The opinion of the court was delivered by: Marian W. Payson United States Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff, Bornallah Wright ("Wright"), an inmate in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services ("DOCS"), commenced this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. According to his complaint, Wright alleges that various corrections officers at the Attica Correctional Facility, the facility in which Wright was incarcerated at the time, assaulted him on June 11, 2001. (Docket # 1). Currently before the Court are various discovery motions filed by Wright. (Docket ## 45, 58 and 64).
In his first motion, Wright seeks to compel responses to several interrogatories propounded upon defendants Burlow and Turello and document requests served upon the defendants in general. (Docket # 45). The following constitutes the Decision and Order of this Court with regard to each of Wright's requests.
Wright seeks to compel defendant Burlow's response to interrogatories 3, 4 and 5, and to compel defendant Turello's response to interrogatory 7. (Docket # 45). Each of these interrogatories seek information concerning "pulling the pin." (Docket # 45). Although plaintiff has not defined the term "pulling the pin," defendants appear to have understood Wright's interrogatories and have responded by informing him that no "pin" was pulled. (Docket # 48).
The interrogatories propounded to Burlow asked whether, when and who "pulled the pin." In response to each interrogatory, Burlow stated "not applicable." Wright has appropriately moved to compel a further response in view of the unclear meaning of the term "not applicable." Counsel now has clarified that "not applicable" was meant to convey that no "pin was pulled" in connection with the June 11, 2001 events. I find this explanation satisfactory and no further response will be compelled.
I likewise determine that no further response shall be compelled from defendant Turello. From him, Wright sought to learn "[w]hat actions require the pulling of a pin." Wright has not explained why he seeks this information. Unless Wright is alleging that "the pin" should have been pulled, but was not, information about measures that were not resorted to is not relevant.
Wright also moves to compel defendants' responses to numerous specifically identified document requests. The threshold requirement of discoverability under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is whether the information sought is "relevant to any party's claim or defense." Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). To be discoverable, the information "need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." Id. The relevance standard is necessarily broad in scope in order "to encompass any matter that bears on, or that reasonably could lead to other matter that could bear on, any issue that is or may be in the case." Oppenheimer Fund, Inc. v. Sanders, 437 U.S. 340, 351 (1978) (citation omitted). See Daval Steel Products, a Div. of Francosteel Corp. v. M/V Fakredine, 951 F.2d 1357, 1368 (2d Cir. 1991) (parties entitled to discovery of any matter that appears "reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery" of evidence) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1)); American Banana Co. v. Republic Nat'l Bank of New York, N.A., 2000 WL 521341, *2 (S.D.N.Y. 2000) ("Rule 26 plainly allows discovery related to the claims and defenses of any party").
Although the scope of discovery under the Federal Rules is broad, it is not without limitation. Indeed, Rule 26 provides that the court must limit the frequency or extent of discovery if:
(i) the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or can be obtained from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive;
(ii) the party seeking discovery has had ample opportunity to obtain the information by discovery in the action; or
(iii) the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit, considering the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, the parties' resources, the importance of the issues at stake in the action, ...