The opinion of the court was delivered by: Donald G. Wilkerson United States Magistrate Judge
Currently pending before the Court are Plaintiff's motions for Extension of Time to File Discovery (Doc. 28), to Compel Discovery (Doc. 35), for Enlargement of Time to File Dispositive Motions (Doc. 38), and for Appointment of Counsel (Doc. 29).
MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE DISCOVERY (DOC.28)
On June 29, 2007, the Court entered a scheduling order in this action setting the close of discovery for November 29, 2007, and the deadline for filing dispositive motions for December 14, 2007. On September 25, 2007, the Plaintiff filed this motion seeking additional time for discovery. In the motion, Plaintiff describes a number of obstacles preventing him from researching and preparing his case, including, difficulty accessing the correct resources from the law library, institutional lock down, and an ongoing conspiracy by the defendants and other prison officials to deny his access to courts. Because of these difficulties, Plaintiff asks for an unspecified amount of time to complete discovery in the action.
The standard for amending a scheduling order is governed by Rule 16(b)(4), which states "[a] schedule may be modified only for good cause and with the judge's consent." Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4). The good cause standard focuses on the diligence of the party seeking to amend the schedule. See Trustmark Ins. Co. v. Cologne Life Re of America, 424 F.3d 542, 553 (7th Cir. 2005).
The Court finds that Plaintiff has shown good cause for his inability to successfully conduct discovery. Thus, the Plaintiff's Motion for an Extension of Time to File Discovery (Doc. 29) is GRANTED. The Court notes, however, that this motion was filed in September 2007, that therefore, Plaintiff has had eight months since the filing of the motion to obtain the materials necessary to prepare his case. Accordingly, the Court amends the scheduling order, setting the close of discovery for June 2, 2008.
MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY (DOC.35)
In this motion, Plaintiff seeks the Court to order Defendants to respond to his interrogatories and requests for production, stating that due to his inability to access the law library, he had difficulty preparing the interrogatories and requests for production. In response, Defendants ask that the motion to compel be denied because Plaintiff's requests were not timely under the Court's scheduling order (Doc. 36).
The Court, above, granted Plaintiff's request for additional time to complete discovery. Thus, Defendants' objections to the Motion to Compel are no longer relevant. Accordingly, the Plaintiff's Motion to Compel (Doc. 35) is GRANTED. Defendants shall respond to Plaintiff's interrogatories and requests for production by June 2, 2008.
MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE DISPOSITIVE MOTIONS (DOC.38)
Plaintiff seeks an extension of time to file dispositive motions in the action, citing the reasons outlined above: inability to access the law library and materials located therein. The Court has already extended the deadline for completion of discovery.
Thus, the Court will extend the deadline for responding to and filing dispositive motions. The Motion for Extension of Time to File Dispositive Motions (Doc. 38) is GRANTED. Plaintiff shall respond to or file dispositive motions on or before June 13, 2008. Defendants shall respond on or before June 27, 2008.
Finally, the Court informs the parties that because United States District Judge G. Patrick Murphy has set the matter for telephonic hearing on dispositive motions for July 14, 2008, no further extensions of ...