United States District Court, D. Maryland
Charles B. Day United States Magistrate Judge.
Lightstorm Entertainment, James Cameron, and Twentieth
Century Fox Film Corporation, submit before this Court their
Motion to Compel (“the Motion”) (ECF No. 233).
Plaintiff Bryant Moore filed a response, pro se, in
Opposition to the Motion. The Court has reviewed the
parties' submissions and applicable law. No hearing is
deemed necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md.). For
the reasons presented below, the Court DENIES the Motion
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
initiated a copyright action against Defendants on December
19, 2011 (ECF No. 1). On January 31, 2015, this Court granted
Defendants Motion for Summary Judgment and awarded costs in
favor of Defendants (ECF No. 176). On August 31, 2015, the
Court ordered Plaintiff to pay taxable costs in the amount of
$30, 028.25 (ECF No. 218), and on September 1, 2015, the
Court awarded attorney's fees in the amount of $741,
785.00 and nontaxable costs in the amount of $435, 735.00
(ECF No. 220). In total, the judgment against Plaintiff
amounts to $1, 207, 548.25 in attorney's fees and costs.
The Fourth Circuit affirmed the Court's judgment on March
15, 2016 (ECF No. 226).
March 30, 2016, Defendants served fifteen written
interrogatories and fifteen document requests on Plaintiff.
Defs.' Mot. 2. Plaintiff's responses were due by May
2, 2016, but Plaintiff failed to respond. Id. at 3.
Defendants' counsel then sent Plaintiff an email on May
12, 2016, informing him that Defendants intended to file a
motion to compel, and also requested a meeting with Plaintiff
to “confer regarding the discovery.” Id.
Plaintiff has similarly not responded to this request.
Id. at 4.
69(b) permits a judgment creditor to obtain discovery
“[i]n aid of the judgment or execution . . . as
provided in [the Federal Rules] or by the procedure of the
state where the court is located.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 69(b).
The Maryland Rules also allow for a judgment creditor to
“obtain discovery to aid enforcement of a money
judgment  by use of depositions, interrogatories, and
requests for documents[.]” Md. Rules
2-633. Rule 37 allows the Court to compel a party
to respond to discovery requests when a party fails to
respond to discovery requests. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37. The Court has
broad discretion in whether to grant or deny a motion to
compel. See Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, Inc. v.
Alpha of Va., Inc., 43 F.3d 922, 929 (4th Cir. 1995)
(reviewing denial or granting of motions to compel for abuse
Defendants failed to comply with Local Rule
Rule 102.1(c) requires for proof of service:
[A]ll court documents other than the original complaint must
bear a signed certificate signed by counsel stating
that the service required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 5(a) has been made.
have included as Exhibit D, attached to the Motion, the
Certificate of Service for Defendants' post-judgment
discovery requests. The Certificate of Service is signed,
however, by the “Assistant to” one of
Defendants' counsel. Local Rule 102.1(c) expressly
requires a “certificate signed by counsel” and
does not provide an option for a signature from the
purpose of Local Rule 102 is to ensure effective delivery and
receipt of discovery and pleadings among the parties, and the
rule intentionally holds the parties' counsel responsible
for that task. With this understanding, Defendants have the
opportunity to cure the deficiency in their Certificate of
Service by providing evidence of Plaintiff's receipt of
the discovery demands. Such evidence can be in the form of a
receipt from Federal Express with a supporting affidavit or
by a reference to Plaintiff's admission that he did in
fact receive the discovery requests. Provided that Defendants
can satisfy this requirement to comply with the spirit and
purpose of Local Rule 102.1(c), the Court will GRANT IN PART
a supplemental motion as explained below.