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Franco v. D.C., No. 11-CV-734 (D.C. App. Mar. 15, 2012)

Franco v. D.C., No. 11-CV-734 (D.C. App. Mar. 15, 2012)

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 Notice: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the Atlantic and  Maryland Reporters. Users are requested to notify the Clerk of the Court of any formal errors so that corrections may be made before the bound volumes go to press.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS
 No. 11-CV-734S
AMUEL
 N.
 
F
RANCO
,
et al.
, A
PPELLANTS
,v.D
ISTRICT OF
C
OLUMBIA
,
 
A
PPELLEE
. No. 11-CV-1409S
AMUEL
 N.
 
F
RANCO
,
 
A
PPELLANT
,v.D
ISTRICT OF
C
OLUMBIA
, A
PPELLEE
.Appeals from the Superior Courtof the District of Columbia(CAE5335-05 & CAB2690-08)(Hon. Anita Josey-Herring, Trial Judge)(Hon. Craig Iscoe, Trial Judge)(Argued January 26, 2012 Decided March 15, 2012)
 Ralph Werner 
for appellants.
Carl J. Schifferle
, Assistant Attorney General, with whom
 Irvin B. Nathan
, AttorneyGeneral for the District of Columbia,
Todd S. Kim
, Solicitor General,
 Donna M. Murasky
,Deputy Solicitor General,
William D. Burk 
, Chief, Land Acquistion and Bankruptcy Section,and
 Edward P. Henneberry
, Assistant Attorney General, were on the brief, for appellee.Before F
ISHER 
and T
HOMPSON
,
 Associate Judges
, and B
ELSON
,
Senior Judge
.B
ELSON
,
Senior Judge
: Appellants bring these appeals of an order granting the
1
District of Columbia (“District”) partial summary judgment, an order granting the District’sOn July 8, 2005, the National Capital Revitalization Corporation (“NCRC”) filed a
1
complaint against appellant Samuel N. Franco to condemn real property. On August 3, 2010,the District of Columbia, which succeeded NCRC as plaintiff, filed a third amendedcomplaint, adding Allan Franco and Nathan Franco as defendants.
 
2motion for possession of property, an order rejecting appellants’ assertion of lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, and an order denying a motion to compel discovery. For the reasons set
2
out below, we affirm the orders entered by the trial court.
I. Factual and Procedural Background
The relevant facts have been recounted by this court twice before,
 see Franco v. National Capital Revitalization Corp.
, 930 A.2d 160, 162-64 (D.C. 2007) (hereinafter 
 Franco I 
”) and
 Franco v. District of Columbia
, 3 A.3d 300, 302-03 (D.C. 2010). We willdescribe them only briefly here, along with the relevant procedural history. On July 8, 2005,the National Capital Revitalization Corporation (“NCRC”) filed a complaint in Superior Court to condemn real property in the Skyland Shopping Center, located at 2648 Naylor Road, S.E. in the District of Columbia. Appellant Samuel N. Franco, the record title holder of the property, leased this property to D Mart, Inc., which he solely owned, to operate astore, “Discount Mart.Appellant Samuel N. Franco filed an answer and counterclaim inwhich he asserted several defenses, including that the taking was for a private use and thatthe declared public purpose for the condemnation was pretextual. The NCRC filed a motionto strike all of the defenses, which the trial judge granted.In
 Franco I 
, this court affirmed the striking of all but one of these affirmativedefenses. 930 A.2d at 167. We concluded that the pretext defense was not foreclosed by theThe order granting partial summary judgment was docketed on April 12, 2010. The
2
order rejecting appellants’ assertion of lack of subject-matter jurisdiction was docketed onMay 24, 2011. An order by the trial judge that those two orders “together constitute a finalruling on all remaining issues in this matter between all parties . . .” was docketed on June14, 2011.
 
3Supreme Court’s decision in
 Kelo v. City of New London
, 545 U.S. 469 (2005). We reversedand remanded because the trial judge had not considered appellant’s specific factualallegations, which were misleadingly contained in the section entitled “counterclaims.” Weinstructed that the inquiry into whether or not a project was approved for pretextual reasonsshould focus on whether or not the project was designed to meet the purported public purpose, not on the subjective motivations of the legislature or officials involved in the project.
 Franco I 
, 930 A.2d at 173-74. Finally, we emphasized “that further proceedings,including discovery, should honor the ‘longstanding policy of deference to legislative judgments’ concerning the public purpose of a taking.”
 Id.
at 175.On October 1, 2007, the NCRC was dissolved and the District of Columbia wassubstituted as plaintiff on remand. The District filed a motion for partial summary judgment pursuant to Super. Ct. Civ. R. 56, and appellant Samuel N. Franco filed a preliminaryopposition to this motion. Appellant sought additional time to conduct broad discovery sothat he could prepare a full opposition to the summary judgment motion and establish his pretext defense. The trial judge approved the taking of four depositions initially, later approving another four, and also granted a number of extensions to the discovery period.In May 2009, appellant Samuel N. Franco moved for another extension to thediscovery period and to compel additional document production. Appellant alleged that theDistrict had agreed to produce, but had not produced, a number of documents, includingdrafts of the legislation related to Skyland Shopping Center, communications between
3
The Skyland Legislation was signed by Mayor Anthony Williams on December 29,
3
2004, and the act became law after the Congressional review period ended on April 5, 2005.(continued...)

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