IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
February 13, 2008
LUCIO ABEL, PLAINTIFF,
MARK PIERSON, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Proud, Magistrate Judge
Before the Court is plaintiff's motion to compel the defendants to produce their personnel files. (Doc. 47). Defendants object to the production request, arguing the files are irrelevant because only an isolated incident is alleged in the complaint, and personnel files are not generally available for public inspection under 80 Ill. Admin. Code § 304.40(a). (Doc. 48).
The complaint does not allege a pattern and practice of alleged wrongdoing by the defendants, so the defendants' files would not appear to be of primary importance in this case. Nevertheless, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b) permits the discovery of information reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of relevant information. Personnel files are an obvious source of background information about a party, which is typically relevant and/or leads to relevant information for trial.
This Court is not bound by 80 Ill. Admin. Code § 304.40(a), but does have security concerns related to allowing an inmate to have access to information about prison officials, such as addresses, phone numbers, personal identifiers and other typically confidential information. Accordingly, such information shall be redacted from the documents turned over to plaintiff and plaintiff's counsel. If plaintiff can specify a valid need for access to the personal information contained in the defendants' personnel files, the Court will entertain a motion for greater access.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to compel the defendants to produce their personnel files (Doc. 47) is GRANTED, in that on or before February 20, 2008, defendants shall turn over their personnel files, with all personal identifiers and personal information unrelated to their official duties redacted.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
CLIFFORD J. PROUD U. S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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