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Annabel v. Heyns

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 29, 2015

DANIEL HEYNS, et al., Defendants.

Sean F. Cox District Judge


Anthony P. Patti United States Magistrate Judge

Plaintiff Robert Annabel is a state prisoner who, at the times relevant to his action, was incarcerated at the Ionia Maximum Correction Facility in Ionia, Michigan; the Woodland Correctional Center in Whitmore Lake, Michigan; the Michigan Reformatory in Ionia, Michigan; the Gus Harrison Correctional Facility in Adrian, Michigan; and, most recently, the Woodland Correction Facility in Whitmore Lake, Michigan. (DE 107.) Plaintiff commenced this action on August 14, 2012, by filing a pro se civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985(3), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. On March 24, 2014, the Court entered an Order addressing various discovery motions filed by Plaintiff (DE 83), including his motion to compel subpoena (DE 77). As is relevant here, the Court granted in part and denied in part Plaintiff’s motion to compel a subpoena directed to MDOC Director Daniel Haynes, which sought: (1) the complete medical and mental health records of Plaintiff; (2) all critical incident reports involving Plaintiff; (3) video recordings of any forced cell moves; and (4) the audio recording or a written transcription of the February 15, 2012 panel hearing. Specifically, the Court granted the motion to compel with respect to either an audio recording or written transcript of the February 15, 2012 panel hearing, and denied the motion with respect to the balance of the subpoena.

Thereafter, on April 17, 2014, Plaintiff filed a motion (DE 87) to reconsider the Court’s ruling regarding discovery issues (DE 83). On November 17, 2014, this Court denied his motion for reconsideration. (DE 99.) A mere four days later, the instant motion was filed (DE 103), seeking to compel additional discovery and requesting, once again, reconsideration of the Court’s March 24, 2014 order (DE 83).

The issues raised in the pending motion are addressed separately below.

A. Motion for Reconsideration of Docket Entry # 83

The matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s second motion for reconsideration of its March 24, 2014 order.[1] A motion for reconsideration must be filed within 14 days after entry of the judgment or order for which reconsideration is being sought. E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(h)(1). Here, the Court’s Order was entered over a year ago. The motion is untimely and is DENIED on that and other bases, as discussed below.

Moreover, a motion for reconsideration will generally not be granted where the motion

merely present[s] the same issues ruled upon by the court, either expressly or by reasonable implication. The movant must not only demonstrate a palpable defect by which the court and the parties . . . have been misled but also show that correcting the defect will result in a different disposition of the case.

E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(h)(3). A “palpable defect” is “a defect that is obvious, clear, unmistakable, manifest, or plain.” United States v. Cican, 156 F.Supp.2d 661, 668 (E.D. Mich. Jul. 24, 2001) (Gadola, J.); accord Ososki v. St. Paul Surplus Lines Ins. Co., 162 F.Supp.2d 714, 718 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 10, 2001) (Lawson, J.). Here, Plaintiff has pointed to no such palpable defect. In fact, other than mentioning it in the title of this motion and on the cover page, he provides no explanation as to why reconsideration would now be appropriate, and does not identify what he claims to have been in error. While he makes mention of an address change and an alleged failure to receive certain documents and orders with respect to prior motions to dismiss and/or to amend pleadings, the fact that he was able to file another motion for reconsideration back in April of last year, makes it clear that he did indeed receive the particular discovery order in question. Moreover, it is Plaintiff’s responsibility to notify the Court of any change in address. E.D. Mich. LR 11.2; see also Sango v. Johnson, No. 13-cv-12808, 2013 WL 4614257, at *1 (E.D. Mich. Aug. 29, 2013) (dismissing a complaint for the plaintiff’s failure to notify the Court of an address change). Furthermore, he did not take issue with the service of the March 24, 2014 order in his original motion for reconsideration. (DE 87.)

B. Motion to Compel Discovery

1. The Discovery Deadline

Preliminarily, the Court notes – as questioned in passing in Defendant’s response brief (DE 104 at 2) – that the discovery deadline in this case passed on December 12, 2013 (DE 44). This alone could have warranted a denial of this motion, since Defendant might have simply objected to all of the requests, in lieu of answering any of them. Nevertheless, in an apparent spirit of cooperation – and seemingly recognizing that the Court’s grant of leave to amend to add new claims against Dr. Dinsa made it reasonable for Plaintiff to seek additional discovery – Defendant chose not to make an issue of the expired discovery deadline, and served responses. Plaintiff claims that he could not have known that this discovery was needed “on [his] single remaining claim” until after the Court of Appeals had decided his appeal, i.e., “prior to it being identified to him on August 7, 2014.” (DE 103 at 2.) However, this argument is less than completely convincing, as some or all of the issues addressed in this discovery appear to have been present long before that point, and in fact were the subject of his prior motion practice. (DE 50, 63, 77 & 83.) This is made even more obvious by the fact that he links the current motion to his previously ...

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