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Woolum v. City of Dallas

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

December 5, 2019

ALBERT E. WOOLUM, Plaintiff,
v.
THE CITY OF DALLAS, TEXAS, SAMUEL DIGBY, and OFFICER DOES 1-9, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR LEAVE TO CONDUCT LIMITED DISCOVERY (OUT OF TIME)

          DAVID L. HORAN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Albert E. Woolum, through counsel, brought this civil rights action against the City of Dallas, one named Dallas police officer, and several John Doe Dallas police officers. See Dkt. No. 1.

         United States District Judge Jane J. Boyle referred this action to the undersigned United States magistrate judge for pretrial management under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). See Dkt. No. 18.

         Woolum now moves for leave to obtain discovery related to Defendant Samuel Digby's defense of qualified immunity, seeking to depose Digby, require that the City respond to thirty-numbered requests for production, and require that Digby respond to eighteen-numbered requests for production and answer nine-numbered interrogatories. See Dkt. No. 35.

         The certificate of conference included in the motion for leave represents that counsel for Defendants indicated on September 24, 2019 that Woolum's motion for leave was unopposed, although the motion itself was not filed until December 4, 2019. See Id. at 2.

         The Court DENIES the motion for these reasons.

         Applicable Background

         On June 25, 2019, the Court granted in part and denied in part Digby's motion to dismiss without prejudice to Woolum's filing an amended complaint by July 9, 2019. See Dkt. No. 24; see also Dkt. No. 23. No. amended complaint was filed. Digby therefore answered the original complaint. See Dkt. No. 25. And, through his answer, Digby asserted qualified immunity. See id., ¶¶ 2.5, 2.6, & 2.7.

         On August 19, 2019, Digby filed a court-ordered motion for summary judgment on this nominally affirmative defense. See Dkt. Nos. 29 & 30; see also Dkt. No. 28. Two days later, the Court allowed Woolum leave to file a motion for leave to conduct limited discovery to respond to the qualified immunity issues raised in the summary judgment motion by September 21, 2019. See Dkt. No. 31. But no motion was filed.

         On September 17, 2019, the Court struck and unfiled Woolum's untimely response to the City's renewed motion to dismiss that further requested leave to file an out-of-time amended complaint [Dkt. No. 32] without prejudice to his re-filing the response and motion for leave out of time only after his counsel conferred with counsel for Defendants, see Dkt. No. 33. Woolum failed to re-file either his response or his motion for leave.

         And, on November 6, 2019, the Court ordered Woolum to file a written response to the motion for summary judgment by December 6, 2019. The current motion for leave was filed two days before this response deadline.

         Legal Standards and Analysis

         As the Court set out in its August 21, 2019 order inviting Woolum to file a motion for leave to conduct limited discovery in order to respond to the qualified immunity issues raised in the summary judgment motion,

[a]ll discovery is typically stayed pending a ruling on a defendant's entitlement to the defense of qualified immunity. See Wicks v. Miss. State Employment Servs., Inc., 41 F.3d 991, 994-95 (5th Cir. 1995); accord Foreman v. Texas A&M Univ. Sys. Health Sci. Ctr., No. 3:08-cv-1469-L, 2008 WL 494267, at *4 (N.D. Tex. Nov. 12, 2008) (citing Wicks in ruling that discovery is stayed pending a ruling on an individual defendant's dispositive motion); see also Zapata v. Melson, 750 F.3d 481 (5th Cir. 2014); Backe v. LeBlanc, 691 F.3d 645 ...

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