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Denton v. Suter

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

June 8, 2017

PETER DENTON, ET AL., Plaintiffs,
v.
RUDOLF SUTER, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          DAVID L. HORAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiffs Peter Denton and Harvest Investors, L.P. have filed a Motion for Ongoing Discovery [Dkt. No. 184]. This motion has been referred to the undersigned United States magistrate judge for determination under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). See Dkt. No. 46.

         The parties met and conferred on this motion and continue to disagree. At the Court's direction, see Dkt. No. 199, Defendant Rudolf Suter filed a response, Dkt. No. 201, and Plaintiffs filed their reply, Dkt. No. 204. And, although Plaintiffs have requested a hearing on this motion, the Court finds that there is no need for one.

         For the reasons explained below, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs Peter Denton and Harvest Investor L.P.'s Motion for Ongoing Discovery [Dkt. No. 184].

         Background

         On August 23, 2012, Plaintiffs each obtained individual judgments in this Court against Mr. Suter in the amount of $1, 025, 430.68 respectively together with interest from the date of judgment at a rate of 5% per annum from June 2009 until the date of payment. Dkt. No. 15 at 1. Plaintiffs also jointly obtained judgments in this Court in the amounts of $3, 076.29, $31, 798.81, and $101, 350.60 for various fees, expenses, and costs. Id. at 2.

         Plaintiffs attempted to collect on their judgments by serving Mr. Suter post-judgment discovery requests. Mr. Suter did not fully respond to these requests, even after the Court ordered him to do so. See Dkt. No. 173 (citing this failure to hold Mr. Suter in contempt). He, instead, left the country.

         United States District Judge David C. Godbey subsequently entered an order finding Mr. Suter to be “in civil contempt of this Court.” Id. at 6. He specifically ordered that Mr. Suter “shall be coercively incarcerated until”:

1. He “fully and completely respond[s] under oath” to the discovery requests at issue;
2. He “pays the $27, 605 he owes to the Denton Plaintiffs”; and
3. “U.S. Magistrate Judge Horan determines that Defendant Rudolf Suter has complied with” the above requirements.

See Id. at 6-7.

         Mr. Suter has since returned to the United States and was arrested in light of Judge Godbey's Order of Civil Contempt and Coercive Incarceration and the warrant for his arrest. See Dkt. Nos. 174 & 175 at 1-2.

         After his arrest, Mr. Suter served amended responses to the discovery requests at issue. See Dkt. No. 179. But, after reviewing these answers, the undersigned concluded that he “[could] not find that Mr. Suter ha[d] at th[at] time fully and completely responded under oath to the ... ...


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