United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Corpus Christi Division
B. Libby United States Magistrate Judge.
a collective action brought pursuant to the Fair Labor
Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq.
Pending are the following motions: (1) Defendant's Motion
to Compel and Motion to Prohibit Use of Evidence of Damages
at Trial (D.E. 135); (2) Defendant's Motion For
Reconsideration of the Magistrate Judge's Denial of
Request for an Extension of Time (D.E. 136); (3)
Defendant's Motion to Expedite Hearing on the
Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration of the Magistrate
Judge's Denial of Request for Extension of Time (D.E.
137); (4) Defendant's Motion Objecting to Magistrate
Judge's Denial of Request for an Extension of Time (D.E.
138); and (5) Motion to Expedite Hearing on the
Defendant's Motion Objecting to the Magistrate
Judge's Denial of Request for Extension of Time. (D.E.
reasons stated below, Defendant's Motion to Compel and
Motion to Prohibit Use of Evidence of Damages at Trial is
DENIED. (D.E. 135). Defendant's Motion
for Expedited Ruling is GRANTED and the
Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED. (D.E.
136 and D.E. 137). With regard to the remaining two motions,
Defendant seeks review of the undersigned's rulings.
Therefore, these motions should be considered in the first
instance by the District Judge. However, the undersigned
RECOMMENDS Defendant's remaining Motion
to Expedite be GRANTED and the Motion to Set
Aside be DENIED for the reasons stated in
this Order. (D.E. 138 and D.E. 139).
Court has federal question jurisdiction in this FLSA action
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636, this case has been referred to the undersigned
United States Magistrate Judge for determination of all
procedural and discovery motions, case management, and all
other matters authorized by law. (D.E. 70).
filed a related action to this case on March 16, 2017. On May
19, 2017, the parties filed their Joint Discovery and Case
Management Plan (D.E. 11) in which they represented, among
other things, “[n]o unusual limitation or
accommodations will be necessary for the discovery
process.” (D.E. 11, ¶ 9). The parties further set
forth their discovery plan and requested that the discovery
deadline be set for February 28, 2018, noting that an
extension may be necessary depending in the size and scope of
the class. (D.E. 11).
States District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos granted
Plaintiffs' motion for conditional certification at a
hearing on September 15, 2017. The parties appeared
telephonically before Judge Ramos on October 12, 2017, for
the first of many hearings on the parties' discovery
disputes. On October 25, 2017, Judge Ramos re-opened the
briefing on the proposed scope of the class. (D.E. 34). On
January 24, 2018, after additional briefing, Judge Ramos
granted Plaintiff's motion for conditional certification.
March 8, 2018, the parties appeared before Judge Ramos at a
pre-motion conference at which Plaintiffs were granted leave
to file an amended complaint due to issues with the scope of
the class and because counsel for Plaintiff intended on
filing a supplemental motion for conditional certification.
On April 20, 2018, the parties appeared before the
undersigned for a telephonic pre-motion hearing on a
discovery dispute. The undersigned ordered the parties to
continue discovery on issue related to conditional
certification, assisted the parties in rescheduling the
deposition of the Defendant's corporate representative,
and set new deadlines for Plaintiffs' supplemental motion
for conditional certification. (D.E. 63).
24, 2018, the parties again appeared before the undersigned
for a pre-motion conference regarding a discovery dispute at
which the undersigned assisted the parties in setting
depositions. (D.E. 67). On June 11, 2018, the parties
appeared again for a pre-motion telephonic hearing regarding
another discovery dispute. On June 19, 2018, the parties
appeared the undersigned and announced they had reached an
agreement on their discovery dispute. The parties were
ordered to submit an order setting forth their agreement.
After this hearing, Judge Ramos referred the case to the
undersigned for case management. (D.E. 70).
August 8, 2018, the undersigned signed the parties'
Agreed Interim Scheduling Order which set forth a
comprehensive plan for precertification discovery which
included deadlines for interrogatories, document production,
depositions, and a new briefing schedule for conditional
certification. (D.E. 73). On September 19, 2018, the parties
filed their Joint Stipulation and Proposed Order Regarding
Conditional Certification. (D.E. 76). On September 24, 2018,
the parties filed their Agreed Motion to Sever. (D.E. 79). On
September 25, 2018, the undersigned granted the parties'
motion to sever and Plaintiffs' claims against Defendant
M-I, LLC were severed and opened in this case. (D.E. 80).
October 9, 2018, a complaint was filed and the next day, the
undersigned entered an order granting Plaintiffs'
Unopposed Motion to Approve Notice Documents, which gave
potential opt-in Plaintiffs sixty days from the date of the
first mailing or emailing to return the consent form and
become a plaintiff in this lawsuit. (D.E. 84). On January 7,
2019, the parties appeared before the undersigned for a
status and scheduling conference and a pre-motion conference
on additional discovery matters involving the production of
documents and scheduling depositions. The parties announced
they were working through their dispute and making progress.
The undersigned also discussed deadlines and entering a
scheduling order. (D.E. 98). The undersigned specifically
noted the parties had been conducting discovery but felt it
appropriate that the parties be given a full opportunity to
conduct discovery. The parties agreed with the Court's
proposed dates which included a discovery deadline of July
12, 2019 which granted the parties an additional six months
to complete the discovery process. A scheduling order was
entered on January 8, 2019. (D.E. 98).
undersigned held a pre-motion conference on February 26, 2019
regarding setting depositions and document production. The
Court's rulings on those matters are set forth in a
written order. (D.E. 103). The undersigned held another
pre-motion conference on May 9, 2019, again involving a
dispute about setting depositions and document production.
The undersigned's ruling on those matters are set forth
in a written order. (D.E. 109, D.E. 113 and D.E. 122). On May
31, 2019, the undersigned held another pre-motion conference
at which the undersigned granted Plaintiffs' motion to
compel and ordered representative discovery. (D.E. 122).
Representative discovery was necessary to assist the parties
in finishing the discovery process.
3, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment. (D.E. 124). Less than a week later, on July 8,
2019, the parties jointly moved for an extension of the
discovery and dispositive motions deadlines which the
undersigned granted in part the same day. (D.E. 126 and D.E.
127). The parties requested the discovery deadline be
extended from July 12, 2019 to August 22, 2019 and the
dispositive motion deadline be extended from July 18, 2019 to
September 16, 2019. (D.E. 126). The ...