United States District Court, D. Maryland
STEVE NYAMIRA, et al.
LITTLE KAMPALA SERVICES, LLC, et al.
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW, United States District Judge
pending and ready for resolution is Plaintiffs Steve Nyamira
and Douglas Ominde (“Plaintiffs”) motion to
compel. (ECF No. 20). For the following reasons, the motion
will be granted.
sent Defendants Little Kampala Services, LLC, Trudy
Kaliisa-Ofwono, and Paul Ofwono (“Defendants”)
interrogatories and requests for production of documents on
January 31, 2018. On April 19, Plaintiffs sent Defendants a
letter, via U.S. First Class Mail, and an email setting forth
their objections to Defendants' responses to discovery.
The letter requested that Defendants contact Plaintiffs by
April 26 to discuss the discovery disputes. (ECF No. 20-1).
On April 27, because Defendants refused to respond,
Plaintiffs served Defendants with a motion to compel. (ECF
No. 20-2). Defendants did not respond to Plaintiffs'
motion to compel. On May 11, Plaintiffs sent Defendants an
email to remind them that the completed responses were due
that day. (ECF No. 20-3). Defendants did not respond to the
email. On May 14, Plaintiffs called Defendants concerning the
status of their responses to the Motion to Compel. Defendants
informed Plaintiffs that he was sick, and Plaintiffs agreed
to extend the deadline for a response to the motion to compel
until May 19. (ECF No. 20-4).
did not file a Response to the Motion to Compel by May 19,
2018. On May 21, Plaintiffs sent Defendants an email
informing them that Plaintiffs would seek Court relief if
Defendants did not respond. (ECF No. 20-5). Defendants did
not respond. On May 22, Plaintiffs moved to compel Defendants
to provide complete discovery responses. (ECF No. 20).
to Fed.R.Civ.P 26(b)(1), “Parties may obtain discovery
regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any
party's claim or defense[.]” A party can obtain
discovery from an opposing party by serving an interrogatory.
An interrogatory “must, to the extent it is not
objected to, be answered separately and fully in writing
under oath.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(b)(3). If a party has an
objection, the party must specifically state the grounds.
Rule 33(b)(4). Any ground not specifically “stated in a
timely objection is waived[.]” Id.
can also obtain discovery by requesting that the opposing
party produce documents or allow documents to be inspected.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 34. Under Rule 34, once one party requests the
production of a document, the other party must respond either
by producing the document, allowing its inspection, or
objecting to the production. Under Rule 34, “An
objection must state whether any responsive materials are
being withheld on the basis of that objection.” When
documents are produced, the producing party “must
organize and label them to correspond to the categories in
the request[.]” Rule 34(b)(2)(E)(i).
Plaintiff's first interrogatory to each Defendant was
identical. Interrogatory No. 1 requests all facts and
identification of all documents that support Defendants'
affirmative defenses and denials. In response, regarding both
Plaintiff Nyamira and Plaintiff Ominde, Defendants stated
that Plaintiffs “ha[ve] been paid all wages earned by
him at Little Kampala[, ]” and “Defendants
Kaliissa-Ofwono and Paul Ofwono . . . were merely acting as
agents for a disclosed principal, Little Kampala.” (ECF
No. 20-2, at 6). Defendants did not provide facts to support
their affirmative defenses and did not specifically identify
responding documents. Instead, Defendants stated,
“Relevant documents are attached to Little
Kampala's Response to Production” without
identifying which documents are responsive to this particular
interrogatory. (Id.). Defendants did not provide a
complete answer to Interrogatory No. 1 and must do so.
Plaintiff's third interrogatory to Defendant Little
Kampala and second interrogatory to Defendants Kaliisa-Ofwono
and Ofwono were identical. These interrogatories stated that
if Defendants do not have in their custody or control any of
the specific documents requested, they must identify who has
current custody or control over the document, provide an
explanation why Defendants are no longer in control, and
state the date that Defendants surrendered custody.
Defendants provided identical responses, stating “All
documents in custody, control or possession of Defendant are
attached to Defendant's Response to Requests for
Production.” (ECF No. 20-2, at 19).
Plaintiff's seventh interrogatory to Defendant Little
Kampala was identical. Interrogatory No. 7 requests all facts
and identification of all documents evidencing the hours
worked by each Plaintiff, each Plaintiff's hourly pay
rate, and each Plaintiff's total pay received each work
week. Defendant Little Kampala provided identical responses
for each Plaintiff, stating “See attached documents in
Defendant's Response to Requests for Production.”
(ECF No. 20-2, at 8). Defendant Little Kampala did not
provide any narrative in response to Plaintiffs' request
and did not identify which specific documents are responsive.
Defendant Little Kampala did not provide a complete answer to
Interrogatory No. 7 and must do so.
Plaintiff's eighth interrogatory to Defendant Little
Kampala was identical. Interrogatory No. 8 requests a
detailed explanation and identification of all relevant
documents relating to Defendant Little Kampala's policies
for recording, tracking, and monitoring Plaintiffs' hours
worked. In response, Defendant Little Kampala stated that
each Plaintiff was “responsible for clock[ing] in [and
clocking] out of shifts worked. All times are recorded by
[the] POS system.” (ECF No. 20-2, at 8). This is not a
complete answer. Defendant Little Kampala did not identify
which specific documents are responsive. Defendant Little
Kampala must provide a complete answer to Interrogatory No.
Plaintiff's ninth interrogatory to Defendant Little
Kampala was identical. Interrogatory No. 9 requests a
detailed description and identification of all relevant
documents relating to any technology that Defendant used
during the applicable time period. In response, Defendant
Little Kampala identified the POS system and stated that
“Shifts worked and goods sold were recorded.”
(ECF No. 20-2, at 8). This response does not provide the
details that Plaintiffs request. Defendant Little Kampala did
not identify which specific documents are responsive.
Defendant Little Kampala did not provide a complete answer to
Interrogatory No. 9 and must do so.
Plaintiff's fifteenth interrogatory to Little Kampala was
identical. Interrogatory No. 15 requests, for every day that
each Plaintiff worked for Defendant, the amount of tips each
Plaintiff earned, and any responsive documents. In response
to Plaintiff Nyamira, Defendant Little Kampala stated that
“All tips were paid in cash to [Nyamira] at the end of
each shift.” (ECF No. 20-2, at 13). This response did
not provide the information that Plaintiffs sought. Defendant
Little Kampala did not identify particular responsive
documents. In response to Plaintiff Ominde, Defendant Little