United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
G. WILKERSON United States Magistrate Judge.
filed motions for summary judgment on November 4, 2016 and
December 6, 2016 (Docs. 110 and 119). During that same time
period, Plaintiff filed various discovery related motions
seeking an extension of the discovery deadline in order to
secure written responses to discovery requests, among other
things (Doc. 124). This Court extended the discovery deadline
to March 3, 2017 to accommodate that discovery. Also, in
considering Plaintiff's motions, this Court directed
Plaintiff to seek recruitment of counsel if he is unable to
secure the necessary discovery. Plaintiff now seeks
recruitment of counsel, in addition to extensions of time and
orders compelling discovery responses. Plaintiff also has
filed responses to the pending dispositive motions (although
he does argue that adequate discovery has not been completed)
(Docs. 156 and 157).
amended complaint alleged that he was provided insufficient
medical care after a fall in June 2014 while he was
incarcerated at the Menard Correctional Center. He claimed
that after the fall and subsequent loss of consciousness,
Defendant Welborn ignored his need for medical care,
Defendant South failed to refer him to a doctor or otherwise
treat him, and Drs. Trost and Ritz failed to provide adequate
medical care thereafter. Plaintiff is proceeding on only one
count, that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his
serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Court will first address Plaintiff's motions to compel
(Docs. 137-142). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 provides
that the 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 .
. . .” The Court has carefully reviewed Plaintiff's
motions to compel and finds that most of the requests seek
information irrelevant to this matter. For example,
Defendants' involvement in prior lawsuits, past
disciplinary reports, and actions by other inmates are
irrelevant to whether they were deliberately indifferent to
Plaintiff's medical needs in June 2014 (Doc. 137, pp.
1-2, 7). Defendants likewise are not required to produce
documents that are not in their possession or that would pose
a security risk if disseminated to inmates (without a
necessary protective order) (Id. pp. 3-4).
Defendants are not required to create evidence, for example
photographic evidence (Id. pp. 4-5). And, Defendants
are not required to produce broad categories of policies
(i.e. “Wexford's policies and procedures regarding
disciplinary proceedings for employees” and
“Wexford's contract with IDOC”) that are
neither relevant nor limited in scope (Id. 5-6,
particular lawsuit is limited both in time and scope and
Plaintiff's discovery requests ignore that limitation.
The requests are not proportional to the needs of this case;
rather, Plaintiff appears to be on a fishing expedition to
somehow expose nefarious policies that are not related to
this matter. Plaintiff's discovery requests should have
been limited to the facts of this case and not on
wide-ranging topics such as Wexford's (who is not a
defendant herein) relationship with the Illinois Department
of Corrections, Wexford's policies regarding general
medical care, Defendants' past history and treatment of
other inmates, and questions about hypothetical patients and
ailments. None of these types of interrogatories, requests to
produce, or request for admissions furthers or develops the
facts of this case.
has filed two motions with respect to Defendant Welborn (who
has failed to respond to one of them, Doc. 150). A majority
of Document 150 seeks discovery of the type discussed above
and additional responses will not be required. Plaintiff
also, however states that he served requests to produce on
January 13, 2017 to which Welborn did not respond. These
documents include polices regarding medical care, other
inmates' cumulative counseling summaries, previous
lawsuits against Welborn, protocols regarding the storage and
retention of electronic data (like a videotape), training
documents, documents related to conversations about Plaintiff
and this suit, list of people who helped him in responding to
the requests, and location information on other inmates. Most
of these categories of information are not relevant and will
not be compelled. The only relevant request is for documents
that Defendant generated related to Plaintiff and this
lawsuit. Defendant shall provide such documents within five
(5) business days of the date of this Order (this deadline
will not be extended) and file a notice thereof (whether or
not such responsive documents exist).
second motion (Doc. 151), Plaintiff states that he served
requests to admit upon Welborn on January 13, 2017 but that
he failed to respond. In response to the motion, Welborn
filed a motion to withdraw his admissions, in part because of
a puzzling misreading of Local Rule 26(b)(1) (Doc. 158) . The
failure to timely respond to requests to admit automatically
renders the matters admitted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(a)(3).
Defendants can avoid this harsh result by moving to withdraw
their admissions. Kalis v. Colgate-Palmolive Co.,
231 F.3d 1049, 1059 (7th Cir. 2000). “A court, in its
discretion, may permit a party to rescind admissions when
doing so better serves the presentation of the merits of the
case and the party who benefits from the admissions (usually
by relying on them) is not prejudiced.” Banos v.
City of Chicago, 398 F.3d 889, 892 (7th Cir. 2005).
There has been no prejudice in this matter because no party
has relied on the admissions.
remaining motions are disposed of as follows: Plaintiff's
request for counsel is DENIED (Doc. 126).
Plaintiff has now responded to the dispositive motions and
his responses show that he is capable of prosecuting this
matter without the assistance of counsel. Moreover, no
additional discovery will be allowed in this matter (except
as noted above and below). The witnesses that Plaintiff seeks
to depose (or acquire a statement from) were his cellmate and
two others who witnessed his fainting spell on June 20, 2014
(Doc. 126, p. 3). These witnesses would testify that
Defendant Welborn told Plaintiff that he was
“faking” the medical condition. Plaintiff
testified to this statement (Doc. 120-2, p. 30) and the
additional witnesses add no new information.
request for additional interrogatories and requests to admit
are DENIED (Doc. 135). Plaintiff does not
attach a copy of the additional discovery he seeks to
propound. In any event, additional discovery would not be
proportional to the needs of this case. As noted above, this
is a simple matter involving one incident of deliberate
indifference. The matter is neither complicated nor should
discovery extend much further than the medical record and the
statements of the parties. It is unlikely that additional
discovery requests would glean any additional relevant
information. With this finding in mind, Plaintiff's
motion for continuance is DENIED (Doc. 148).
Defendants' motion for protective order is
GRANTED (Doc. 129). The Court has considered
the motion and Plaintiff's response and finds that the
marginal relevance of the policies and procedures that
Plaintiff seeks warrants the limitation included in the
proposed protective order. The protective order will be
docketed by separate entry.
light of the foregoing, Defendants shall produce documents,
subject to the protective order and responsive to a discovery
request, to Plaintiff within 30 days of the date of this
Order. As indicated above, Defendant Welborn shall provide
documents, related to Plaintiffs request for documents
Defendant generated related to Plaintiff and this lawsuit,
within five (5) business days of the date of this Order.
Plaintiff is permitted, within 45 days of this Order to
supplement his responses to the motions for summary judgment.
Any such supplement shall be no longer than 5 pages and shall
not repeat arguments already made. These deadlines will not
foregoing reasons, motions 126, 135, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141,
142, 148, 151 are DENIED. Motions 129 and
158 are GRANTED. And, motion 150 is
GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART as set
forth above. To the extent that the Court has not
specifically addressed arguments or requests, those are