United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division
THE JOHN ERNST LUCKEN REVOCABLE TRUST, and JOHN LUCKEN and MARY LUCKEN, Trustees, Plaintiffs,
HERITAGE BANKSHARES GROUP, INC., Defendants.
Williams Chief United States Magistrate Judge.
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).
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).
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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). 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).
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).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 ...