doc. 14). The Court later granted a motion to extend deadlines for depositions to March 15, 2017, but denied any extension of the deadlines for written discovery other than that previously ordered for response to defendants' second request for production. (Doc. 45). On March 21, 2017, defendants filed a motion for sanctions against plaintiffs due to their failure to produce their expert, William Tank, for a deposition within the deposition deadline of March 15, 2017. Defendants claimed plaintiffs refused to allow them to take the deposition of William Tank, despite defendants' good faith attempts to proceed with a deposition prior to that date. (Doc. 67).

         Defendants requested that this Court enter an order sanctioning plaintiff due to their failure to produce their expert, William Tank, for a deposition. Due to plaintiffs' deliberate obstruction, defendants believed that exclusion of plaintiffs' expert William Tank, was the appropriate relief, and the Court should enter an order prohibiting plaintiff from calling William Tank as a witness to testify in this matter at trial. Defendants further requested attorney's fees and costs associated with this matter, and any further relief this Court deemed just and proper under the circumstances.

         On March 29, 2017, plaintiffs were granted an extension of time to file their resistance to the motion for sanctions until April 7, 2017. On April 7, 2017, plaintiffs resisted the motion for sanctions, claiming defendants' motion failed to demonstrate any harm or prejudice in conjunction with their allegation that plaintiffs failed to produce their expert witness, William Tank, for deposition.

         On April 14, 2017, the Court order granted in part and denied in part defendants' motion for sanctions regarding plaintiffs' expert William Tank. (Doc. 84). The Court ordered the following: (1) plaintiffs to pay defendants' reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in the filing of this motion; (2) plaintiffs shall cover the cost of William Tank's deposition; and (3) that Defendants shall submit to the Court an itemized list of costs and attorney's fees incurred with the filing of this motion and costs incurred in taking William Tank's deposition.

         The Court concluded that defendants could have been prejudiced by plaintiffs' refusal to produce their expert William Tank for deposition. The plaintiffs' excuse that at the time of the request for deposition, plaintiff was proceeding pro se, did not absolve the responsibility to comply with a scheduling order. The Court found that under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(f), plaintiffs are subject to mandatory monetary sanctions in the form of “the reasonable expenses-including attorney's fees-incurred because of any noncompliance” with the March 15 deadline.

         III. DISCUSSION

         This matter involves the enforcement of the Court's order for sanctions of April 14, 2017, in accordance with Federal Rule 16(f) (2). FED R. CIV P. 16(f)(2).[1] As discussed previously, sanctions are appropriate and in proportion to plaintiffs' violation. See Nick v. Morgan's Foods, Inc., 270 F.3d 590, 595 (8th Cir. 2001).

         In the Court's order of April 14, 2017, the Court reviewed defendants' request for specific sanctions. The sanctions ordered are appropriate based on the totality of the circumstances in accordance with Federal Rule 37 (b)(2) (B) and (C).[2]SeeGoings v. Chickasaw County, Iowa, No. 06-CV-2063-LRR, 2008 WL 686917 (N.D. Iowa March 10, 2008). The intent of the Court's order of April 14, 2017, was to restore the defendants to the place they would have been had plaintiffs provided William Tank for a deposition. Since defendants would have borne the costs of attorney's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.