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Medina v. Hunt

February 11, 2008

ANTHONY MEDINA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
J. HUNT; W. SPRAGUE; JOHN MICHAEL; AND RAYMOND BOYEA, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: George H. Lowe, United States Magistrate Judge

DECISION and ORDER

Presently before the Court is Plaintiff Anthony Medina's motion to compel discovery. Dkt. No. 33. Defendants have responded in opposition to Plaintiff's motion. Dkt. No. 41-42. Plaintiff has submitted a Reply. Dkt. No. 47.

Plaintiff's motion to compel relates to Plaintiff's Interrogatories and First and Second Requests for Production of Documents ("RFP"). Dkt. No. 33-2 at 12-27 (Exhibit 4) and Dkt. No. 42 at 1-5. Specifically, the motion relates only to the following discovery requests: (1) Interrogatories 2, 4, 6, 7, 16, and 22; (2) requests 1, 2, and 6 of the First RFP; and (3) requests 4 and 6-8 of the Second RFP. Dkt. No. 33 at 6-31. Accordingly, the Court will only address the adequacy of the responses to those requests.*fn1

I. Interrogatories

A. Interrogatories 2 and 4

Plaintiff asked for the identity of all witnesses "who have knowledge of the facts relating to the use of force incident of December 5, 2003" and the name, address, and identifying information of "each person claimed to be a witness to, or has any knowledge of, any occurrence alleged in the complaint." Dkt. No. 33-2 at 13-14. In response to each interrogatory, Defendants responded that "John T. Hunt, Jr., William Sprague, Sergeant John Michael, John M. Rosati, Raymond Boyea, and Walter Whitman were witnesses to the incident." Id. Plaintiff objects to these responses as incomplete. Dkt. No. 33 at 9-14. Plaintiff argues that many more people have knowledge of or information regarding the December 5, 2003 incident including, but not limited to, officials with knowledge that other prisoners have been assaulted in the same location that Plaintiff was assaulted, "other prisoners or correction officers [who] observed a portion of the December 5, 2003 altercation," and "the person designated to clean [Plaintiff's] blood" which was on the floor and the walls. Id.

Defendants presumably have responded to these requests fully and to the best of their knowledge. However, if in fact they know of additional witnesses they of course should serve a supplemental response. Plaintiff's argument about "officials with knowledge that other prisoners have been assaulted in the same location that Plaintiff was assaulted" is not relevant to these requests.

Plaintiff also asked for the addresses of any of the witnesses identified by the Defendants. Defendants refused to provide addresses because such "information is private and confidential." Dkt. No. 33-2 at 14. Plaintiff now clarifies that he does not seek the home addresses for the witnesses, but the business addresses. Dkt. No. 33 at 13. Defendants are directed to provide Plaintiff with the official titles and business addresses of John T. Hunt, Jr., William Sprague, Sergeant John Michael, John M. Rosati, Raymond Boyea, and Walter Whitman. Since the Defendants have otherwise substantially complied with Plaintiff's Interrogatories 2 and 4, Plaintiff's motion is denied in all other respects as to these interrogatories.

B. Interrogatory 6

Plaintiff asks for the identity of "all persons by complete name and address ... who made a written or oral statement relating to the use of force incident of December 5, 2003." Dkt. No. 33-2 at 15. Defendants responded with eight names. Id. Plaintiff asserts that "[e]very individual who made a statement was not identified. The Superintendent of the prison made a statement, but his name is not agmonst [sic] those provided. With full disclosure, the Court will see that names are missing from the defendants' answer." Dkt. No. 33 at 15. In response, Defendants state:

Plaintiff complains that the name of the Superintendent was not provided, and plaintiff believes he made a statement. To the extent this information is sought by plaintiff, the Superintendent's name is Gary Greene, and his address is Great Meadow C.F., Comstock, NY12821-0051. This information was not previously provided because plaintiff quoted the Superintendent in the Complaint, at ¶ 44, and defendants therefore did not reasonably interpret the question to include information that plaintiff already possessed.

Dkt. No. 41 at 4. Defendants are directed to provide Plaintiff with the official titles and business addresses of the parties identified in response to Interrogatory 6. Since the Defendants have otherwise substantially complied with Plaintiff's Interrogatory 6, Plaintiff's motion is denied in all other respects as to this interrogatory.

C. Interrogatory 7

Plaintiff asked Defendants to identify "all documents, reports and records ... created and compiled relating to the December 5, 2003 incident." Dkt. No. 33-2 at 15. Plaintiff complains that Defendants' answer "makes no mention of the Use of Force Log Book," any documents "created and contained within the disciplinary record," or the Inspector General's files. Dkt. No. 33 at 16. Defendants state that they produced the Use of Force Log Book in response to Plaintiff's request for production, "so clearly the omission was not intended to obfuscate or resist discovery." Dkt. No. 41 at 4-5; see also Dkt. No. 33-2, Exhibit 4. Because the Court will discuss Plaintiff's access to his disciplinary records and the Inspector General's report separately in this Order (those items are part of Plaintiff's production ...


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