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Anderson v. Furst

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

May 29, 2019

JERRY ANDERSON, Plaintiff
v.
COLTER FURST, MICHAEL THOMAS, and NATHAN ELLIS Defendants.

          Victoria A. Roberts, District Judge

          OPINION AND ORDER (1) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER (DE 85), (2) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS TO COMPEL (DES 87, 88), AND (3) GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SANCTIONS AND TO COMPEL DEPOSITION (DE 91)

          ANTHONY P. PATTI, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff, a state prisoner who is proceeding in forma pauperis, brings this prisoner civil rights lawsuit against three defendants, Colter Furst, Michael Thomas and Nathan Ellis, all Michigan State Police Troopers, alleging they violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment by using excessive force during his arrest on September 4, 2015. (DE 1.) He seeks injunctive and declaratory relief, in addition to compensatory and punitive damages. (Id.)

         Plaintiff brings a motion for protective order regarding his deposition (DE 85) and two motions to compel discovery pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a) (DEs 87 and 88.) Defendants filed a motion for sanctions and to compel deposition testimony. (DE 91.) For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's motions (DEs 85, 87, 88) are DENIED and Defendants' motion (DE 91) is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.

         II. Instant Motions

         A. Plaintiff's Motions

         On January 29, 2019, Plaintiff filed the following three motions:

         1. Motion for protective order (DE 85)

         First, Plaintiff filed a motion for protective order seeking protection from certain questions at his deposition scheduled for January 25, 2019. (DE 85.) Specifically, he seeks protection “from being asked questions that would give the defendants answers to the interrogatories that have been served” and “from disclosing mental impressions, trial preparation materials and the reasons that he requested” certain discovery. (Id. at 1.) Plaintiff also objects that the deposition notice, served on January 16, 2019 for a January 25th deposition, did not provide a reasonable amount of time to prepare for his deposition. (Id. at 2.)

         2. Motion to compel responses to fourth requests for production of documents (DE 87)

         Second, Plaintiff filed a motion to compel discovery, seeking to compel Defendants' responses to his fourth request for production of documents, served on November 28, 2018, which seeks seven categories of documents. (DE 87.) Plaintiff contends that all of the documents sought are relevant and “directly related to the Troopers, their rules of conduct that they are expected to follow, their history within the department and their discipline.” (Id. at 1.) Plaintiff complains that Defendants have not responded to these discovery requests. (Id. at 2.)

         3. Motion to compel interrogatories, sets 4, 5, 6 (DE 88)

         Finally, Plaintiff filed a second motion to compel, seeking to compel Defendants' responses to his three sets of interrogatories served on each of the Defendants individually. (DE 88.) Plaintiff served the interrogatories on Defendants on November 28, 2019, but Defendants have not responded. (Id.)

         4. Defendants' single response to Plaintiff's three motions (DE 92)

         On February 11, 2019, Defendants filed one response to Plaintiff's three motions. (DE 92.) Defendants argue that Plaintiff's motion for protective order should be denied because “at least the first part of [his] deposition has been taken” and Defendants only asked factual questions regarding the day of Plaintiff's arrest and Plaintiff's alleged injuries, and did not request legal conclusions. (Id. at 2.) Defendants also contend that the deposition notice was timely and no surprise was involved. (Id.)

         As for Plaintiff's two motions to compel (DEs 87, 88), Defendants state that the discovery cutoff in this case was December 17, 2018, and thus Plaintiff's discovery requests, served on November 28, 2018, were untimely as the responses would have been due after the discovery cutoff. (Id. at 2-4.)

         5. ...


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