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Merrittel v. Godinez

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

January 16, 2018

CALVIN MERRITTE, Plaintiff,
v.
S.A. GODINEZ, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Hon. Reona J. Daly United States Magistrate Judge

         Plaintiff Calvin Merritte filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging his constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center, Stateville Correctional Center, and Pinckneyville Correctional Center. Plaintiff is currently proceeding on three claims against eighteen defendants. Discovery closed on December 4, 2017 and trial is currently set for April 23, 2018.

         This matter is before the Court on the Pro Se Motion to Compel Discovery (Doc. 195), the Pro Se Prisoner's Combined Motion for Reconsideration and Motion to Compel Discovery Responses and Answers (Doc. 200), and the Pro Se Prisoner's Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration and Motion to Compel Discovery Responses and Answers (Doc. 207) filed by Plaintiff Calvin Merritte. For the reasons set forth below, the Motions are DENIED.

         1. Pro Se Motion to Compel Discovery (Doc. 195)

         Plaintiff asserts he served a subpoena on Stephanie Dorethy, the Warden of Hill Correctional Center (HCC), on May 5, 2017. The subpoena commanded Warden Dorethy to produce a number of documents contained in Plaintiff's Master File, including his grade status card, good time revocation/restoration cards, sentence calculation sheets, transfer orders, grievance materials, protective custody materials, and his medical and mental health records.

         Plaintiff contends said documents are discoverable, relevant to the claims pending in this lawsuit, and will assist in the filing of a motion for summary judgment.

         Plaintiff's motion is denied. First, it is not apparent that Plaintiff followed the service requirements set forth in Rule 45(a). Rule 45(a)(3) requires that the requesting party complete the subpoena form and make arrangements (and pay) for someone to serve the subpoena on the individual from whom he seeks to obtain documents. The party who seeks the subpoena is responsible for paying the associated costs - even if the court has found that the party is indigent. See Armstead v. MacMillian, 58 F.App'x 210, 213 (7th Cir. 2003) (unpublished) (“District courts do not have statutory authority to waive witness fees for indigent civil litigants …”). Moreover, the Court finds that the subpoena is overly broad, seeking contents of his entire Masterfile, as well as all grievance materials, protective custody materials, cumulative counseling summaries, and disciplinary reports (to name a few). In light of the procedural defects in the subpoena, as well as the overbreadth of Plaintiff's requests, Plaintiff's Motion to Compel is DENIED.

         2. Pro Se Prisoner's Combined Motion for Reconsideration and Motion to Compel Discovery Responses and Answers (Doc. 200) and Pro Se Prisoner's Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration and Motion to Compel Discovery Responses and Answers (Doc. 207)

         In his motions, Plaintiff seeks partial reconsideration of the undersigned's order concerning his request to compel a number of documents and admissions. Plaintiff also includes a number of other requests to compel that are newly before the Court. Plaintiff has numbered his requests as “a” through “m”, and the Court will use such designations in this order for clarity.

         a. Any and all grievances filed by the Plaintiff Calvin L. Merritte in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) from 11/22/11 until the date of the response and any and all related information including but not limited to responses, appeals, emergency grievance logs, nonemergency or normal grievance logs, correspondence, privileged mail receipts (i.e., legal and privileged mail logs), and the identities and contact information of witnesses with pertinent information related to grievances, etc. (Doc. 99-2)

         Plaintiff asserts that the requested grievances and related information would show that he reported threats of violence and retaliation to specific Defendants prior, and subsequent to, being physically attacked. Plaintiff indicates that although the Defendants provided some of his grievances and related information, Defendants only produced “the grievances that they wanted to produce for the protective custody requests.” Plaintiff has not provided any evidence to support his proposition. In the undersigned's April 18, 2017 Order, Defendants were ordered to produce any protective custody related grievances filed by Plaintiff from November 22, 2011 through 2016 to the extent Defendants had not already done so. On May 8, 2017, Defendants filed a Notice of Compliance with the Court indicating they sent Plaintiff's protective custody grievances, Bates stamped 971-1009. As it appears Defendants have provided Plaintiff with all documents responsive to his request, Defendants will not be compelled to provide any additional response.

         b. Any and all medical records of the Plaintiff in IDOC including but not limited to the medication administration records (MAR's), progress notes, offender health status transfer summaries, prescriptions, orders, diagnosis, problem lists, sick call requests, scheduled appointments to medical staff information, doctor call line schedules, notes, letters, recommendations, x-rays, etc. from 11/22/11 until the date of the response to this request.

         Plaintiff asserts that the requested documents would show the physical and mental injuries he suffered from the physical assaults and retaliation from July 2013 through December 2016. Plaintiff explains that although Defendants produced some of his medical records, an “abundant amount” was not produced and Defendants only produced the records that they wanted to produce. Plaintiff has not provided any evidence to support his proposition. In the undersigned's April 18, 2017 Order, Defendants were ordered to produce Plaintiff's medical records from 2012 through 2014 to the extent Defendants had not already done so. On May 8, 2017, Defendants filed a Notice of Compliance with the Court indicating they sent Plaintiff's entire medical records from 2012-2014, Bates stamped 664-970. As it appears Defendants have provided Plaintiff with all documents responsive to his request, Defendants will not be compelled to provide any additional response.

         c. Any and all offender disciplinary reports (ODR's) regarding Plaintiff in IDOC and any and all information related thereto including but not limited to the program committee final summary reports, adjustment committee final summary reports, IDOC Disciplinary Tracking Inmate Card or disciplinary cell assessment, ...


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