Attorneys for the parents of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer must delay more than a dozen planned depositions. The depositions were scheduled this month in four cities in the federal civil trial naming two of the people believed to have last seen Spierer.
The court first will rule on motions for summary judgment sought by defendants Jason Rosenbaum and Corey Rossman. Spierer was 20 when she disappeared from the Bloomington campus in the early morning hours of June 3, 2011, after a night of drinking and club-hopping. No criminal charges have been filed.
Spierer’s parents last year filed the suit, Robert Evan Spierer and Mary Charlene Spierer v. Corey E. Rossman and Jason Isaac Rosenbaum, 1:13-cv-991, but Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker of the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis, last month temporarily stayed discovery. Baker noted at the time the “precarious” posture of the Spierers’ claims as a factor in limiting further discovery.
The defendants face remaining Dram Shop and negligence per se claims.
Baker held a hearing last week, and on Tuesday he ordered the discovery stay to remain in effect, denying the Spierers’ motion to reconsider the discovery stay.
“Plaintiffs advised the Court at the May 28 hearing that they want to take fourteen depositions in June, twelve of them from non-parties. These depositions are to occur in New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Boston,” Baker wrote. “On balance, principles of fairness and judicial economy suggest that the potentially dispositive motion for summary judgment should be resolved before unleashing such unduly burdensome and expensive discovery.”
Baker denied Rosenbaum’s and Rossman’s motions to quash non-party subpoenas as moot in light of the discovery stay.
“Defendants suggest that Plaintiffs’ proposed discovery ‘makes it clear that they are attempting to conduct their own independent investigation into the disappearance of Lauren Spierer using federal subpoena power under the guise of prosecuting a Dram Shop claim.’” Baker wrote.
“If this description is correct, Plaintiffs’ pursuit of information is understandable given the mystery and misery that surrounds Lauren Spierer’s disappearance three years ago today. Nevertheless … the discovery stay will remain in place and discovery will remain on hold for now.”