United States District Court, E.D. New York
CHARLES GRIFFIN, GERALDINE GRIFFIN, CRAIG GRIFFIN, LANCE GRIFFIN, and CARIL SIMMONS, Plaintiffs,
INCORPORATED VILLAGE OF ROCKVILLE CENTRE, FRANCIS X. MURRAY, Mayor of the Incorporated Village of Rockville Centre, in his official And individual capacities, DANIEL CASELLA, Building Superintendent for the Incorporated Village of Rockville Centre, JOHN GOOCH, Building Inspector for the Incorporated Village of Rockville Centre, THOMAS BUNTING, Building Inspector for the Incorporated Village of Rockville Centre, in his official and individual capacities, PETER KLUGEWICZM Chief Fire Safety Inspector for the Incorporated Village of Rockville Centre, in his official and individual capacities, And JOHN and/or JANE DOES, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER AND REPORT AND
Y. SHIELDS United States Magistrate Judge
action was commenced in 2014, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section
1983 and New York State law. Broadly stated, Plaintiffs
allege violations of their rights when Defendants took part
in entering Plaintiffs' property on three separate
occasions over seven years ago. Docket Entry herein
(“DE”) . When this action was brought,
Plaintiffs were represented by counsel. In 2018, this Court
permitted Plaintiffs' counsel to withdraw, and in March
of 2019, Plaintiffs elected to proceed pro se. Since
making that election, Plaintiffs have vigorously represented
themselves, taking part in paper discovery and conducting
several depositions. Along with Defendants' counsel,
Plaintiffs have engaged in motion practice, and have
undertaken to adhere to deadlines regarding the completion of
pending are Plaintiffs' motions to compel discovery,
extend the time in which to amend their complaint, and to
amend their complaint. Also pending are Defendants'
motion to compel, and their motion to extend the deadline for
the completion of discovery.
District Court has ordered discovery to close on October 31,
2019. The supervision of discovery has been referred to this
Court. DE . To the extent that the parties' motions
raise non-dispositive issues concerning the supervision of
discovery, they are granted in part and denied in part as set
forth below. To the extent that the motions raise dispositive
issues, or to extend a deadline imposed by the District
Court, this Court recommends that the motions be denied.
Plaintiffs' Motions: Docket Entries 117 and 120
are presently two motions interposed by Plaintiffs. Their
first motion, appearing at DE , seeks to compel
additional responses to paper discovery, and to extend the
discovery schedule to allow Plaintiffs additional time in
which to submit an amended complaint. In their second motion,
appearing at DE , (submitted after Defendants'
motion, which is discussed below) Plaintiffs oppose
Defendants' request to extend discovery. In the event
that discovery is extended, Plaintiffs seek the production of
additional documents, to continue to depose Defendants, to
depose additional individuals, and to file an amended
reasons set forth below, this Court denies the motion to
compel and seek additional documents and depositions. This
Court recommends that the District Court adhere to the
previously imposed discovery deadline, and that the motion to
amend the complaint be denied.
The Motion to Compel is Denied
Court has supervised discovery and is well familiar with the
course thereof. In connection with its supervision, this
Court has adjudicated several discovery disputes arising as
to paper discovery and the taking of depositions. For
example, in order to ensure that discovery was completed in a
timely manner, this Court ordered particular dates for the
taking of depositions. See Electronic Order dated
October 5, 2019. With respect to paper discovery, this Court
has ruled on issues of privilege, and has held that
Defendants have complied with their discovery obligations.
This Court has denied Plaintiffs' previous requests to
extend discovery. See Electronic Order dated
Octobers 22, 2019; see also DE .
Court has broad discretion of oversee discovery and to rule
on disputes. That discretion is exercised within the confines
of the scope of permissible discovery, as set forth in Rule
26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. That Rule has
been amended, on several occasions, to reflect evolving
judgments as to the proper scope of discovery. Over time,
these amendments have been aimed at striking the proper
balance between the need for evidence, and the avoidance of
undue burden or expense. The current scope of discovery is
defined to consist of information that is relevant to the
parties' “claims and defenses.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
26. This definition is in contrast to prior law allowing
discovery of “any matter relevant to the subject matter
involved in the action, ” which has been eliminated.
Additionally, the current version of Rule 26 defines
permissible discovery to consist of information that is, in
addition to being relevant “to any party's claim or
defense, ” also “proportional to the needs of the
case.” Id; see generally Sibley
v. Choice Hotels, Inc., No. CV 14-634, 2015 WL 9413101,
at *2 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 22, 2015).
proportionality, the Court considers:
• The importance of the issues at stake in the