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Norman Sonberg v. Niagara County Jail Medical Department

February 4, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr. United States Magistrate Judge


This case was referred to the undersigned by the Hon. William M. Skretny, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), for all pretrial matters and to hear and report upon dispositive motions. Dkt. #162.

Plaintiff filed this pro se action on or about May 19, 2008 seeking relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Dkt. #1. Since that time, plaintiff has filed an Amended Complaint (Dkt. #21) and a Second Amended Complaint (Dkt. #52). Simply stated, in his Second Amended Complaint, plaintiff alleges that while housed in the Niagara County Jail, defendants, the Niagara County Jail, the Niagara County Jail Medical Department and the individual defendants, were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical and psychological needs. Dkt. #52. Presently pending before this Court are two motions to compel filed by plaintiff. Dkt. ##134 and 144. Defendants filed opposition to the first-filed motion to compel (Dkt. #134). Dkt. ##139 and 141. By these motions, plaintiff reiterates his demand for the disclosure of videotapes, audiotapes, computer data, "log registries," notes, phone records, qualifications of all Niagara County Jail medical and mental health staff and all complaints and disciplinary reports relating to all named defendants. See Dkt. #134. In addition, plaintiff seeks to amend his previous document demands. For the following reasons, plaintiff's motions to compel are denied.


On or about March 14, 2008, plaintiff was sentenced to a term of imprisonment in the New York State Department of Correctional Services and was transferred to the Niagara County Jail. Dkt. #52, p.9, ¶¶ 1-2. Plaintiff alleges that prior to being incarcerated at the Niagara County Jail and while awaiting trial "as a pre-trial detainee," he was receiving treatment for "serious medical and mental health conditions." Id. at p.9, ¶ 3. As plaintiff was being processed at the Niagara County Jail, he alleges that he was assured that his medical records would be hand delivered to the Niagara County Jail Medical Department. Id. at p.10, ¶ 5. After plaintiff was processed, he alleges that he requested to see the nurse on duty and further, plaintiff alleges that he advised the staff at the Niagara County Jail that he had not taken his medication since March 13, 2008 because he had court. Id. at p.13, ¶ 5. Moreover, plaintiff alleges that he complained that he was in severe pain. Id.

Plaintiff alleges that he continued his requests for medical attention and to receive his medication the following day. Id. at pp.15-17. Mentioned throughout plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint are vague references to plaintiff's "serious medical and mental health conditions" and the medications he claimed to be taking, including, morphine, an anti-depressant, an inhaler, and heart medication. Id. at pp.16 -17. Plaintiff alleges that on March 16, 2008, after not receiving any medical attention or his medication for over two days, he asked to be taken to the emergency room because he was suffering from severe chest pains. Id. at p.17. Thereafter, plaintiff alleges that he was advised that he would see the doctor on March 18, 2008. Id. at p.18. It appears from the allegations in plaintiff's complaint that some time between March 18, 2008 and March 19, 2008, plaintiff attempted to commit suicide and was found with his shoelaces around his neck. Id. at p.19.

Elsewhere in his Second Amended Complaint, plaintiff discusses some of his medical conditions and the treatment he had received at the "Veterans Administration Hospital [sic]." Dkt. #52, p.27. Specifically, plaintiff states that he was being treated for Hepatitis C, a heart attack, high blood pressure, depression, pulmonary disease and hypertension. Id. Moreover, plaintiff alleges,

[a]s a direct results [sic] of defendants [sic] deprivations, this plaintiff [sic] condition has worsen [sic], that he needs a liver transplant, his health has become so unpredictable, hospitalized in (4) different correctional facilities, that he is in constant pain and nearly bed-ridden, who must use a cane to get around.


As set forth in his first-filed motion to compel (Dkt. #134), plaintiff requests the following documents and things:

1. "the video tapes (cammera [sic] tapes) of the Booking Area/Intake Area, including any Audio tapes (sound), for the day of March 14th 2008 from 7:00 AM straight through to 6:00 PM (non stop) and be 'original' and authentic (no copy)."

2. "all computer data that pertains to plaintiff, Norman C. Sonberg, on that day March 14th and straight through to the 25th of March 2008 from Booking Area/Intake Area, not limited and to include all log registries for that day March 14th 2008 and be original log registry, authentic 'no copy.'"

3. "all video cammera [sic] tapes and audio sound tapes of main control booth located in newer part of jail" for the period March 14-25, 2008.

4. "all video cammera [sic] tapes and audio sound tapes from older part of Niagara County Jail" for ...

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