United States District Court, S.D. New York
OPINION AND ORDER
PITMAN, United States Magistrate Judge
motion dated July 1, 2016, plaintiff seeks to compel the City
of New York (the "City") to produce certain
documents (Docket Item ("D.I.") 85). For the
reasons set forth below, plaintiff's motion is granted in
part and denied in part.
an action brought pursuant to the Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendments of the United States Constitution, 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 and New York state law, in which plaintiff
alleges that he was subjected to excessive force and an
unreliable investigation and hearing concerning that use of
force while a pretrial detainee in the Manhattan Detention
Complex. Plaintiff claims that he was injured as a result of
the force used against him and that he spent seven days in
punitive segregation as a result of the defendants'
are certain prerequisites to bringing a motion to compel
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 37. One of those prerequisites is
the obligation to meet and confer with the party failing to
provide discovery. Specifically, Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 37(a)(1) provides that
[o]n notice to other parties and all affected persons, a
party may move for an order compelling disclosure or
discovery. The motion must include a certification that the
movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer
with the person or party failing to make disclosure or
discovery in an effort to obtain it without court action.
satisfy this requirement, the certification must "set
forth . . . essential facts sufficient to enable the court to
pass a preliminary judgment on the adequacy and sincerity of
the good faith conferment between the parties, " such as
the names of the people who attempted to confer, the mode of
communication, the dispute at issue and the date, time and
results of the discussion. AIU Ins. Co. v. TIG Ins.
Co., 07 Civ. 7052 (SHS)(HBP), 2008 WL 4067437 at *4
(S.D.N.Y. Aug. 28, 2008) (Pitman, M.J.) (alteration in
original; internal quotation marks omitted),
modified, 2009 WL 1953039 (S.D.N.Y. July 8, 2009)
(Pitman, M.J.); see Prescient Partners, L.P. v.
Fieldcrest Cannon, Inc., 96 Civ. 7590 (DAB)(JCF), 1998
WL 67672 at *2-*3 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 18, 1998) (Francis, M.J.).
"A conclusory statement in an affidavit asserting that
the movant fulfilled the meet-and-confer requirement is
insufficient." Prescient Partners, L.P. v.
Fieldcrest Cannon, Inc., supra, 1998 WL 67672
at *2, citing Tri-Star Pictures, Inc. v. Unger, 171
F.R.D. 94, 99 (S.D.N.Y. 1997) (Edelstein, D.J.).
Nevertheless, "courts have excused the meet-and-confer
requirement where temporal exigencies required speedy action
and where efforts at informal compromise would have been
clearly futile." Mason Tenders Dist. Council of
Greater N.Y. v. Phase Constr. Servs., Inc., 14 Civ. 6016
(ER), 2016 WL 7031625 at *11 n.16 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 30, 2016)
(Ramos, D.J.) (internal quotation marks omitted);
Prescient Partners, L.P. v. Fieldcrest Cannon, Inc.,
supra, 1998 WL 67672 at *3.
failed to comply with the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P.
37(a)(1). Plaintiff states, in his motion, in unsworn and
conclusory terms, that he "met and conferred with
Defendants' counsel in a good faith effort to resolve the
discovery matters that are [the] subject of this motion"
(Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Production of Documents,
dated July 1, 2016 (D.I. 85) ("Motion to Compel"),
at 2). However, he does not provide any evidentiary support
establishing that a meet-and-confer actually
occurred. Nevertheless, plaintiff and the City's
counsel have appeared before me several times and there is
clearly personal friction between them. Given this friction,
I conclude that attempting to enforce the meet-and-confer
requirement would do nothing to advance the action. I shall,
therefore, excuse plaintiff's failure to comply with the
meet-and-confer requirement and proceed to the merits of the
amended in December 2015, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
34(b)(2)(B) provides that the response to a request for
production "must either state that inspection and
related activities will be permitted as requested or state
with specificity the grounds for objecting to the
request, including the reasons." (Emphasis added).
General boilerplate objections are inappropriate and
unpersuasive. See A. Farber & Partners, Inc. v.
Garbe-r, 234 F.R.D. 186, 188 (C.D. Cal. 2006)
("[G]eneral or boilerplate objections such as
'overly burdensome and harassing' are improper --
especially when a party fails to submit any evidentiary
declarations supporting such objections."). The recent
amendments to Rule 34 make this particularly clear.
See Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(b)(2)(B) ("For each item or
category, the response must either state that inspection and
related activities will be permitted as requested or state
with specificity the grounds for objecting to the request,
including the reasons."). Defendants' initial
responses consist solely of such boilerplate objections.
Accordingly, they are plainly insufficient.
Moser v. Holland, No. 2:14-cv-02188-KJM-AC, 2016 WL
426670 at *3 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 4, 2016); accord 2015
Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 26 (relocation of the
proportionality requirement in 2015 amendment is not
"intended to permit the opposing party to refuse
discovery simply by making a boilerplate objection that it is
not proportional"); Nerium Skincare, Inc. v.
Olson, No. 3:16-cv-1217-B, 2017 WL 277634 at *1 (N.D.
Tex. Jan. 20, 2017) ("General or boilerplate objections
are invalid . . . ."); Ramos v. Town of East
Hartford, No. 3:16-cv-166 (VLB), 2016 WL 7340282 at *2
(D. Conn. Dec. 19, 2016) ("The Court notes that the 2015
revision of the Federal Rules precludes the use of the type
of boilerplate objections on which Defendants rely.");
Buskirk v. Wiles, No. 3:15-03503, 2016 WL 7118288 at
*2 (S.D. W.Va. Dec. 6, 2016) ("[O]bjections to Rule 34
requests must be stated specifically and boilerplate
objections regurgitating words and phrases from Rule 26 are
completely unacceptable."); Keycorp v. Holland,
No. 3:16-cv-1948-D, 2016 WL 6277813 at *11 (N.D. Tex. Oct.
26, 2016) ("[B]oilerplate objections are improper and
result in waiver of the unsupported objections.");
State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Universal Rehab Servs.,
Inc., No. 15-10993, 2016 WL 5369610 at *2 (E.D. Mich.
Sept. 26, 2016) ("Generally, boilerplate objections
without support are improper."); Asphalt Paving
Sys., Inc. v. General Combustion Corp., No.
6:15-cv-49-Orl-41TBS, 2016 WL 3167712 at *2 (M.D. Fla. June
7, 2016) ("The Court does not consider frivolous,
conclusory, general, or boilerplate objections.");
see Orix USA Corp. v. Armentrout, No.
3:16-mc-63-N-BN, 2016 WL 4095603 at *2 (N.D. Tex. Aug. 1,
2016) (in responding to a subpoena duces tecum, "general
or boiler-plate [or unsupported] objections" are
prohibited (alteration in original)).
City lists general, boilerplate objections to each of
plaintiff's requests for production. Because such
objections violate Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(b)(2)(B), they are
turn to the specific requests in issue.
Request for Production of Documents
1. Inmates' Mug Shots, defined as "the mug shots
pertaining to the inmates in 4 South on the day of ...