United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ROBERT L. HOLLEMAN, Plaintiff,
DUSHAN ZATECKY individually and in his official capacity as Superintendent of the Pendleton Correctional Facility, et al., Defendants.
ENTRY DENYING MOTION REQUESTING CERTIFICATION OF
ORDERS FOR INTERLOCUTORY APPEAL
WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE
Robert Holleman has asked the Court to certify three recent
orders for interlocutory appeal. A district judge may certify
an order for interlocutory appeal if:
(1) the order involves a controlling question of law;
(2) there is a substantial ground for difference of opinion
on that question; and
(3) an immediate appeal from the order may materially advance
the ultimate termination of the litigation.
28 U.S.C. § 1292(b).
Order Granting Extension of Time
Holleman first asks the Court to certify its April 2, 2018
order granting the defendants an extension of time to respond
to his motion to strike his deposition testimony. Dkt. No.
89. Mr. Holleman filed his motion to strike on March 9, 2018,
so the defendants' response was due on March 23, 2018,
under Local Rule 7-1(c)(2)(A). However, Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 6(b)(1) allows district courts to award extensions
of time. Moreover, although district courts have discretion
to require strict compliance with local rules, they may also
“exercise their discretion in a more lenient
direction.” Modrowski v. Pigatto, 712 F.3d
1166, 1169 (7th Cir. 2013) (citing Stevo v. Frasor,
662 F.3d 880, 887 (7th Cir.2011)). “[L]itigants have no
right to demand strict enforcement of local rules by district
judges.” Id. “[U]nless the district
court enforce[s] (or relax[es]) the rules unequally as
between the parties, the decision to overlook any
transgression [of the local rules] is left to the district
court's discretion.” Id. (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted).
Holleman has not shown-or even asserted-that the Court has
required him to comply more strictly than the defendants with
the local rules. Under the settled law of this jurisdiction,
the decision to grant the defendants additional time to
respond was well within the Court's discretion. The
Court's order does not raise a question with a
substantial ground for differences of opinion and therefore
cannot be appropriately certified for interlocutory appeal.
Order Denying Motion to Strike
Holleman next asks the Court to certify its order denying his
motion to strike his deposition testimony. See Dkt.
No. 91 at § III. On January 19, 2018, the defendants
served Mr. Holleman with notice that they would depose him on
February 7. On February 5, the defendants notified Mr.
Holleman that they would need to reschedule the deposition
due to an illness, and, on February 7, they sent him notice
that the deposition would take place February 14. Mr.
Holleman participated in the deposition but then moved to
strike his testimony on grounds that the time between the
second notice and the deposition was less than the 14 days
required by Local Rule 30-1(d). The Court denied the motion
to strike, reasoning that rescheduling the deposition only
gave Mr. Holleman additional time to prepare.
order also does not raise a question with a substantial
ground for differences of opinion. At most, Mr. Holleman has
raised a question of interpretation of a local rule-a matter
over which the district court has considerable discretion.
See Modrowski, 712 F.3d at 1169. This order cannot
be appropriately certified for interlocutory appeal.
Order Denying Motion to Compel
Mr. Holleman asks the Court to certify its order denying his
motion to compel the defendants to produce documents they
withheld based on the work-product and attorney-client
privileges. See Dkt. No. 91 at § I(A).
“Ordinarily it is difficult to believe that a discovery
order will present a controlling question of law or that an
immediate appeal will materially advance the termination of
the litigation. Thus, in most instances review under [§
1292(b)] should not be allowed.” 8 Charles Alan Wright,
et al., Fed. Prac. & Proc. Civ., § ...