United States District Court, D. Minnesota
John E. Peet, et al., Plaintiffs,
Michele K. Smith, et al., Defendants.
E. Peet, (pro se Plaintiff)
O’Leary Sullivan, (for Defendants Debbie Goettel &
M. Dahlin & Eugene C. Shermoen, Jr. Arthur, Chapman,
Kettering, Smetak & Pikala, P.A., (for Defendants Mark
Jones & Sue Morfitt).
N. LEUNG UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court, United States Magistrate Judge
Tony N. Leung, on Plaintiff John E. Peet’s motion to
compel (ECF No. 103), motion regarding witness tampering and
fraudulent documents (ECF No. 104), and The New Orleans Court
Defendants’ Motion for Limited Purpose Extension of
Fact Discovery Deadline. (ECF No. 120). For the reasons set
for the below, the Court will deny the motion to compel and
the motion regarding witness tampering and fraudulent
documents. The Court will grant the motion for a limited
extension of the fact discovery deadline.
FACTUAL & PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
John E. Peet has filed a lawsuit alleging that Defendants
violated federal law prohibiting housing discrimination. Peet
contends that he was harassed and the subject of an
unwarranted criminal investigation while a tenant at the New
Orleans Court Apartments and that his lease was unlawfully
terminated. Motions to dismiss have reduced the complaint to
the following: a claim for monetary damages and injunctive
relief against Defendants Mark Jones and Sue Morfitt
(“New Orleans Defendants”), for violating 42
U.S.C. § 1982, and a claim for injunctive relief against
Defendants Debbie Goettel and Michelle Luna (“City
Defendants”), also for violating 42 U.S.C. § 1982.
pretrial scheduling conference was held regarding this matter
on April 18, 2019. (ECF No. 98). Following the conference,
the Court issued a scheduling order in this case. (ECF No.
99). The Court set a fact discovery deadline of September 1,
25, 2019, Peet filed two motions. First, he filed a motion to
compel, seeking production of documents from the City
Defendants, asserting that they produced “mostly junk
mail not relevant to this case.” (ECF No. 103, p. 2).
Peet claimed that if the City Defendants do not have
responsive documents, then they need “to admit or deny
Statement of Facts.” (ECF No. 103, p. 3). Peet also
asked that the Court order the New Orleans Defendants provide
proper discovery responses, noting that they also have
provided no relevant documents to support any of their
defenses. (ECF No. 103, p. 4).
Peet filed a motion regarding witness tampering and
fraudulent documents. He claims that the New Orleans
Defendants have intimidated and threatened witnesses and that
their counsel has violated the Minnesota Rules of
Professional Conduct. (ECF No. 104, p. 1). He further alleges
that certain documents produced by the New Orleans Defendants
were fabrications. (ECF No. 104, p. 5).
appears that no later than August 6, 2019, Peet informed the
New Orleans Defendants that they had failed to produce a
certain declaration in discovery that Peet claimed was
relevant to this matter. Peet indicated the declaration was
filed as part of a proceeding with the Department of Housing
and Urban Development (“HUD”) that preceded this
action. Peet made a second request for the declaration on
August 8, 2019.
Orleans Defendants were unable to locate a copy of this
declaration in their records, though they were able to
produce a separate unsigned statement from the author of the
declaration. They then attempted to locate the declaration by
filing public records requests for all documents produced to
HUD and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights
(“MDHR”) regarding complaints that Plaintiff John
E. Peet filed with each agency. HUD and MDHR have
acknowledged receipt of those requests, but have been unable
to identify precisely when they will respond.
August 22, 2019, the New Orleans Defendants asked by e-mail
for an informal dispute conference to address whether the
Court would order a limited extension of the fact discovery
deadline to allow HUD and MDHR to respond to their requests.
The Court denied that request and directed them to seek
relief via formal motion practice. On August 30, 2019, the
New Orleans Defendants moved for a limited extension of the
fact discovery deadline. The other Defendants in this case do
not oppose the motion for an extension. Peet, however, does
oppose the request.