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No ‘Admissions’ Costs for Plaintiff

In this personal injury action in which the jury returned a verdict for plaintiff, the Richmond Circuit Court denies plaintiff’s motion for costs based on an assertion that evidence at trial showed that facts should have been admitted during discovery.

Generally, defendant’s responses consisted of objections on attorney-client work product grounds. After stating the objection, the responses were followed by statements neither admitting nor denying the requests. Each of these was provided without waiving the objection. As such, these were part of the pre-trial discovery in this case. Plaintiff says “costs” consist of filing and service fees, witness, court reporter and attorney fees. The court will deny the motion.

Under the Rules of Court, the court upon a motion to compel may enter such order compelling a recalcitrant party only when the plaintiff fails to comply with a court’s order to provide or permit discovery. Upon a failure to comply with an order compelling discovery, the court under Rule 4:12(d) may impose such sanctions which are best aimed at penalizing a party and govern the proceedings going forward. Here, plaintiff’s request is but a sanction without an order in place which defendant can be said to have violated.

Hackworth v. Stephens (Hughes) No. CL 11-1390, Oct. 17, 2012; Richmond Cir.Ct.; Cheryl S. Tuck, Brooke T. Alexander, William T. Shands for the parties. VLW 012-8-200, 2 pp.

VLW 012-8-200

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