United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
ANTHONY A. KUKLINSKI PLAINTIFF
JACOB J. LEW, Secretary of the United States Treasury DEFENDANT
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
WHALIN, MAGISTRATE JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
matter is before the Court on a “Motion to Extend
Discovery for a Limited Purpose” (DN 72) filed by
Plaintiff Anthony A. Kuklinski (“Kuklinski”).
Defendant Jacob J. Lew, Secretary of the United States
Treasury Department (“Treasury”), has responded
(DN 74), and Kuklinski has replied (DN 78). The parties
disagree as to whether Kuklinski should be permitted to
extend the discovery period to take four additional
depositions in this Title VII case. For the following
reasons, Kuklinski's motion to extend discovery is
granted in part and denied in part.
Kuklinski worked for many years as an Inspector with the U.S.
Mint Police at the U.S. Bullion Depository in Fort Knox,
Kentucky (“U.S. Mint Facility”) where he
supervised almost sixty employees, including shift
lieutenants, shift sergeants, and subordinate officers. (DN
1, at ¶ 7-8). According to Kuklinski, in 2008, a female
subordinate officer complained to him that another officer
was sexually harassing her. (Id. at ¶ 8). After
conducting an investigation on her complaint, Kuklinski
recommended the harassing officer be removed from his
position. (Id. at ¶ 10-12). Kuklinski
additionally advised the harassed officer that she could seek
assistance from an EEO counselor to remedy the workplace
harassment. (Id. at ¶ 11-12). The female
officer subsequently filed a formal complaint with the EEOC.
(Id. at ¶ 13). Kuklinski provided a declaration
to the EEOC's investigator that expressed his concerns
over the potential sexual harassment and hostile work
environment. (Id. at ¶ 13-14).
the EEOC's ongoing inquiry into the harassment claim, the
Treasury placed Kuklinski under administrative investigation
based on accusations that he maintained an
“inappropriate social relationship” with the
female officer that reported harassment. (Id. at
¶ 17). This “administrative investigation”
was terminated after the accusations were found to be
unsubstantiated. (Id. at ¶ 18).
April of 2011, the Treasury began a separate investigation of
Kuklinski, through its Office of the Inspector General
(“OIG”) and the Office of Personnel Management
(“OPM”), based on “possible
misconduct” unearthed in Kuklinski's routine
security-clearance update. (Id. at ¶ 19).
During this investigation, the Treasury stripped Kuklinski of
his supervisory authority and law enforcement power,
reassigning him to an administrative position.
(Id.). Kuklinski states that the Treasury relocated
his workspace to a maintenance building, where he either had
to use a work bench for a desk or work from the
building's break room. (Id.).
seven months into this investigation, the Treasury officially
suspended Kuklinski's security clearance and access to
classified information. (Id. at ¶ 20). In March
of 2012, the Treasury lifted the suspension and reinstated
Kuklinski's security clearance and access to classified
information but did not restore his supervisory authority.
(Id. at ¶ 23). Rather than returning him to his
previous workspace, Kuklinski claims the Treasury converted a
storage room in the maintenance building into his new office.
(Id.). The same day his suspension ended, Kuklinski
received notice of “directed reassignment” from
his duty location in Fort Knox, Kentucky, to the United
States Mint Headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Id. at
¶ 24). Kuklinski states that if he refused the directed
reassignment, his employment with the U.S. Mint would be
terminated. (Id. at ¶ 35).
pursuing his case with the EEOC, Kuklinski commenced this
action. He asserts that the Treasury violated Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1962 (Count I), sought to create
working conditions so intolerable as to force his resignation
(Count II), and breached a mediation agreement (Count III).
(Id. at ¶ 42-29, 50-57; DN 83, at ¶
January of 2015, the Treasury sought partial dismissal of the
action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (DN 38). The
Court granted the Treasury's motion in part, dismissing
Kuklinski's Title VII claims “to the extent they
challenge the merits underlying the decisions to investigate
and suspend his security clearance” based on
Dep't of the Navy v. Egan, 484 U.S. 518 (1988).
(DN 43, at p. 9). The Court specified that “[i]n all
other respects, [Kuklinski's] claims remain
original deadline for the parties to complete discovery in
the case was December 9, 2016. (DN 52). On that date,
Kuklinski filed the instant “motion for extension of
time to complete discovery for a limited purpose.” (DN
72). Kuklinski seeks a sixty-day extension of discovery to
take the depositions of Lester A. Leach and Irwin Ansher and
the Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(b)(6) depositions of the U.S. Mint and
the Treasury OIG. (Id.). The Treasury urges the
Court to deny this motion.
Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, when an act
“may or must be done within a specified time, the court
may, for good cause, extend the time” if the request is
made “before the original time or its extension
expires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(b)(1)(A). In the instant case,
the request for extension was made on the date of the
discovery deadline. As such, Kuklinski must demonstrate good
cause for the Court to grant an extension.
Court has wide discretion in dealing with discovery matters,
including its evaluation of “good cause” for a
deadline extension. See S.S. v. E. Ky. Univ., 532
F.3d 445, 451 (6th Cir. 2008); Chrysler Corp. v. Fedders
Corp.,643 F.3d 1229, 1240 (6th Cir. 1981). The
“scope of discovery” encompasses “any
nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's
claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the
case[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Relevance is to be
“construed broadly to encompass any matter that bears
on, or that reasonably could lead to other matter that could
bear on” any party's claim or defense.
Oppenheimer Fund, Inc. v. Sanders, 437 U.S. 340, 351
(1978) (citation omitted). In analyzing proportionality, the
Court must consider the need for the information sought based
upon “the importance of the issues at stake in the
action, the amount in controversy, the ...