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Davis-Bey v. City of Warren

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

December 21, 2017

BOBBY DEANDRE DAVIS-BEY, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF WARREN, JAY ALLOR, and MIREK SKOMSKI, Defendants.

          DISTRICT JUDGE JUDITH E. LEVY

          OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS TO COMPEL [52, 56], DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR THE COURT TO APPOINT COUNSEL [51], AND GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STRIKE AND FOR LEAVE TO FILE SUPPLEMENTAL REPLY BRIEF [64]

          MONA K. MAJZOUB UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Bobby DeAndre Davis-Bey filed this pro se civil rights complaint against the City of Warren and two City of Warren police officers, Mirek Skomski and Jay Allor, on May 12, 2016. (Docket no. 1.) Plaintiff claims that on March 26, 2016, he was “falsely arrested and imprisoned for video[taping] Police Behavior, ” and that Defendants are liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Id. at 4.) Before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery (docket no. 52), Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Defendants to Answer Second Set of Interrogatories and Provide Deposition and Trial Transcripts (docket no. 56), Plaintiff's Amended Motion for Appointment of Counsel (docket no. 51), and Defendants' Motion to Strike and/or for Leave to File Supplemental Reply Brief (docket no. 64).

         This action has been referred to the undersigned for all pretrial proceedings pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). (Docket no. 12.) The undersigned has reviewed the pleadings and dispenses with a hearing pursuant to Eastern District of Michigan Local Rule 7.1(f)(2).

         I. BACKGROUND

         On March 26, 2016, Plaintiff was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and disobeying a lawful command, outside of a business in Warren, Michigan. (Docket no. 22 at 24.) He filed the instant civil rights complaint on May 12, 2016. (Docket no. 1.) He seeks $500, 000 in “compensatory damages” from each of the Defendants. (Id. at 2.) He also asks the Court to “enlist all of my substantive rights and constitutionally secured rights are not violated, breached or abridged. Due Process as protected by the 1st, 4th, 5th, 9th, United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, Human Trafficking, False Arrest and Imprisonment, ” and that “All city officials be informed of the law of the land and their obligation to uphold their Oath of Office.” (Id.)

         II. GOVERNING LAW

         A. Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery [52] and Motion to Compel Defendants to Answer Second Set of Interrogatories and Provide Deposition and Trial Transcripts [56]

         The scope of discovery under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is traditionally quite broad. Lewis v. ACB Bus. Servs., 135 F.3d 389, 402 (6th Cir. 1998). Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant information, the parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26. Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable. Id. “Although a [party] should not be denied access to information necessary to establish her claim, neither may a [party] be permitted to ‘go fishing, ' and a trial court retains discretion to determine that a discovery request is too broad and oppressive.” Superior Prod. P'ship v. Gordon Auto Body Parts Co., 784 F.3d 311, 320-21 (6th Cir. 2015) (citing Surles ex rel. Johnson v. Greyhound Lines, Inc., 474 F.3d 288, 305 (6th Cir. 2007)).

         Rules 33 and 34 allow a party to serve interrogatories and requests for production of documents on an opposing party. Fed.R.Civ.P. 33, 34. A party receiving these types of discovery requests has thirty days to respond with answers or objections. Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(b)(2), 34(b)(2)(A). Rule 30 allows a party to conduct a deposition of any person without leave of court, subject to certain exceptions. Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(a)(1). If the party receiving discovery requests under Rules 33 or 34 fails to respond properly, or if the person whose deposition is sought under Rule 30 fails to properly comply with the rule, Rule 37 provides the party who sent the discovery the means to file a motion to compel. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(3). If a court grants a Rule 37 motion to compel, or if discovery is received after a Rule 37 motion is filed, then the court must award reasonable expenses and attorney's fees to the successful party, unless the successful party did not confer in good faith before the motion, the opposing party's position was substantially justified, or other circumstances would make an award unjust. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(5)(A).

         Any discovery motion filed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 26 through 37, shall include, in the motion itself or in an attached memorandum, a verbatim recitation of each interrogatory, request, answer, response, and objection which is the subject of the motion or a copy of the actual discovery document which is the subject of the motion. E. D. Mich. LR 37.2.

         B. Plaintiff's Amended Motion for Appointment of Counsel [51]

         Appointment of counsel for persons proceeding in forma pauperis is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1915, which states that “[t]he court may request an attorney to represent any person unable to afford counsel.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). As the Sixth Circuit has stated:

Appointment of counsel in a civil case is not a constitutional right. It is a privilege that is justified only by exceptional circumstances. In determining whether ‘exceptional circumstances' exist, courts have examined the type of case and the abilities of the plaintiff to represent himself. This generally ...

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