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McAllister v. Adecco Group N.A.

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

March 19, 2018

WILLIS C. MCALLISTER, Plaintiff,
v.
ADECCO GROUP N.A.; TRANE SUPPLY CO.; CURTIS L. BRUNK; GARRETT MOCK, Defendants.

          ORDER: (1) ADOPTING THE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT TRANE U.S. INC.'S MOTION FOR ENTRY OF TERMINATING SANCTIONS; AND (2) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S APPEAL OF THE ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S COUNTER MOTION, ECF NO. 330

          J. Michael Seabright, Chief United States District Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         On February 28, 2018, Magistrate Judge Kenneth J. Mansfield issued a Findings and Recommendation (“F&R”) to grant Defendant Trane U.S. Inc.'s (“Trane”) Motion for entry of terminating sanctions, and an Order denying Plaintiff Willis C. McAllister's (“Plaintiff”) Counter Motion for terminating sanctions against Trane. ECF No. 330. On March 14, 2018, Plaintiff filed an Appeal objecting to all findings and contending that the law was misapplied. ECF No. 331. The court construes the Appeal as both an Objection to the F&R and an Appeal of the Order denying Plaintiff's Counter Motion.

         Pursuant to Local Rule 7.2(d), the court finds this matter suitable for disposition without a hearing. For the reasons discussed below, the court ADOPTS the F&R, DISMISSES Plaintiff's claims against Trane, and DENIES Plaintiff's Appeal.

         II. STANDARDS OF REVIEW

         A. Objections to F&R

         When a party objects to a magistrate judge's findings or recommendations, the district court must review de novo those portions to which the objections are made and “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); see also United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 673 (1980); United States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir. 2003) (en banc) (“[T]he district judge must review the magistrate judge's findings and recommendations de novo if objection is made, but not otherwise.”).

         B. Appeal of Order

         Any party may appeal to the district court any pretrial nondispositive matter determined by a magistrate judge. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a); LR 74.1. Such an order may be reversed by the district court judge only when it is “clearly erroneous or contrary to law.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A); LR 74.1. The threshold of the “clearly erroneous” test is high and significantly deferential. “A finding is ‘clearly erroneous' when although there is evidence to support it, the reviewing court on the entire evidence is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.” United States v. U.S. Gypsum Co., 333 U.S. 364, 395 (1948); Matthews v. Chevron Corp., 362 F.3d 1172, 1180 (9th Cir. 2004); Hasegawa v. Hawaii, 2011 WL 6258831, at *1 (D. Haw. Dec. 14, 2011).

         III. BACKGROUND

         A. Factual and Procedural Background

         Plaintiff initiated this action on August 9, 2016. ECF No. 1. The F&R includes a recitation of the relevant events leading up to the recommendation to impose terminating sanctions that this court need not repeat in detail here. See F&R at 2-8. Rather, the court summarizes those events.

         Trane sent Plaintiff its initial request for production of documents on March 22, 2017. ECF No. 142. After Trane deemed Plaintiff's initial response to be inadequate, Magistrate Judge Mansfield held a discovery hearing, during which “Plaintiff represented . . . that he had approximately 300 documents in his possession in a box, at his residence, that were responsive to Trane's Documents Request.” F&R at 3. Magistrate Judge Mansfield ordered Plaintiff to produce those documents by June 23, 2017. Id.; ECF No. 214. Additionally,

Trane agreed to pay for copying charges based on Plaintiff's representation that his production consisted of approximately 300 documents. The Court also informed Plaintiff that any objections to Trane's Documents Request were waived. Thus, the Court informed the parties this it anticipated that Plaintiff would produce all documents responsive to Trane's Documents Request, ...

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