United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Hollander, United States District Judge.
self-represented plaintiff, Phillip O'Briant, filed an
employment discrimination suit in August 2018 against
defendants GAF Corporation (“GAF”) and Nidia
Valenzuela (ECF 1), alleging that GAF and Valenzuela, its
Human Resources Manager, “intentionally discriminated
against [him] based on his race in the recruiting and hiring
process, ” in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and
Maryland law. Id. at 16; see also Id. at
13. Plaintiff, who is African-American, alleges that when he
applied for employment with GAF on January 23, 2016, and
again on October 17, 2016, he met the job qualifications, yet
he was not selected for the positions, which remained open.
Id. at 10-13. Plaintiff appended several exhibits to
motions are now pending. Defendants have filed a second
motion to dismiss (ECF 38), supported by a memorandum (ECF
38-1) (collectively, the “Motion to Dismiss”),
and several exhibits. ECF 38-2-ECF 38-9. They complain that
plaintiff has refused to comply with his discovery
obligations, despite several court orders, so as to warrant
dismissal of the case. Plaintiff has responded in opposition.
ECF 40 (the “Opposition”). Defendants have
replied. ECF 41. In addition, plaintiff has filed his second
prediscovery motion for summary judgment. ECF 42 (the
“Summary Judgment Motion”). Defendants oppose the
motion. ECF 43. Plaintiff did not reply, and the time to do
so has expired.
hearing is necessary to resolve the motions. See Local Rule
105.6. For the reasons that follow, I will deny
plaintiff's Summary Judgment Motion and I will grant the
Motion to Dismiss, without prejudice.
Factual and Procedural Background
noted, suit was filed in August 2018. ECF 1. On October 19,
2018, the Court entered an amended scheduling order. ECF 12.
It set a deadline of March 1, 2019, for completion of
discovery. Id. at 3. It also established the date of
April 1, 2019, for the filing of dispositive motions.
Id. at 4.
November 30, 2018, defendants served plaintiff with their
“First Set of Interrogatories” and “First
Request for Production of Documents.” See ECF
18-1 at 32-56. In response, plaintiff produced some
documents but, according to defendants, he provided
incomplete production and responses to the interrogatories.
ECF 38-1 at 1; see ECF 18-1 at 68-71.
filed his first motion for summary judgment on January 10,
2019, which was about two months before the discovery
deadline that was then in effect. ECF 16 (“First
Summary Judgment Motion”). The First Summary Judgment
Motion was not supported by any exhibits, nor was it
submitted under oath. Id. Defendants filed an
opposition (ECF 17), supported by an exhibit. By Memorandum
(ECF 37) and Order of August 21, 2019 (ECF 36), I denied the
First Summary Judgment Motion, on the ground that it was
interim, defense counsel wrote to plaintiff on January 15,
2019, outlining the deficiencies in plaintiff's discovery
responses and asking for plaintiff's availability to
schedule his deposition. ECF 18-1 at 73-78. In an email of
January 15, 2019, Mr. O'Briant stated, in part:
“There is nothing for us to further discuss.”
Id. at 88. Thereafter, on January 22, 2019,
defendants issued a “Notice of Deposition, ”
scheduling plaintiff's deposition for February 19, 2019.
Id. at 90-93. In response, plaintiff emailed defense
counsel, stating that he “will not be answering any
questions or attending any deposition hearings in the
future.” Id. at 95. In fact, Mr. O'Briant
did not appear for his deposition on February 19, 2019. ECF
18-2 at 3.
after, on February 27, 2019, defendants filed a “Motion
to Compel Discovery Responses and Authorizations, ”
pursuant to Local Rules 104.7 and 104.8 (ECF 18-1 at 7-9)
(“Motion to Compel”). The Motion to Compel is
supported by a certification of counsel (ECF 18) and numerous
exhibits. Accordingly, on March 1, 2019, the Court referred
this case to United States Magistrate Judge J. Mark Coulson
for all discovery matters. ECF 20.
Order of March 18, 2019 (ECF 24), I extended the deadline for
the filing of dispositive motions to 45 days after completion
of discovery. And, in an Order of March 18, 2019 (ECF 25),
Judge Coulson extended until April 1, 2019, the deadline for
plaintiff to respond to defendants' Motion to Compel.
However, plaintiff did not respond. See Docket;
see also ECF 38-1 at 2.
Order of April 4, 2019 (ECF 29), Judge Coulson granted in
part and denied in part the Motion to Compel. He determined
that plaintiff's answers to defendants'
interrogatories were insufficient, adding: “Plaintiff
may not initiate such a suit and then unilaterally refuse to
participate in the discovery process.” Id. at
1. Further, he noted the “persistent and reasonable
attempts by the Defendants to hold the deposition and an
unjustified blanket refusal by the Plaintiff to do so.”
Id. at 2. Therefore, he granted defendants'
Motion to Compel with respect to defendants' request for
production of documents, interrogatories, and the deposition
of plaintiff. Id. Of relevance here, Judge Coulson
ordered plaintiff to comply within 30 days. Id.
of plaintiff's pro se status, however, Judge Coulson
denied defendants' request for monetary sanctions.
Id. However, he warned plaintiff that he
“would be willing to reconsider the appropriateness of
such sanctions” should plaintiff “continue to
refuse the Defendants' reasonable discovery
email of April 10, 2019 (ECF 38-2 at 2), defense counsel
requested plaintiff's revised discovery responses and
provided proposed dates for plaintiff's deposition.
Plaintiff responded via email on April 10, 2019. Id.
at 2-3. Plaintiff acknowledged that he received
defendants' request for his deposition but declined to
indicate his availability. Id. As a result, on April
22, 2019, counsel for defendants issued a “Notice of
Deposition, ” scheduling plaintiff's deposition for
May 1, 2019. ECF 38-4 at 4.
sent an email to defense counsel on April 29, 2019 (ECF
38-5), stating that he “does not agree” with
Judge Coulson's Order of April 4, 2019. Id. at
2. Further, he asserted that “the Judges have engaged
in conspiracy criminal conduct, ” threatened criminal
charges and another suit, and attached a “writ of
mandamus that will be mailed to the U.S. Supreme Court . . .