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Ford v. Wright

February 6, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Donald G. Wilkerson United States Magistrate Judge


Currently pending before the Court are Plaintiff Bobby Ford's Motions to Compel (Docs. 21 and 22), Motion for Speedy Trial (Doc. 23), Motion for Sanctions (Doc. 25), and Motion for Sanctions or in the Alternative for Default Judgment (Doc. 31).


Ford filed his first motion to compel on April 2, 2008, requesting that the Court enter an order compelling the defendants to produce for inspection and copying documents that Ford had requested of Defendants on February 28, 2008 (Doc. 21). Ford states that Defendants have refused to respond to his discovery requests in the time required under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, therefore, he asks that the court order Defendants to so respond. Defendants responded that they mailed to Plaintiff by regular mail their responses to Plaintiff's interrogatories, Requests for Production of Documents, and Requests for Admissions on March 31, 2008 (Doc. 24). Defendants argue that their responses were timely under Fed. R. Civ. P. 6.

Defendants received Ford's discovery requests on February 25, 2008. Under Rules 33, 34, and 36, Defendants had 30 days in which to respond. Under Rule 6(d), three days are "added after the period would otherwise expire." Defendants' 30 days to respond expired on March 26, 2008. Three days are added under Rule 6(d), making the deadline to respond March 29, 2008, which was a Saturday. Under Rule 6(a)(3), if the last day of the period is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the last day is excluded, and "the period runs until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday." By that rule, the last day of the period was extended until the next Monday, March 31, 2008. Defendants mailed their responses on that day, thus, they were timely. For that reason, Ford's Motion to Compel (Doc. 21) is DENIED.


In Ford's second Motion to Compel (Doc. 22), he objects to many of the Defendants' discovery responses as inadequate or incomplete. Specifically, Ford complains of the following:

(1) Defendant Wright provided only partial statements in response to Ford's interrogatories and his responses did not include an attestation, making the responses "unacceptable," (2) Defendants refused to provide Ford with copies of his own medical records, (3) Defendants refused to produce names of inmates housed in the segregation unit where Ford was housed during the incidents at issue in this lawsuit, (4) Defendants have refused to produce requested incident reports, (5) Defendants have refused to properly answer requests for admissions, and (6) Defendants "lied" by misstating the date Ford filed his complaint in the action.

Wright Interrogatories

Plaintiff states that Defendant Wright's responses to interrogatories were incomplete and did not contain an attestation. Plaintiff does not specify how the responses were inadequate or incomplete. The Federal Rules require only that the interrogatories be answered by the party to whom they are directed. Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(b)(1)(A). The party must answer each interrogatory, to the extent it is not objected to. Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(b)(3). Defendants provide a copy of Defendant Wright's Interrogatories (Doc. 26, Exh. 2). His answers conform to these requirements. Thus, there is no need to compel additional answers.

Defendants concede that Defendant Wright's answer to Ford's interrogatories did not contain a signed attestation, but argue that they informed Ford of this in a letter attached to the responses (Doc 26, Exh. 2). They later sent the attestation to him on April 14, 2008. Thus, Ford's request to compel the attestation should be denied.

Defendants Failure to Produce Medical Records, Names of Inmates, and Incident Reports

In response to Ford's request for his own medical records, the names of the inmates housed in the segregation unit at the time of the incidents, and the incident reports regarding the allegations in the complaint, Defendants argue that Ford's requests to produce were "imbedded in the middle of the definition and instruction section of the document and were not noticed by counsel until preparation of the response to this Objection." Defendants state they will respond to those requests within 30 days of the filing of the response. It is clear from Plaintiff Ford's ...

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