Let’s chat about Defendant’s Motion to Compel Better Responses to its First Set of Interrogatories in Brian Wilkins v. RCI, LLC., 2023 WL 6450346 (M.D.F.L. Oct. 3, 2023).
This case stems from Plaintiff’s allegations of Defendant’s violation of several portions of the TCPA. Defendant moved to compel better responses to six interrogatories. Generally, Plaintiff answered each Interrogatory by referencing exhibits to his Second Amended Complaint, providing some facts and argument. In response to this Motion to compel, Plaintiff responded that the issues raised by the Interrogatories are more fully discussed in Plaintiff’s Motion to Summary Judgment and “any better response to these Interrogatories would simply be “copies and pastes” from his MSJ.”
For example, in Interrogatory 2, Defendant requested that Plaintiff identify each call at issue in the Complaint along with the date, time, the number that received the telephone call and the number that placed the telephone call. Plaintiff answered: “See Exhibits F, G and H of the Second Amended Complaint for the Verizon.com call logs and the native logs from Moto m5 phone. RCI’s phone number (which you simply pick up your own phone and call) is XXX-XXX-9137. Those are the unlawful calls. These calls are also in the Initial Disclosures.”
Plaintiff further asserts that he provided Defendant with a list of calls attached to his Motion for Summary Judgment. But Defendant argues that it is entitled to a single list of the calls at issue.
The Court agreed with Defendant. According to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Defendant is entitled to an answer that Plaintiff swears to or affirms under oath and granted Defendant’s request.
Three additional interrogatories were also granted for similar reasons. Generally, in Interrogatory Nos. 6, 7 and 9, Defendant sought Plaintiff to state the purpose of the calls. Plaintiff answered with arguments, some facts and reference to the exhibits attached to the Second Amended Complaint. Again, Defendant argues that Plaintiff’s answers were not adequate. Plaintiff responded that the issues found in the interrogatories are addressed in more detail in Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment.
The Court again agreed with Defendant finding that the Defendant is entitled to a sworn answer to the Interrogatories. Because Plaintiff has not asserted any other objection or basis to avoid answering, Defendant’s requests are granted.
The Court denied Defendant’s request as to Interrogatory 8 which sought identification of any witnesses by construing Plaintiff’s answer as stating that Plaintiff did not intent to call any witnesses.
Finally, as to Interrogatory 11, the Court granted Defendant’s request finding that Defendant was entitled to a sworn answer regarding the TCPA and sustained the second part of the interrogatory referencing the Florida Telephone Solicitation Act, which was dropped from the operative complaint.
This was a great win for Defendants!
Takeaway: The Court ordered Plaintiff to provide better answers to Defendant’s Interrogatories finding that the Defendant was entitled to answers that Plaintiff swears to or affirms under oath.
Til next time, Countess!!!