United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division
ENTRY ON PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO COMPEL
WILLIAM G. HUSSMANN, JR. Magistrate Judge
This matter is before me, William G. Hussmann, Jr., United States Magistrate Judge, on Plaintiff Midwest Investment Partners, LLC’s Motion to Compel Response to Requests for Production of Documents, Strike Defendants’ Objections and for Award of Attorneys’ Fees and Costs (Filing No. 31) and Chief Judge Young’s referral. The motion is fully briefed. (See Filing No. 41; Filing No. 42; Filing No. 45.) Having considered the motion, the parties’ submissions, and relevant law, and being duly advised, I hereby GRANT the motion.
In this lawsuit, Midwest asserts that the Defendants defrauded it in the course of a scheme to finance nonparty Standard Metals Processing, Inc. Midwest alleges that it developed the following arrangement with Defendant Alfred Gerriets:
1. Midwest would transfer $50, 000 to Defendant Afignis, LLC, which Gerriets owns.
2. Afignis would transfer the money to Defendant Pure Path Capital Management, LLC-a company formed specifically to finance Standard.
3. In exchange, Midwest would receive a 26% ownership in Pure Path (which then would hold some interest in Standard).
(See Filing No. 1 at ¶¶ 14–34.)
Midwest claims that it made its $50, 000 transfer but that Pure Path refuses to recognize Midwest as owning any interest in Pure Path or Standard. (See Id. at ¶¶ 16, 32.) Midwest also maintains that Pure Path has refused to return any of Midwest’s investment. (See Id. at ¶ 34.)
On September 23, 2014, Midwest served the Defendants 18 requests for production of documents under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34. (See Filing No. 31-1.) Midwest represents, and the Defendants do not deny, that the Defendants served their responses on November 25 after receiving a 30-day extension. (See Filing No. 31 at ¶ 4; Filing No. 31-2.)
In their response, the Defendants lodged nine generic “Objections Applicable to Each Request” and then offered enumerated responses to each individual request, but the objections were far from individual. (See Filing No. 31-2.) Seventeen of the eighteen enumerated objections are identical to one another. The Defendants’ response to Request No. 2 differs only in that it adds the sentence, “Defendants further object to the extent this request calls for the disclosure of information already in the possession of or otherwise equally available to Plaintiff, including documents produced by the parties and publically available filings.” (See Id. at ECF p. 3.)
The Defendants did not produce any documents in response to Midwest’s requests. Nor did the Defendants serve a privilege log despite objecting to each request “to the extent it seeks privileged information . . . .” (See Id. 31-2 at ECF pp. 3–10.)
Midwest describes four separate, unsuccessful efforts to elicit satisfactory responses from the Defendants. (See Filing No. 31 at ¶¶ 6, 8–10.) Again, the Defendants do not refute this representation. On February 5, 2015, Midwest filed this motion, asking the Court to strike the Defendants’ objections to their requests, compel the Defendants to produce responsive documents, and ...