United States District Court, W.D. New York
August 5, 2005.
DAEVON LYONS, Plaintiff,
MICHAEL McGINNIS, et. al., Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARIAN W. PAYSON, Magistrate Judge
DECISION & ORDER
On April 6, 2004, plaintiff filed a pro se complaint,
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that defendants violated
his constitutional rights under the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendments. (Docket # 1). According to plaintiff, the
Superintendent of Southport Correctional Facility, Michael
McGinnis, and other named defendants, conspired to compel him to
confess to a crime he did not commit by subjecting him to cruel
and unusual conditions of confinement, including beatings,
harassment and deprivation of food and sleep. On June 17, 2004,
the Court dismissed plaintiff's Fourth Amendment claim with
prejudice, permitted the remaining claims to proceed and directed
service of the summons and complaint on the named defendants.
(Docket # 4). At this stage, approximately one year later, the
defendants have answered, and substantial discovery has been
Plaintiff has filed several motions that are currently pending
before this Court: a motion to compel filed on January 6, 2005
(Docket # 29); a motion to compel filed on April 1, 2005 (Docket
# 46); a motion to amend his Complaint filed on July 21, 2005
(Docket # 67); and, two motions, filed on August 4, 2005, for leave to file certain
interrogatories following the deadline set by this Court for the
completion of fact discovery (Docket ## 70 and 71). A brief
review of the procedural history of this case is necessary to
gain an understanding of this Court's resolution of the
Prior to the initial scheduling conference with this Court on
January 12, 2005, plaintiff filed a motion requesting the Court
to issue a subpoena compelling the production of plaintiff's
mental health records. (Docket # 29). Approximately one week
later, at the initial conference, this Court issued a Scheduling
Order setting deadlines of March 31, 2005 for the filing of any
motions to amend the pleadings and April 29, 2005 for the
completion of fact discovery, and requiring the defendants to
produce certain documents to the plaintiff relevant to his claims
by no later than February 15, 2005. (Docket # 30).
A few weeks thereafter, plaintiff served defendants with
various discovery demands, consisting of document requests and
interrogatories. Defendants did not timely respond, and plaintiff
filed a motion to compel the responses. (Docket # 46). Plaintiff
also filed a motion to amend his complaint on February 3, 2005,
seeking to add two defendants. (Docket # 38).
On May 5, 2005, this Court conducted a status conference with
the parties. Plaintiff informed the Court that he still had not
received the documents and information that this Court had
ordered the defendants to produce by February 15, 2005, and that
he needed such material to make a final determination whether
there were additional claims or defendants he wished to seek
leave to add to his Complaint. The Court further directed
defendants to produce the requested discovery material, this time by May 31,
2005.*fn1 Counsel for defendants also indicated his
intention to produce at least some of the documents and
information sought by plaintiff in his discovery requests, which
were the subject of his second motion to compel.
In view of these representations, and with the agreement of the
parties, the Court directed the parties to confer regarding
plaintiff's outstanding discovery requests and directed plaintiff
to advise this Court by June 10, 2005 "whether there remain[ed]
any outstanding issues with respect to his two previously filed
motions to compel or whether all issued ha[d] been resolved."
(Docket # 54). In response, plaintiff filed two new motions to
compel (Docket ## 56 and 57) identifying the issues still in
dispute. These motions were decided by this Court by Decision and
Order dated July 20, 2005.*fn2 (Docket # 66). Accordingly,
plaintiff's earlier motions to compel (Docket ## 29 and 46),
which are still pending on the docket, are denied as moot.
With respect to plaintiff's motion to amend his Complaint, his
newly-filed motion seeks to add eight defendants, six more than
the additional two he sought to add through the earlier motion he
filed in February, as well as additional factual allegations and
legal claims. Consistent with the Court's Amended Scheduling
Order dated May 19, 2005 (Docket # 54) and the parties' agreement
at the conference held with this Court on May 5, 2005, this Court
shall consider the newly-filed motion in place of the earlier
motion. For that reason, the earlier motion (Docket # 38) shall be denied as moot, and the Court shall issue
a motion scheduling order with respect to the newly-filed motion
(Docket # 67): defendants shall serve and file any responding
papers on or before August 26, 2005; plaintiff shall serve and
file any reply papers by September 12, 2005; upon receipt of
properly-filed reply papers, plaintiff's motion to amend shall be
taken under advisement by this Court.
Finally, plaintiff seeks permission to serve and file
interrogatories beyond the fact discovery cut-off date set by the
Court in its original Scheduling Order. (Docket ## 70 and 71).
That Order contemplated that the defendants would produce certain
documents and information relevant to plaintiff's claims well in
advance of the discovery deadline so that plaintiff would have
adequate time to review those materials to determine whether to
seek additional discovery from defendants. Defendants did not
timely comply with that deadline. In view of their tardy and
unexcused response, this Court shall exercise its discretion to
permit plaintiff to serve the requested interrogatories. Such
permission is not without limitation, however, and any additional
discovery requests plaintiff seeks to serve shall be served by no
later than August 31, 2005.
For the foregoing reasons, it is my Decision and Order that
plaintiff's motion to amend his Complaint (Docket # 38) and
motions to compel (Docket ## 29 and 46) are DENIED AS MOOT. It is my further Decision and Order that plaintiff's
motions for leave to serve interrogatories (Docket ## 70 and
71) are GRANTED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.