United States District Court, D. Maryland
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
CHARLES B. DAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Mars, Incorporated submits its Motion to Compel Discovery
(“the Motion”) (ECF No. 25). The Court has
reviewed the Motion, Plaintiff Sean Thomas' opposition
thereto, and the applicable law. No hearing is deemed
necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md.). For the
reasons presented below, the Court GRANTS t he Motion.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
about December 13, 2016, Defendant Mars, Inc.
(“Defendant”) served upon Plaintiff's counsel
its First Set of Interrogatories and Request for Production
of Documents. Defendant claims that Plaintiff failed to
answer, or object to, any of the Interrogatories or produce
documents within 30 days, as required by the federal rules.
ECF No. 25, p. 2. Subsequently, Defendant contacted
Plaintiff's counsel on February 9, 2017 and had email
correspondence concerning the overdue responses. ECF No.
25-1. Based on said correspondence, Plaintiff's counsel
agreed to provide responses to Defendant's
interrogatories by February 22, 2017. Id. On March
24, 2017, Defendant again contacted Plaintiff's counsel
seeking responses, notifying Plaintiff's counsel of its
intention to file a motion to compel, and attempting to
schedule a meeting on March 27, 2017 to confer regarding the
dispute. ECF No.25-2. Plaintiff's counsel again responded
with assurances that responses would be completed and sent
“by [March 31, 2017].” ECF No. 25-3. As of the
filing date, Defendant asserts that “Defense counsel
has not received Plaintiff's discovery responses.”
ECF No. 25, p. 3. Defendant also contends that
“Plaintiff's counsel has not initiated subsequent
communication regarding [the] overdue discovery
Defendant claims that it “has made multiple good faith
efforts to resolve this discovery issue, but with little
avail.” ECF No. 25, p. 3. Plaintiff's counsel in
turn claims that it provided Defendant's counsel with
unexecuted Answers to Defendant's Interrogatories and the
Response to the Request for Production of Documents on June
27, 2017, before the conclusion of discovery. ECF No. 26, p.
1. Plaintiff further claims that Defendant “has not
been prejudiced by this delay” due to discovery being
complied with the spirit of the certification requirements of
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(a) and Local Rule 104.
Defendant provided a Certification of Conference pursuant to
Rule of Civil Procedure 37(a)(1) requires that the
“motion [to compel] must 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. Here, Defendant provided
sufficient evidence that an initial attempt to confer was
made through email correspondence. ECF No. 25-2. While
Plaintiff's counsel responded with an assurance of
production of responses, Plaintiff's counsel chose not to
acknowledge or respond to Defendant's proposed
conference. ECF No. 25-3. Likewise, Defendant did not
affirmatively grant Plaintiff's request for additional
time, nor did Defendant abandon its attempt to confer. As
such, Defendant has satisfied the requirements of Federal
Rule 37(a) by attempting to confer to settle this dispute.
Defendant satisfied Local Rule 104.7 by providing substantive
evidence of its attempt to confer with Plaintiff's
Maryland Federal Court Rules require parties to “confer
with one another concerning a discovery dispute[.]”
Local Rule 104.7 (D. Md.). The rule states:
The Court will not consider any discovery motion unless the
moving party has filed a certificate reciting (a) the date,
time and place of the discovery conference, and the names of
all persons participating therein, or (b) counsel's
attempts to hold such a conference without success; and (c)
itemization of the issues requiring resolution by the Court.
(Emphasis added.) While Defendant has failed to include a
formal certificate, Defendant has provided substantive
evidence to support its assertion that an attempt to confer
had been made to Plaintiff's counsel. ECF No. 25-2.
Defendant's repeated attempts by telephone and email to
obtain the responses requested, along with the written
attempt to confer, satisfy Local Rule 104.
Plaintiff's opposition to the Motion fails to address