United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
MYERSCOUGH, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
cause is before the Court on the Objection to August 21, 2019
Order  filed by Defendants Keith Beck, Margaret Burke,
Ryan Sexton, and Todd Sexton (hereinafter collectively
referred to as Responding Defendants). Because Magistrate
Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins’ order is neither contrary
to law nor clearly erroneous, the Objection is DENIED.
Jennifer Tyree filed a complaint alleging § 1983 and
state law claims arising from alleged sexual assaults by
Defendant Milo Ziemer, an employee in the Logan County
Correctional Center maintenance department, between March 1,
2017 and July 5, 2017. Plaintiff asserts claims for Eighth
Amendment violations, failure to protect, First Amendment
retaliation, and state law claims for assault, battery, and
2019, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Compel. As is relevant
here, Plaintiff sought an order compelling Responding
Defendants to respond to Document Request No. 19, which
sought the following:
All documents containing or memorializing communications of
any kind made between January 1, 2015 and the present
relating to any allegation of sexual misconduct occurring in
the maintenance department at Logan. This requests (sic)
seeks emails, memos, letters, etc.
Mot. to Compel, Ex. 2 (d/e 27-2). Responding Defendants had
objected on the grounds that the request was overly broad,
unduly burdensome, and disproportionate to the needs of the
case. Responding Defendants also asserted that
the request was not sufficiently specific, but they were
willing to request that the Illinois Department of
Corrections (IDOC) conduct a search if the request was
narrowed and the Plaintiff identified with more specificity
what was being sought. Id. In the Motion to Compel,
Plaintiff argued that the request was “an
electronically stored information request” that was
narrowly tailored. Mot. to Compel at 4.
August 21, 2019, Judge Schanzle-Haskins sustained
Defendants’ objection in part, agreeing with Defendants
that the request should be more narrowly tailored. Judge
Schanzle-Haskins directed “Defendants to request IDOC
to conduct a search of written communications by or between
IDOC employees sent or received between January 1, 2015 and
December 31, 2018, that mention sexual misconduct of Logan
maintenance employees involving inmates.” Opinion 32 at
11. He concluded that “the timeframe is reasonable and
not overly broad to find relevant information about alleged
sexual misconduct by Logan maintenance employees on inmates
and each Responding Defendant’s awareness of such
conduct.” Id. at 11-12.
September 4, 2019, Responding Defendants filed their
Objection to the August 21, 2019 Order.
magistrate judge enters an order on a “pretrial matter
not dispositive of a party’s claim or defense, ”
a party may file objections to the order within 14 days of
being served with a copy of the order. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a).
The Court must consider all timely objections and modify or
set aside any part of the magistrate judge’s order that
“is clearly erroneous or is contrary to law.”
Id. “The clear error standard means that the
district court can overturn the magistrate judge’s
ruling only if the district court is left with the definite
and firm conviction that a mistake has been made.”
Weeks v. Samsung Heavy Indus. Co., 126 F.3d 926, 943
(7th Cir. 1997).
Defendants argue that the request as modified by Magistrate
Judge Schanzle-Haskins is still overly broad and “may
pose an undue burden” on IDOC. Obj. at 2 (d/ 33).
Responding Defendants note that the Magistrate Judge found
that the required production was necessary because documents
pertaining to sexual assault in the maintenance department
may lead to relevant information concerning a
defendant’s awareness of the alleged conduct.
Responding Defendants argue, however, that a search limited
to Responding Defendants’ written communications would
serve that purpose and that only communications sent or
received by Responding Defendants can speak to their
awareness of sexual misconduct by Logan maintenance
employees. An agency-wide search would instead produce
irrelevant documents unrelated to Defendants’
knowledge. Therefore, according to Responding Defendants,
Magistrate Judge Schanzle-Haskins’ order is clearly
erroneous and contrary to law.
Judge Schanzle-Haskins’ order is neither clearly
erroneous nor contrary to law. Written communications
relevant to Responding Defendants’ awareness of sexual
misconduct are not limited to those written by or sent to
Responding Defendants. Other written communications could
reference Responding Defendants’ presence or other
circumstances relevant to show Defendants’ ...