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Brown v. James

March 18, 2009

VICTOR BROWN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THOMAS JAMES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James F. McCLURE, Jr. United States District Judge

(Judge McClure)

MEMORANDUM

Victor Brown ("Plaintiff" or "Brown"), an inmate presently confined at the State Correctional Institution, Frackville, Pennsylvania ("SCI-Frackville"), filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Presently before the court are several motions filed by Plaintiff, including a motion to compel his third request for production of documents (Record document no. 178), a motion to stay the dispositive motion deadline (Record document no. 177), and a motion to stay the proceedings pending disposition of the motion to compel (Record document no. 191). For the reasons set forth below, the motion to compel will be denied, and the other motions will be denied as moot.

Background

Plaintiff originally filed this action on April 14, 2003. By Order dated May 11, 2004, his proposed second amended complaint (Record document no. 40) was accepted. The Remaining Defendants are the following SCI-Frackville officials: Deputy Superintendent for Centralized Services John Kerestes; Personnel Director Jerry Pritchett; Unit Manager Gary Rosato; ex-Captain Ray Boyle; Jesse James; Counselor Carl Dudek; Sergeant Dean Harner; and Correctional Officers John Kowalchick, Alvin Miller, Shawn Roth, Trevor Hardy, and Brian Cress.

By Memorandum and Order dated February 7, 2007, the remaining parties were directed to confer in good faith regarding Plaintiff's unresolved discovery requests and file status reports with the Court. The Memorandum and Order stated that many of Brown's pending discovery requests were overly broad; sought information which did not appear to be relevant to the remaining issues; and were overly burdensome with little or no apparent benefit. Specifically, the Court noted that many of Plaintiff's discovery requests had questionable relevance because they sought information regarding the individual Defendants' incomes; military service; alcohol abuse; personal finances; job descriptions; criminal records; personal opinions; specialized training; and involvement in other grievances/law suits.

By Memorandum and Order dated March 13, 2008, this Court granted in part Plaintiff's third motion to compel discovery.(See Record document no. 171.) The Court directed the Remaining Defendants to provide Plaintiff with 1) any existing general, non-confidential job descriptions for the employment assignments they held during the relevant time period of this action,and 2) any non-confidential DOC policies in place during the relevant time period encompassed by the amended complaint with respect to the use of retaliation tactics. (See id. at 6-7.) The Court denied Plaintiff's requests for the Remaining Defendants' criminal/arrest/military records and for any DOC policies relating to employees who are intoxicated while on state property. (See id.)

On May 28, 2008, in light of the fact that it appeared that all discovery issues had been resolved, this Court issued an Order setting the deadline for the submission of dispositive motions for forty-five (45) days from the date of the Order. (See Record document no. 176.)

However, on June 12, 2008, Brown filed a motion to stay the dispositive motion deadline to allow time for Defendants to answer his third request for production of documents, which he stated had been served on May 1, 2008. (See Record document no. 177.) Plaintiff indicated that Defendants had not yet responded to his request and that a motion to compel may be necessary. (See id.)

On June 19, 2008, Brown filed a motion to compel Defendants to respond to his third request for production of documents (Record document no. 178) and a supporting brief (Record document no. 179). On July 3, 2008, Defendants filed their opposition brief (Record document no. 180). Brown filed a reply brief (Record document no. 181) on July 11, 2008.

On July 14, 2008, the deadline for the submission of dispositive motions pursuant to this Court's May 28, 2008 Order, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment (Record document no. 182). The motion currently is ripe for review. However, on August 11, 2008, Plaintiff filed a motion to stay proceedings pending disposition of his motion to compel. (See Record document no. 191). Accordingly, the Court now will dispose of Plaintiff's motions so that it may then turn to the pending motion for summary judgment.

Discussion

Motion to Compel

Brown's third request for production of documents consists of six (6) requests. (See Record document no. 177 at 4.) Plaintiff requests 1) vote sheets for 1997-2000; 2) vote sheets for 2008; 3) housing performance reports for 1997-2000; 4) Defendant John Kerestes' job description for the time period during which he served as the Deputy Superintendent for Facility Management at SCI-Frackville; 5) Defendant Dean Harner's job description for the time period during which he served as Sergeant at SCI-Frackville; and 6) Plaintiff's psychiatric records ...


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