United States District Court, W.D. New York
PATRICK GUILLORY, Pro Se, Dannemora, New York.
ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN, NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL, MICHAEL J. RUSSO, and DAVID J. SLEIGHT, Assistant Attorneys General, of Counsel Buffalo, New York, Attorney for Defendants.
DECISION and ORDER
LESLIE G. FOSCHIO, Magistrate Judge.
This case was referred to the undersigned by Honorable William M. Skretny on September 10, 2014, for all pretrial motions. The matter is presently before the court on Plaintiff's motions filed November 25, 2013, seeking preservation of evidence (Doc. No. 32), and a transfer to another correctional facility (Doc. No. 33), Plaintiff's motion filed December 9, 2013 to compel the production of evidence and to sanction Defendants (Doc. No. 41), and Plaintiff's motion filed December 20, 2013 seeking injunctive relief (Doc. No. 69).
BACKGROUND and FACTS
Plaintiff Patrick Guillory ("Plaintiff" or "Guillory"), proceeding pro se, commenced this civil rights action on September 5, 2012, while incarcerated at Southport Correctional Facility ("Southport" or "the correctional facility"), alleging Defendants, all employees of New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision ("DOCCS"), retaliated against Plaintiff for filing a harassment complaint against a correctional officer who Plaintiff alleges confiscated from him a copy of the United States Constitution, which Plaintiff had torn out of a book for a paralegal course in which Plaintiff's parents had paid $750 for Plaintiff to enroll. Defendants to this action include Craig Skelly ("Skelly"), Sgt. Thomas Hannah ("Hannah"), Officer John Rafferty ("Rafferty"), DSS Jamie LaManna ("LaManna"), Superintendent Thomas Griffin ("Griffin"), Captain Kevin Signor ("Signor"), and Captain Henry Hetrick ("Hetrick") (together, "Defendants").
In particular, Plaintiff alleges Defendants framed Plaintiff by planting tobacco in Plaintiff's shoe which was found during a search, and then issuing a false misbehavior report charging Plaintiff with smuggling contraband, and denying Plaintiff due process in the ensuing disciplinary hearing held in connection with the claimed false misbehavior report. Plaintiff further claims after the planted tobacco was discovered, Defendants subjected Plaintiff to excessive force and issued a deprivation order denying Plaintiff showers, exercise, cleaning supplies for his cell, hygiene products, and haircuts. On March 12, 2013, Defendants' answer (Doc. No. 18) was filed.
On May 10, 2013, Plaintiff filed his First Set of Interrogatories, Request for Production of Documents, and Request for Admissions (Doc. No. 20) ("Plaintiff's First Discovery Demand"), containing a total of 287 individual discovery requests. On June 25, 2013, Plaintiff filed his Second Set of Interrogatories, Request for Production of Documents, and Request for Admissions (Doc. No. 28) ("Plaintiff's Second Discovery Demand"), containing a total of 200 individual discovery requests. At a July 24, 2013 scheduling conference before the undersigned, the parties stipulated that Defendants had until September 23, 2013 to respond to all 487 of Plaintiff's individual items sought in Plaintiff's First and Second Discovery Demands (together, "Discovery Demands").
By letter to Plaintiff dated September 23, 2013 (Doc. No. 79-1) ("September 23, 2013 Letter"), Assistant Attorney General David J. Sleight ("AAG Sleight"), requested Plaintiff agree to a 30-day extension of the discovery deadline. In an affidavit filed October 24, 2013 (Doc. No. 31) ("October 24, 2013 Affidavit"), Plaintiff averred he did not oppose the request, October 24, 2013, Affidavit ¶ 3, and that, given that the subsequent deadline extension requested was about to expire, Plaintiff also did not oppose extending the discovery cutoff for an additional 30 days, id. ¶ 5, such that Plaintiff agreed the new deadline for discovery was November 1, 2013. Id. ¶ 7. By letter to Plaintiff dated October 30, 2013 (Doc. No. 79-2) ("October 30, 2013 Letter"), AAG Sleight requested Plaintiff agree to extend the discovery deadline to November 22, 2013.
