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Jones v. Goord

December 12, 2007

ANTHONY JONES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GLENN S. GOORD, COMMISSIONER, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Randolph F. Treece, U.S. Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Presently before this Court is a Motion to Compel Discovery filed by pro se Plaintiff Anthony Jones. Dkt. No. 35. Defendants have opposed the Motion, Dkt. No. 39, and Plaintiff filed a Reply, Dkt. No. 42.

I. BACKGROUND

By way of background, this action was filed on November 16, 2005. The Complaint in this action sets forth allegations that the Defendants denied Plaintiff medical treatment, filed misbehavior reports agasint him in retaliation for filing grievances and for assisting other prisoners in filing grievances, and burdened the free exercise of his religion. Dkt. No. 1, Compl. These events allegedly occurred between March 2004 and July 2005 while Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Franklin Correctional Facility. Id.

A Pretrial Order was issued in this case setting the discovery deadline for February 28, 2007, the motion to compel deadline for March 30, 2007, and the dispostive motion filing deadline for June 30, 2007. Dkt. No. 19. Upon Plaintiff's request, the nondispostive motion deadline was extended from October 30, 2006 to November 3, 2006. Dkt. No. 21.

II. THE MOTION TO COMPEL

A. Plaintiff's Motion

Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants have wholly failed to respond to his discovery demands. More specifically, Plaintiff asserts he served (1) Interrogatories directed to Defendant Rushford on September 13, 2006, (2) Interrogatories directed to Defendant Boyea on September 16, 2006, (3) Interrogatories directed to Defendant Rock on September 17, 2006, (4) Interrogatories directed to Defendant Demars on September 19, 2006, (5) Interrogatories directed to Defendant Allard on September 20, 2006, (6) Interrogatories directed to Defendant Eagen on September 21, 2006, (7) Interrogatories directed to Defendant LeClaire on September 24, 2006, (8) Interrogatories directed to Defendant Goord on September 30, 2006, and (9) Request for Production of Documents served on February 12, 2007.*fn1

On September 27, 2006, Defendants' counsel requested an extension of the time to respond to the Interrogatories directed to Defendants Rushford, Boyea, Rock and Demars; the Court permitted an extension to December 14, 2006. Dkt. Nos. 22 & 23. No further extensions were requested by Defendants' counsel.

On November 14, 2006, Plaintiff wrote to Defendants' counsel seeking a response to the Interrogatories directed to Defendants Allard, Eagen, LeClaire and Goord. Dkt. No. 35, Ex. C. Plaintiff alleges that he received no response and, on December 28, 2006, wrote a letter to Defendants' counsel seeking a response to all of the Interrogatories. Id., Ex. D. Plaintiff served his Request for Production of Documents on February 12, 2007, and alleges he received no response thereto. Id., Ex. F. Thereafter, on February 21, 2007, Plaintiff wrote to Defendants' counsel seeking a response to his Interrogatories and prior correspondence. Id., Ex. E. With the Motion to Compel deadline nearing, Plaintiff filed this Motion on March 21, 2007.

B. Defendants' Response to the Motion

Defendants filed their response to Plaintiff's Motion to Compel on May 9, 2007, after receiving an extension of the original response deadline. Dkt. No. 39. In that Response, Defendants indicate they served a response to the Request for Production of Documents on May 7, 2007.*fn2 Dkt. No. 39-16, David L. Fruchter, Esq., Decl., dated May 9, 2007, at ¶ 6. With respect to the Interrogatories, Defendants indicate they served the following: (1) a response on behalf of Defendant Allard on May 1, 2007, (2) a response on behalf of Defendant Rushford on April 30, 2007, (3) a response on behalf of Defendant Boyea on April 30, 2007, (4) a response on behalf of Defendant Demars on April 27, 2007, and (5) a response on behalf of Defendant Rock on April 27, 2007. Id. at ¶¶ 7-11. Defendants' counsel annexed the discovery responses to his Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion. With respect to Defendants Goord, Eagen and Leclaire, counsel states that the responses "have been prepared and sent to those defendants for signature. We expect to receive signed responses back from Goord, Eagen, and Leclaire in the very near future, at which point we will serve them upon the plaintiff. I will inform the Court as soon as such occurs." Id. (emphasis added). Contributing to the delay is the fact that Defendants Goord and Eagen have retired from the Department of Correctional Services and Defendant Leclaire "has been tied up on other matters." Id. at ¶ 12. As of the writing of this Order, counsel has not advised the Court whether he served responses to the remaining three sets of September 2006 Interrogatories.

C. Plaintiff's Reply

In his Reply, dated June 11, 2007, Plaintiff states that he has only received the Response to the Request for Production of Documents and the Interrogatories directed to Defendants Allard, Demars, and Rock. Dkt. No. 42. Plaintiff takes issue with the substance of Defendants' responses, as well as ...


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