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Pratt v. Antoine

March 13, 2009

ANTHONY PRATT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
C.O. ANTOINE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ronald L. Ellis, United States Magistrate Judge

OPINION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

Before the Court is plaintiff Anthony Pratt's motion for reconsideration of this Court's January 30, 2009 Order denying his request for documents relating to two class action lawsuits, McBean, et al. v. City of New York, et al., No. 02 Civ. 5426 (GEL), 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5003 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 7, 2006), and Cence et al. v. City of New York, et al., No. 03 Civ. 4114 (GEL) 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5003 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 7, 2006), (collectively, the "Class Action Documents"). In his motion, Pratt also requests an extension of the February 20, 2009 discovery deadline. He asserts that he needs more time because Defendants have not provided responses to his requests for "the Employee's Manual for the New York City Department of Correction and/or a Vaughn Index in connection with the same" and for "Defendant's work information (their time cards)." Pratt also notes that he needs additional time to comply with Defendants' request to depose him.

Defendants oppose Pratt's motion, and additionally seek sanctions or costs for his counsel's failure to appear at his February 19, 2009 scheduled deposition. Defendants also request an enlargement of the discovery period, solely for the taking of Pratt's deposition.

For the reasons that follow,

(1) Pratt's motion for reconsideration is DENIED;

(2) Defendants' request for sanctions is DENIED, but their application for costs incurred from Pratt's counsel's untimely cancellation of Pratt's deposition is GRANTED;

(3) Pratt's counsel SHALL reimburse Defendants for the full amount of the fee the Court Reporting company charged to Defendants as a result of the cancelled deposition, no later than March 27, 2009;

(4) Pratt's request for "the Employee's Manual for the New York City Department of Correction and/or a Vaughn Index in connection with the same" is DENIED;

(5) Pratt's request for "Defendant's work information (their time cards)" is DENIED;

(6) Defendants' request for an extension of the discovery cutoff is GRANTED, until March 27, 2009, for the sole purpose of conducting Pratt's deposition; and

(7) The Parties SHALL submit their joint pretrial order in this case to District Judge Sullivan, in accordance with his rules, no later than April 27, 2009.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Pratt's Discovery Requests

On May 9, 2008, the Parties appeared for a telephone conference before the Court. During that conference, Pratt, then pro se, disputed Defendants' written objections to various document requests he had made during discovery. The Court ruled on these disputes during the telephone conference. On July 1, 2008, and January 29, 2009, Barbara Waltuch attempted to formally enter an appearance as Pratt's attorney in this case by mailing notices of her entry of appearance to the Chambers of the undersigned. Although she has failed to submit the requisite paperwork to the docketing clerk, Waltuch has been acting as Pratt's attorney approximately since July 2008.

Since Waltuch's involvement in this case, she has raised various discovery requests on Pratt's behalf that the Court had ruled upon during the May 2008 telephone conference. During that conference, Pratt requested, inter alia, all litigation documents related to two class action lawsuits, McBean, et al. v. City of New York, et al., No. 02 Civ. 5426 (GEL), 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5003 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 7, 2006), and Cence et al. v. City of New York, et al., No. 03 Civ. 4114 (GEL) 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5003 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 7, 2006). His stated purpose in seeking these documents through discovery was to understand the settlement negotiations that took place in those cases, to identify witnesses, and to avoid paying the $74 fee required to obtain them pursuant to a request under the New York Freedom of Information Law ("F.O.I.L."). The Court denied this request on the grounds it was overly broad ...


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