On November 18, 2013, Plaintiff was transferred from Greene Correctional Facility ("Greene"),  to Southport. On November 25, 2013, Plaintiff filed a motion seeking a court order directing Defendants to preserve video and audio recordings to support injunctive relief relevant to Plaintiff's placement on November 18, 2013, in Special Housing Unit ("SHU") D Block, which Plaintiff maintains is solitary confinement intended as punitive segregation, rather than B Block which is administrative segregation for orientation into a new facility. (Doc. No. 32) ("Motion for Litigation Hold"). Plaintiff further maintains he remained in D Block beyond the orientation time period and never attended any orientation. Motion for Litigation Hold at 5. Also on November 25, 2013, Plaintiff filed a motion demanding a transfer from Southport to another correctional facility (Doc. No. 33) ("Motion for Transfer"), asserting Defendants arranged for Plaintiff's transfer back to Southport to further retaliate against Plaintiff for filing grievances. On December 2, 2013, Plaintiff filed a supplement to his Motion for Litigation Hold (Doc. No. 34) ("Plaintiff's Litigation Hold Supplement"), advising that since being transferred back to Southport and placed in D Block housing, Plaintiff had also been denied Kosher meals, and requesting preservation of all audio and video recordings that Plaintiff maintains will substantiate his claims that numerous requests for Kosher meals were ignored.
On December 9, 2013, Plaintiff filed a motion seeking to compel Defendants' responses to discovery requests and to sanction Defendants for failing to timely respond (Doc. No. 41) ("Motion to Compel"). On December 10, 2013, Defendants filed numerous responses to Plaintiff's discovery requests. (Docs. Nos. 35-40). By letter to Plaintiff dated December 10, 2013 (Doc. No. 79-3) ("December 10, 2013 Letter"), AAG Sleight enclosed responses to some of Plaintiff's discovery requests, and advised the remaining responses would be provided in two weeks, and requested Plaintiff consent to a further extension of the discovery deadline to accommodate the late delivery of such discovery responses. Additional responses to Plaintiff's discovery requests were filed by Defendants on December 13, 2013 (Docs. Nos. 42 and 43), and December 16, 2013 (Docs. Nos. 44-66).
On December 19, 2013, Plaintiff filed an Affidavit (Doc. No. 68) ("Plaintiff's Affidavit"), advising Defendant LaManna had admitted Plaintiff was placed in D Block SHU to retaliate against Plaintiff for commencing legal action against LaManna, and demanding a further litigation hold on the audio recording outside Cell 18 in D Block on November 26, 2013 between 8:00 A.M. and 11:30 A.M. On December 20, 2013, Plaintiff filed a motion for injunctive relief (Doc. No. 69) ("Motion for Injunctive Relief"), seeking to be transferred within Southport from punitive SHU to administrative SHU, as well as an order directing Defendants at Southport not to interfere with Plaintiff's legal mail.
Defendants filed additional answers to Plaintiff's interrogatories on December 24, 2013 (Doc. No. 70), January 8, 2014 (Doc. No. 75), January 10, 2014 (Doc. No. 77), and February 5, 2014 (Doc. No. 84), and further discovery responses on December 27, 2013 (Docs. Nos. 71-74).
On January 17, 2014, Defendants filed the Declaration of AAG Sleight in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Compel and for Sanctions (Doc. No. 79) ("Defendants' Response - Motion to Compel").
In opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Injunctive Relief, Defendants filed on January 31, 2014, the Declaration of Jamie LaManna (Doc. No. 81) ("Lamanna Declaration"), and, on February 3, 2014, Defendants' Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for an Injunction (Doc. No. 83) ("Defendants' Response - Injunctive Relief"). On February 3, 2014, Plaintiff filed a reply in further support of Plaintiff's Motion to Compel (Doc. No. 85) ("Plaintiff's Reply - Motion to Compel"). On February 6, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Reply in further support of Plaintiff's Motion for Injunctive Relief (Doc. No. 86) ("Plaintiff's Reply - Injunctive Relief"). On June 12, 2014, Defendants filed ...