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Love v. Harrington

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

October 24, 2017

RODNEY LOVE, Plaintiff,
v.
RICHARD HARRINGTON, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          REONA J. DALY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's six pending motions. (Docs. 50, 52, 53, 54, 56, 57.) Plaintiff is an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections and is currently incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center. On August 24, 2015, Plaintiff filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of his constitutional rights. (Doc. 1.) On August 12, 2016, the Court screened Plaintiff's amended complaint, and Plaintiff now proceeds against Defendants Veath and Hart on a single claim, alleging a violation of his right to procedural due process under the Fourteenth Amendment in relation to Plaintiff's disciplinary proceedings in November 2013.

         Plaintiff's Motions to Compel Discovery

         Plaintiff's pending motions include two motions to compel discovery. 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.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(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).

         On October 19, 2016, Plaintiff served his First Set of Requests for Production. (Doc. 50 at 23-25.) On May 30, 2017, Plaintiff served his Second Set of Requests for Production. (Id. at 26-28.) On July 26, 2017, Plaintiff moved to compel Defendants' responses to his requests for production. (Doc. 50.) On September 18, 2017, Plaintiff filed a second motion to compel Defendants' responses to his requests for production. (Doc. 56.) Plaintiff takes issue with the following responses:

         First Set of Requests for Production

Request for Production No. 1: All notes, reported done by hearing investigator Rebecca A. Cowan.
Response: Objection. Defendants object to this Request as seeking information that is irrelevant, not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, overly broad in time and scope, unduly burdensome, and not proportional to the needs of the case. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b). All notes and reports ever done by hearing investigator Rebecca A. Cowan are not relevant to the instant case. Notwithstanding said objection, Defendants refer Plaintiff to documents Bates stamped 000016-000018 previously provided herein.
Request for Production No. 2: All notes, reports done by Lt. Gieselman and Lt. J. Powell.
Response: Objection. Defendants object to this Request as seeking information that is irrelevant, not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, overly broad in time and scope, unduly burdensome, and not proportional to the needs of the case. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b). All notes and reports ever done by hearing investigators Lt. Gieselman and Lt. J. Powell are not relevant to the instant case. Notwithstanding said objection, Defendants refer Plaintiff to documents Bates stamped 000016-000018 previously provided herein.

         Plaintiff argues that Defendants' objections are improper because the requested information is relevant to his claims to show evidence of motive, knowledge, policy, practice, or custom. Even assuming that the requested documents are relevant, Plaintiff fails to address Defendants' objection that the request is overly broad, unduly burdensome, and disproportionate to the needs of the case. Plaintiff's claim pertains to a single disciplinary decision that occurred on November 2013. The Court agrees that Plaintiff's request for notes and reports without limiting the period of time or identifying a specific topic is overly broad, unduly burdensome, and disproportionate to the needs of the case. Therefore, Plaintiff's Motion to Compel is denied with respect to Requests for Production Nos. 1 and 2.

Request for Production No. 4: All Internal Affairs Memorandums dealing with this issue.
Response: Defendants states that there are no responsive documents to this request.

         Plaintiff states that a correctional officer filed an incident report on November 20, 2013, that states, “T.O.T. I/A”. (Doc. 50 at 7.) Defendants respond that the report does not indicate that Internal Affairs prepared any memorandums related to the incident report and that Internal Affairs informed defense counsel that it did not conduct an investigation regarding this incident. In the absence of any compelling reason to question the credibility of the response and satisfied by defense counsel's investigative ...


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