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Donelsonn v. Atchison

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 5, 2017

CHARLES DONELSON, Plaintiffs,
v.
MICHAEL ATCHISON, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Reona J. Daly, United States Magistrate Judge

         This matter comes before the Court on the pending motions filed by Plaintiff Charles Donelson. (Docs. 244, 247, 250, 251, 257, 258, 259.)

         On November 25, 2014, Plaintiff commenced an action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging several constitutional violations. (Docs. 1, 18.) On January 29, 2015, the Court severed Plaintiff's claims into separate actions. The instant action pertains to Plaintiff's claim that Defendants violated Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment and First Amendment rights at Menard Correctional Center by denying access to the yard and confining Plaintiff in unsanitary conditions. Specifically, Plaintiff's claims are as follows:

Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against Defendants Holton and Cartwright for denying Plaintiff access to the yard, thus preventing him from engaging in physical activity necessary to maintain his health;
Count 2: Eighth Amendment claim against Unknown (John Doe) Defendants and Defendants Baker and Cartwright, for placing Plaintiff in unsanitary cells and/or failing to remedy the cell conditions in response to Plaintiff's complaints;
Count 3: First Amendment claim against Unknown (John Doe) Defendants, for housing Plaintiff in the cell contaminated with black mold in November 2012, in retaliation for his complaints and grievances over the denial of yard;
Count 4: First Amendment claim against Defendant Baker, for refusing to remedy the unsanitary conditions in Plaintiff's cell in June 2013 (contamination with feces and urine), in retaliation for Plaintiff's grievances over his staff assaulter classification;

(Doc. 18.)

         Motion to Compel Discovery

         Plaintiff moves to compel Defendants to respond to his discovery requests. (Docs. 244, 247.) As a response to Defendants' objections, Plaintiff asserts that the requested discovery is admissible, relevant, and necessary to support his claims. Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). “Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.” Id. “Rule 26 vests this Court with broad discretion in determining the scope of discovery, which the Court exercises mindful that the standard for discovery under Rule 26(b)(1) is widely recognized as one that is necessarily broad in its scope in order to allow the parties essentially equal access to the operative facts.” Scott v. Edinburg, 101 F.Supp.2d 1017, 1021 (N.D. Ill. 2000). The Seventh Circuit has recognized a trial court's “broad discretion over discovery matters.” Spiegla v. Hull, 371 F.3d 928, 944 (7th Cir. 2004).

         The Court has considered Plaintiff's discovery requests and Defendants' objections and responses and resolves the discovery dispute as follows:

Request No. 1: Produce all water reports for Menard CC 2012-13.
Request No. 2: Produce all water supply system reports from Menard CC 2012-13.
Request No. 13: Produce any report identifying water in the walls of north ...

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