Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Seventh Circuit States that Willfulness, Bad Faith, or Fault Constitute Grounds for Dismissal Under Rule 37

Per In re Thomas Consolidated Industries, Inc., 456 F.3d 719 (7th Cir. Jul 31, 2006):

The bankruptcy court dismissed the case as a sanction for failing to comply with the court's orders regarding discovery and for lying to the court about compliance with discovery orders. The district court affirmed the bankruptcy court's ruling and Thomas Consolidated Industries, Inc. ("Consolidated") appeals. Because the lower courts acted within their discretion in dismissing the case, we affirm.

. . .

Rule 37(a) allows courts to enter orders compelling parties to comply with discovery requests. . .
Consolidated argues that, when viewed as a whole, the cases analyzing Rule 37 make clear that dismissal is warranted only when a party's conduct demonstrates an intent not to pursue the case but to avoid prosecution through dilatory tactics. According to Consolidated, the sanction of dismissal should not be granted for anything less than a total failure to respond to discovery requests. The cases upon which Consolidated relies are either inapplicable or favor the defendants' position here. . . .

The sanction of dismissal under Rule 37(b) may be upheld if the trial court finds that the party against whom these sanctions are imposed displayed willfulness, bad faith or fault. The district court correctly used the standards set forth in Golant and Maynard and we therefore reject Consolidated's [] argument.


Post a Comment

<< Home