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Campbell v. Mack

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

December 8, 2017

DANIEL MACK, et al., Defendants.



         In this civil-rights action, Plaintiff Kevin Campbell alleges that the Defendants violated his constitutional rights when they stopped, arrested, and subsequently strip-searched him. The parties are now engaged in discovery. On March 31, 2017, and June 1, 2017, Campbell filed motions in which he asked the Court to compel Defendants to produce certain information and documents. (See ECF ## 37, 48.) The Court referred these motions to the assigned Magistrate Judge. (See ECF ## 38, 49.) On November 7, 2017, the Magistrate Judge granted the motions in part and denied them in part (the “Magistrate's Order”). (See ECF #62.) Campbell has filed now filed objections to the Magistrate's Order (the “Objections”). (See ECF #65.) For the reasons that follow, the Objections are OVERRULED.


         Under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A), a magistrate judge has the authority “to hear and determine [most] pretrial matter[s] pending before the court.” Parties may object to such orders within fourteen days. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a). Upon receiving objections to a non-dispositive order, “[t]he district court judge to whom the case is assigned shall consider such objections and shall modify or set aside any portion of the magistrate judge's order found to be clearly erroneous or contrary to law.” Id. See also 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) (“A judge of the court may reconsider any pretrial matter under this subparagraph (A) where it has been shown that the magistrate judge's order is clearly erroneous or contrary to law”); United States v. Curtis, 237 F.3d 598, 603 (6th Cir. 2001) (same).


         Campbell has raised four objections to the Magistrate's Order. None persuade the Court that the Magistrate Judge erred.


         Campbell first objects to the Magistrate Judge's refusal to order the Defendants to produce recordings of certain witness statements. (See Objections, ECF #64 at Pg. ID 510.) Defendants have nonetheless produced the recordings. (See Def.s' Resp. to Objections, ECF #65 at Pg. ID 582; ECF #65-2.) This objection is therefore OVERRULED AS MOOT.


         Campbell next contends that the Magistrate Judge wrongly refused to require Defendants to identify a second individual subjected to a strip search by Defendant Daniel Mack at a different time. (See Objections, ECF #64 at Pg. ID 511-13.) Campbell argues that the Magistrate Judge erroneously concluded that the decision in Whittum v. Saginaw County, 2005 WL 3271810 (E.D. Nov. Nov. 22, 2005), supported her decision not to require identification of the second individual. The Court disagrees.

         Whittum was a putative class action challenging strip searches and other actions by certain police officers. The named plaintiff sought to compel the production of (among other things) “information about inmates that [were] not named as plaintiffs in [that] case.” Id. at *5. Another Judge of this Court declined to compel that production because - although the information could potentially have been relevant to claims of putative class members - the requested information was not relevant to the named plaintiff's individual claim. Id. Campbell insists that Whittum is inapplicable here because the Court in that case was primarily focused on the fact that the discovery at issue had been initially requested to “develop issues pertaining to class certification, ” which was subsequently denied. Id. at *3. But, as noted above, the Court in Whittum did not confine its analysis to class action issues and, in fact, determined that the requested discovery was not relevant to the named plaintiff's individual claim. Therefore, it was not error for the Magistrate Judge to rely on Whittum.

         Campbell also argues that the identity of the strip-searched individual is discoverable because it is “relevant to show custom, policy or practice by a municipality.” (Objections, ECF #64 at Pg. ID 513.) In support of this argument, Campbell relies upon the Court's decision in Perry v. City of Pontiac, 2011 WL 4345279 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 16, 2011). In Perry, another Judge of this Court ordered the defendants to produce documents related to an internal investigation of an excessive force complaint filed by a third-party because “[a]dditional incidents of excessive force could be highly indicative of a failure to train.” Id. at *3. But in this case, Defendants have produced “a copy of the incident and investigation report relative to the only other individual strip searched by Defendant Mack.” (Magistrate's Order at Pg. ID 490.) The only question that remains is whether the redactions of the alleged-victim's name and other personal information in that report were appropriate, and Perry does not speak to that question. Moreover, Campbell has not sufficiently explained why the identity of the third party is relevant to his failure-to-train claim. Campbell's objection related to the name of the additional strip-searched individual is therefore OVERRULED.


         In Campbell's third objection, he argues that the Magistrate Judge should have required Defendants to produce the names of all officers on duty with Mack in the 180 days prior to Campbell's arrest and strip search. (See Objections, ECF #64 at Pg. ID 513-14.) Campbell insists that “[o]ther officers may be potential witnesses to ...

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