United States District Court, S.D. New York
Debra Lea Greenberger, Esq., EMERY CELLI BRINCKERHOFF & ABADY, LLP, New York, NY, Attorneys for the Plaintiff.
Dara L. Weiss, Esq., MICHAEL A. CARDOZO, CORPORATION COUNSEL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, New York, NY, Attorneys for the City Defendants and Officer Aretha Blissett-Smith.
ROBERT W. SWEET, District Judge.
Plaintiff Kelly Schomburg ("Plaintiff" or "Schomburg") has moved pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37 (a) to compel the City of New York (the "City" or "City Defendants") and Defendant Officer Aretha Blissett-Smith ("Blissett-Smith") (collectively, the "Defendants") to identify the officer who handcuffed the Plaintiff on September 24, 2011. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion is granted.
Prior Proceedings and Facts
This action was commenced on September 24, 2012 by the filing of a 42 U.S.C. § 1983, false arrest and imprisonment, assault, battery and negligent denial of medical care claims. On October 11, 2012, Defendants filed an Amended Complaint ("AC") adding a claim of negligent hiring, training, discipline and retention of employment services against all defendants and claims of false arrest and imprisonment, assault, battery and negligent denial of medical care against the City Defendant.
The AC alleges that on September 24, 2011, Plaintiff and other women who were part of the Occupy Wall Street protest were standing behind an orange mesh netting when Bologna used pepper spray on them. Subsequent to the application of pepper spray, the Plaintiff was handcuffed and arrested. The AC alleges that the Police Officer Defendants provided no explanation for Schomburg's arrest.
Plaintiff submitted a letter on August 22, 2014 seeking an order to compel the Defendants to identify the officer who handcuffed the Plaintiff on September 24, 2011. Plaintiff subsequently filed the instant action on August 29, 2014. The Court has treated the August 22, 2014 letter and the instant motion as the same motion, and the matter was marked fully submitted on September 10, 2014.
Rule 37(a) permits a party "[o]n notice to other parties and all affected persons, [to] move for an order compelling disclosure or discovery." Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a). "A party seeking discovery may move for an order compelling an answer, designation, production, or inspection." Fed.R.Civ.P. 37 (a) (3) (B). Motions to compel made pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 37 are "entrusted to the sound discretion of the district court." United States v. Sanders, 211 F.3d 711, 720 (2d Cir.2000).
Rule 26(b) (1) governs the scope of discovery allowed:
Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defenseincluding the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any documents or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons who know of any discoverable matter.... Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b) (1). "[T]he scope of discovery under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b) is very broad, encompass[ing] 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.' " Maresco v. Evans Chemetics, Div. of W.R. Grace & Co., 964 F.2d 106, 114 (2d Cir.1992) (quoting ...