McDonald v. Robinson

In this lawsuit alleging a sham real-estate investment scheme, sanctions are appropriate against a pro se defendant who repeatedly failed to comply with discovery rules, deadlines, and court orders.

The defendants repeatedly failed to make and then supplement their initial disclosures, as well as to appear for noticed hearings. Those failures continued even after this court made clear, as an explicit condition of the defendant’s probationary sentence in her criminal case. Contrary to the defendant’s assertions, the repeated, ongoing violations and lack of proactivity in this case was due not to the complex nature of federal litigation but rather to bad faith. The defendant’s actions were not harmless, undercutting the plaintiffs’ ability to conduct discovery necessary to prosecute their claims.

Despite her pro se status, the defendant is an educated woman who ran her own business and had the intellectual capacity to understand her obligation to follow court orders, especially following explicit court orders to do so.

Default judgment and motion for sanctions granted.

McDonald v. Robinson, No. 1:18cv697, Jan. 10, 2019. EDVA at Alexandria (Brinkema).

Categories: Opinions, U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Virginia


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