Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hudson v. Carberry

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

January 5, 2017

KENDALL HUDSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CARBERRY, et al., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM

          Robert D. Mariani United States District Judge

         Plaintiff, Kendall Hudson, an inmate formerly confined at the State Correctional Institution, in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, initiated the instant action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1). The matter is proceeding via an amended complaint. (Doc. 22). Named as Defendants are Laurel Harry, Keith Carberry, Harrison Collins, John Killeen, Anthony Kot, Deibert Moeller, Darrin Reeder, Tracey Wilson, Jen Digby, Kuzar, and Cleaver. [Id. at pp. 2-3).

         Presently pending before the Court is Plaintiffs motion to compel discovery filed on March 7, 2016. (Doc. 33). For the reasons set forth below, the motion will be granted in part and denied in part.

         I. Standard of Review

         A party who has received evasive or incomplete discovery responses may seek a court order compelling disclosure or discovery of the materials sought. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a). The moving party must demonstrate the relevance of the information sought to a particular claim or defense. The burden then shifts to the opposing party, who must demonstrate in specific terms why a discovery request does not fall within the broad scope of discovery or is otherwise privileged or improper. Goodman v, Wagner, 553 F.Supp. 255, 258 (E.D. Pa. 1982).

         Generally, courts afford considerable latitude in discovery in order to ensure that litigation proceeds with "the fullest possible knowledge of the issues and facts before trial." Hickman v. Taylor, 349 U.S. 495, 501 (1947). The procedural rule defining the scope and limits of discovery provides that "[p]arties 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. Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1), "[A]ll relevant material is discoverable unless an applicable evidentiary privilege is asserted. The presumption that such matter is discoverable, however, is defeasible." Pearson v. Miller, 211 F.2d 57, 65 (3d Cir. 2000). Furthermore, the court may limit discovery where: "(I) the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or can be obtained from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive; (ii) the party seeking discovery has had ample opportunity to obtain the information by discovery in the action; or (iii) the proposed discovery is outside the scope permitted by Rule 26(b)(1)." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)©.

         II. Discussion

         In the instant motion to compel, Plaintiff requests that Defendants produce: (1) answers to the first set of Interrogatories directed to Defendant Moeller; (2) answers to the first set of Interrogatories directed to Defendant Killeen; and (3) the documents requested in the second request for production. (Doc. 33). Plaintiff seeks updated responses to his Interrogatories following the conclusion of a Department of Corrections ("DOC") internal Prison Rape Elimination Act ("PREA") investigation. (Id. at pp. 1-2). In response, Defendants assert that they responded to all of Plaintiffs requests, and provided updated responses to the Interrogatories following the conclusion of the PREA investigation. (Doc. 38). Specifically, Defendants note that they provided Plaintiff with 120 pages of responsive documents, responded to 103 Interrogatories, and addressed 25 requests for admission. (Id.). Defendants therefore contend that the motion to compel should be denied as moot. (Id.).

         A. First Set of Interrogatories Directed to Defendant Moeller

         On October 7, 2015, Plaintiff served his first set of sixteen Interrogatories to Defendant Moeller. (Doc. 38, Ex. 1). On November 5, 2015, Defendant Moeller served his answers on Plaintiff. (Doc. 38, Ex. 2). Defendant Moeller set forth fifteen objections to the Interrogatories. (Id.). Further, Defendant Moeller provided answers to fourteen of the Interrogatories, with the qualification that he did not waive his stated objections, (Id.). Defendant Moeller additionally noted that two of the Interrogatories could not be answered at that time because they related to an anticipated DOC decision in an internal PREA investigation. (Doc. 38, Ex. 2, Interrogatories 11, 16). On April 20, 2016, after the PREA investigation was completed, Defendant Moeller supplemented his responses to Interrogatories 11 and 16. (Doc. 38, Ex. 3).

         In the instant motion, Plaintiff seeks responses to the following Interrogatories directed to Defendant Moeller:

         (11) On February 11, 2015, you tested a substance found by officer Killeen. What was the substance, describe what it looked like?

Initial Response: Objection. Defendant specifically objects to this Interrogatory because it seeks information related to an anticipated DOC decision in an internal Prison Rape Elimination Act ("PREA") investigation, which information is, therefore, subject to the deliberative process privilege. The Defendant will update this response, where appropriate, following the conclusion of the aforementioned investigation. (Doc. 38-1, p. 17).
Supplemental Response: The substance which tested positive for K2 or synthetic cannabinoid was a brown leafy substance similar to tobacco in appearance. (Doc. 38-1, p. 26).

         (12) The substance tested positive for K2. What is K2?

Initial Response: Objection. Defendant specifically objects to this Interrogatory to the extent that it references information protected by the deliberative process privilege due to an ongoing PREA investigation. Defendant further objects to this Interrogatory to the extent that it calls for expert testimony regarding the scientific nature and/or composition of "K2." Without waiving the foregoing, Defendant ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.