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Reynolds v. Bonar

Supreme Court of Wyoming

November 21, 2013

Richard REYNOLDS, Appellant (Plaintiff),
v.
Christopher BONAR, Appellee (Defendant).

Page 502

Representing Appellant: Ronald G. Pretty, Cheyenne, WY.

Representing Appellee: Sean W. Scoggin of McKellar, Tiedeken & Scoggin, LLC, Cheyenne, WY.

Before KITE, C.J., and HILL, VOIGT, BURKE, and DAVIS, JJ.

HILL, Justice.

[¶ 1] In 2011, Richard Reynolds filed a complaint against Christopher Bonar claiming personal injuries arising from a motor vehicle accident. That complaint was dismissed without prejudice for failure to comply with discovery orders. In 2012, Reynolds re-filed his complaint against Bonar. Reynolds' second complaint was dismissed for failure to comply with discovery, this time with prejudice. We affirm.

ISSUE

[¶ 2] Reynolds states the issue for our review as follows:

Did the Court have authority to dismiss [Reynolds'] case with prejudice?

FACTS

[¶ 3] On May 24, 2011, Reynolds filed a complaint against Bonar, alleging that he and another plaintiff in that action, Alicia Carlisle, suffered injuries when the motor vehicle in which they were passengers was struck by a vehicle being driven by Bonar. On June 14, 2011, Bonar filed an answer to the complaint. On November 1, 2011, Bonar filed a Motion to Compel Discovery, alleging that Plaintiffs Reynolds and Carlisle had not provided their initial disclosures, which were due within thirty days after Bonar filed his answer, and also alleging that Plaintiffs had not fully answered the interrogatories and requests for production that had been served on them. On November 30, 2011, the district court heard the motion to compel and ordered that Plaintiffs submit their discovery responses by December 7, 2011.

[¶ 4] On December 8, 2011, Bonar filed Defendant's Motion for Sanctions for Plaintiffs' Failure to Comply with Discovery. On January 11, 2012, the court issued an order granting the motion for sanctions and further providing that " if the Plaintiffs do not provide the full and complete responses to discovery and initial disclosures within the (sic) thirty days of the filing of this order, their Complaint will be dismissed." On February 10, 2012, Bonar filed a motion to dismiss based on Plaintiffs' failure to comply with the court's order. On March 9, 2012, the court granted Bonar's motion and dismissed the complaint without prejudice. In so ordering, the court stated:

The Plaintiffs were obliged to provide their disclosures under the provision of Rule 26 on or before July 25, 2011. Plaintiff, Alicia Carlisle filed her disclosure on February 24, 2012. Plaintiff Richard Reynolds has yet to file his initial disclosures. The Plaintiffs have been granted adequate notice and ample opportunity to comply with the Court's discovery orders. Despite repeated attempts by the Defendant and this Court to coerce their compliance, the Plaintiffs have yet to provide full and complete responses to discovery requests as ordered by the Court. As of this date, the Plaintiffs have not provided complete answers to interrogatories requested from Mr. Reynolds, income tax returns needed to calculate lost wages, initial disclosures for Mr. Reynolds, or any answers to interrogatories requested from Ms. Carlisle. This is in violation of the Court's Order Granting Defendant's Motion for Sanctions for Plaintiffs' Failure to Comply with Discovery Order. In view of the Plaintiffs' failure to comply with the Court's orders in the past, the Court has no reason to believe the Plaintiffs will comply with yet another order requiring provision of properly requested information as well as information simply required by Rule 26. It is, therefore, appropriate that this Court dismiss the action as a sanction.

Page 503

[¶ 5] On September 5, 2012, Reynolds re-filed his Complaint for Monetary Damages against Bonar, and on September 25, 2012, Bonar filed his answer. On December 20, 2012, Bonar filed Defendant's Motion to Compel Discovery alleging that Reynolds had not provided his Rule 26 initial disclosures, which were due on or before October 25, 2012, and alleging that Reynolds had not responded to interrogatories and requests for production that had been served on October 10, 2012. On February 13, 2013, the district court issued an Order of Dismissal, dismissing Reynolds' complaint with prejudice. The court included the following findings in its order:

3. The Plaintiff's initial disclosures were due on or before October 25, 2012; however, to date the Plaintiff has not provided Defendant with his initial disclosures.
4. Defendant, Christopher Bonar served Defendant's First Set of Combined Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents to the Plaintiff via U.S. Mail to ...

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