ANNA ANDERSON * IN THE
Plaintiff * CIRCUIT COURT
v. * FOR
LOUIS SLAVOTINEK * BALTIMORE CITY
Defendant * CIVIL ACTION NO.:
* * * * * * * * * * *
MOTION TO COMPEL
Anna Anderson, Plaintiff, by and through her attorneys, Ronald V. Miller, Jr., Laura G. Zois, and Miller & Zois, LLC, requests that this Honorable Court compel Defendant, Louis Anthony Slavotinek, Jr., to answer Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents and to deem admitted Requests for Admission that were served on Defendant on January 29, 2009. In support, Plaintiff states as follows:
1. Plaintiff served Interrogatories, Request for Production of Documents, and First Request for Admissions on Defendant on January 29, 20094 in this personal injury/auto accident case. See Exhibits A-C.
2. Defendant filed an Answer on February 19, 2009. See Exhibit D. At that time, Defendant also propounded Interrogatories on the Plaintiff that were answered on March 31, 2009. See Exhibit E.
3. Defendant has still refused to answer discovery in spite of three separate letters from Plaintiff's counsel requesting Defendant to answer discovery. See Exhibits F-H.
4. Maryland Rule 2-424 unambiguously states that "each matter of which an admission is requested shall be deemed admitted" unless a response is given in the time prescribed, in this case 45 days. Because this rule is self-executing, defendants are required under Maryland law to seek relief from this Court to allow them amend their answers to Plaintiff's admission requests. Murnan v. Joseph J. Hock, Inc., 274 Md. 528, 533-34 (1975) (". . . to fulfill its unquestioned function, to eliminate the need to prove factual matters at trial which the adversary cannot fairly contest, the admission produced by the rule must be conclusively binding. A contrary interpretation would reduce the rule to a "useless appendage"); Maryland Rule 2-424(d) ("Any matter admitted under this Rule is conclusively established unless the court on motion permits withdrawal or amendment . . .").
5. Maryland Rule 2-424(d) gives this Court unfettered discretion to determine whether to grant a party relief. Assuming Defendant seeks relief in response to this motion, this Court should deny Defendant's request because he is not deserving of dispensation. Defendant has willfully ignored the Maryland Rules and has ignored three separate requests to provide responses.
Accordingly, Plaintiff requests an order compelling Defendant to answer requests for production of documents and interrogatories within ten (10) days and an order deeming Plaintiff's First Request for Admissions to Defendant admitted.
Good Faith Certificate
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR BALTIMORE CITY, MARYLAND
ANNA ANDERSON, *
v. * CASE NO.: 24-C-08-009564
LOUIS ANTHONY SLAVOTINEK, JR., *
* * * * * * *
CERTIFICATE OF GOOD FAITH ATTEMPTS TO RESOLVE DISCOVERY DISPUTE
The undersigned counsel for the Plaintiff certifies that counsel for the above parties have been unable to reach an agreement concerning this dispute, and as reasons, state:
1. That on April 6, 2009, the attorney representing the Plaintiff in this car accident claim requested that the Defendant supply Answers to Interrogatories and responsive documents. A copy of said letter is attached hereto and prayed to be read as a part hereof as Exhibit F.
2. That on April 15, 2009, the attorney representing the Plaintiff requested that the Defendant supply Answers to Interrogatories and responsive documents. A copy of said letter is attached hereto and prayed to be read as a part hereof as Exhibit G.
3. That on May 18, 2009, the attorney representing the Plaintiff requested that the Defendant supply Answers to Interrogatories and responsive documents. A copy of said letter is attached hereto and prayed to be read as a part hereof as Exhibit H.
4. As of the present date, the Plaintiff has not yet received executed Answers to Interrogatories, Response to the Request for Production of Documents, or Response to Request for Admissions from the Defendant.
MILLER & ZOIS, LLC
Laura G. Zois
Empire Towers, Suite 615
7310 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061
Attorneys for the Plaintiff
Comments for Maryland Lawyers
This is the garden variety motion to compel accident and malpractice lawyers file when the defendant is not answering discovery. Trial judges are vested with great discretion in applying sanctions for discovery failures. But I think trying to knock the ball out of the park for initial discovery violations unwise. Smart lawyers simply try to get the answer they need to try the case. But if discovery failures are ongoing - particularly if request for admissions are involved - more serious sanctions may be in order.
In Maryland, make sure that you file your good faith motion as set forth above and remember that good faith should require more than just a cursory letter right before you file your motion.
- Sample Motions (sample discovery motions and other example of motions filed in personal injury cases)
- Another Simple Motion to Compel
Information on Miller & Zois