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RIDDLE v. CLAIBORNE

United States District Court, Southern District of New York


February 4, 2003

BEVERLY A. RIDDLE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LIZ CLAIBORNE, KATHY ROBSON, SHELLEY O'CONNELL AND KATHERINE HUDSON, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Henry Pitman, United States Magistrate Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

By notice of motion dated August 22, 2002 (Docket Item 91), plaintiff seeks sanctions against defendants, claiming that defendants obstructed justice. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is denied in all respects.

This is an employment discrimination action. The instant dispute arises out of a subpoena plaintiff served on Bertie Brailsford in September, 2001. At the time that he was served, Mr. Brailsford was an employee of defendant Liz Claiborne, Inc. The subpoena sought documents only.

By letter dated September 27, 2001, counsel for defendants wrote to plaintiff, representing that he represented Mr. Brailsford and that Mr. Brailsford had no documents responsive to the subpoena. Plaintiff has offered no evidence whatsoever demonstrating that the response submitted on behalf of Mr. Brailsford is in any way untrue or that Mr. Brailsford does, in fact, possess documents that are responsive to the subpoena.

Construing plaintiff's motion as a motion to compel pursuant to Rule 45, the motion is denied in all respects. Simply stated, plaintiff served a subpoena seeking documents, and the witness on whom the subpoena was served represented that he had no responsive documents. As noted above, plaintiff has not offered any evidence whatsoever that even remotely suggests the response submitted on behalf of Mr. Brailsford is incorrect. In support of her motion, plaintiff has submitted a number of newspaper clippings which purport to establish that Claiborne has suffered financial reversals in recent years. Even if plaintiff's submissions establish the inference that plaintiff suggests, they simply have nothing to do with the representation made on behalf of Mr. Brailsford that he has no responsive documents.

Since plaintiff has not offered any evidence to show any type of impropriety with respect to the response submitted on behalf of Mr. Brailsford, her motion must be denied in all respects.

SO ORDERED.

20030204

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