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Cannon v. Burge

September 14, 2010

CANNON
v.
BURGE ET AL



Name of Assigned Judge Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge Amy J. St. Eve than Assigned Judge

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT

The Court denies Defendants' motion for a protective order [316].

O[ For further details see text below.] Notices mailed by Judicial staff.

STATEMENT

On April 13, 2005, Plaintiff Darrell Cannon filed his original complaint in this civil rights lawsuit based on police officers allegedly torturing him during interrogations held at the Chicago Police Department's Area 2 Detective Division under the direction of former Chicago Police Lieutenant Jon Burge. On November 12, 2008, the Court granted the United States Government's motion to intervene and for a limited stay until the completion of Defendant Burge's criminal trial. On June 28, 2010, a jury found Burge guilty on obstruction of justice and perjury charges. Thereafter, the Court granted the parties' motion to lift the limited stay on July 22, 2010 and set a briefing schedule for dispositive motions at that time.

Before the Court is Defendants Officers' motion for a protective order regarding Plaintiff's Second Set of Interrogatories pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(b)(2) and 33(a)(1) in which Defendants request the Court to strike Plaintiff's Second Set of Interrogatories. For the following reasons, the Court, in its discretion, denies Defendant Officers' motion. See Semien v. Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., 436 F.3d 805, 813 (7th Cir. 2006) ("district courts enjoy broad discretion in controlling discovery").

LEGAL STANDARD

The federal discovery rules are liberal in order to assist in trial preparation and settlement. See Bond v. Utreras, 585 F.3d 1061, 1075 (7th Cir. 2009); see also Kodish v. Oakbrook Terrace Fire Prot. Dist., 235 F.R.D. 447, 450 (N.D. Ill. 2006) ("the scope of discovery should be broad in order to aid in the search for truth"). Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1), "[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense.... Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). "Courts commonly look unfavorably upon significant restrictions placed upon the discovery process," and the "burden rests upon the objecting party to show why a particular discovery request is improper." Kodish, 235 F.R.D. at 450.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 33(a)(1) provides that "a party may serve on any other party no more than 25 written interrogatories, including all discrete subparts" but that "leave to serve additional interrogatories may be granted to the extent consistent with Rule 26(b)(2)." A parties' request for additional interrogatories are proper unless:

(i) the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or is obtainable from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive;

(ii) the party seeking discovery has had ample opportunity in the action to obtain the information sought; or

(iii) the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit, considering the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, the parties' resources, the importance of the issues at stake in the action, and the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(2)(C)(i-iii); see also Patterson v. Avery Dennison Corp., 281 F.3d 676, 681 (7th Cir. 2002) ("Although there is a strong public policy in favor of disclosure of relevant materials, Rule 26(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil ...


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