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Doe v. MacLeod

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

June 25, 2019

JANE DOE, Plaintiff,
v.
RICHARD MacLEOD, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          SUE E. MYERSCOUGH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This cause is before the Court on the Objection to Magistrate Judge's May 15, 2019 Order (d/e 38) filed by Defendant Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). The Objection is GRANTED IN PART and OVERRULED IN PART. Magistrate Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins did not clearly err by ordering the production of protected and confidential information of non-party offenders but should have ordered IDOC to redact the personal identifiers. The Magistrate Judge's production time frame was not clearly erroneous. Finally, IDOC has not shown that the Magistrate Judge's order requiring IDOC to produce every written complaint submitted to IDOC employees alleging sexual misconduct would pose an undue burden.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In August 2018, Plaintiff Jane Doe filed a Complaint (d/e 1) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Richard MacLeod, a Correctional Counselor II employed by IDOC; Todd Sexton, a supervisory officer at Logan and a member of the prison's Internal Affairs Department; and Margaret Burke, the Warden of Logan. Plaintiff alleged that, while she was incarcerated at the Logan Correctional Center, Counselor MacLeod sexually assaulted and harassed her. Plaintiff alleged that Counselor MacLeod's conduct violated her Eight Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. She further alleged that Investigator Sexton and Warden Burke violated Plaintiff's Eight Amendment rights by failing to protect Plaintiff. Investigator Sexton and Warden Burke knew Plaintiff's rights were being violated, had the opportunity to prevent or stop the misconduct from occurring, and failed to do so. Alternatively, Investigator Sexton and Warden Burke were on notice of a substantial risk of harm to Plaintiff and consciously disregarded that risk. Plaintiff also alleged a First Amendment claim against Investigator Sexton and Warden Burke, claiming they retaliated against her after she reported Counselor MacLeod's misconduct.[1]

         On January 11, 2019, Plaintiff served a subpoena on IDOC. Document Request No. 13 sought:

All Documents and Communications regarding sexual contact, sexual misconduct or sexual assault committed by IDOC employees or Logan Correctional Center employees against inmates at Logan Correctional Center.

         The Subpoena defined “Documents” to include “any handwritten, typed, photographed, computerized, audio, video, or other graphic matter, regardless of how it is printed, stored or reproduced, in your possession, custody, and/or control[.]” The Subpoena defined “Communications” to include “any/all forms of communications, including, for example, letters, emails (and any attachments thereto), notes, text messages, voicemails, social media communications or the like.”

         IDOC objected to the request, asserting the request was vague, overly broad in scope, sought information wholly irrelevant to the claims, was disproportionate to the needs of the case, and was unduly burdensome.[2]

         On March 26, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion compel asking the Court to overrule IDOC's relevance and undue burden objections and order IDOC to produce all documents responsive to Request No. 13. IDOC filed a response asking that the Court sustain IDOC's objection and deny the motion to compel.

         On May 15, 2019, Magistrate Judge Schanzle-Haskins entered an Opinion (d/e 36). The Magistrate Judge found that “[d]ocuments regarding other sexual contact, sexual misconduct, and sexual assault by Logan employees against Logan inmates (collectively Sexual Misconduct) [were] relevant to the claims against Defendants Burke and Sexton.” Opinion at 8. The Magistrate Judge agreed, however, that Request No. 13 was overly broad because the request lacked a time limitation, the definition of “documents” and “communications” was too broad, and the request imposed a burden on other inmates and Logan personnel. Opinion at 8-9.[3] To correct this, the Magistrate Judge:

(1) limited the time frame for Request No. 13 to March 1, 2015 to the date of the Subpoena, July 31, 2018;
(2) limited the type of documents IDOC must produce in response to Request No. 13 to:
(a) written complaints submitted to IDOC employees alleging Sexual Misconduct ...

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