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.

Rivera v. Rendell

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

March 16, 2017

ROBERTO C. RIVERA, Plaintiff
v.
GOVERNOR ED RENDELL, et al., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM

          A. RICHARD CAPUTO United States District Judge

         I. Introduction

         On March 5, 2010, Roberto Rivera, an inmate housed at SCI-Dallas, in Dallas, Pennsylvania, initiated this action challenging the revocation of his Z Code (single cell status). On September 21, 2015, the Court resolved Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) Defendants' motion for summary judgment. See Rivera v. Rendell, Civ. No. 3:CV-10-0505, 2015 WL 5569067 (M.D. Pa. Sept. 21, 2015). A single claim against a sole defendant remains: Was Deputy Superintendent Walsh deliberately indifferent to Mr. Rivera's serious mental health needs in March 2009 when he failed to assign Plaintiff a Z Code upon releasing him from the Restricted Housing Unit (RHU) to general population? Mr. Rivera was granted the opportunity to conduct additional discovery related to Deputy Walsh's reliance on the opinions of his treating mental health professionals. (ECF No. 150, pp. 1- 2.)

         Presently before the Court are Mr. Rivera's three motions to compel concerning his discovery posed to Deputy Walsh. (ECF Nos. 198, 200 and 202.) He does not argue that Deputy Walsh failed to respond to his discovery requests, rather he argues the responses are evasive and inadequate. (Id.) On December 22, 2015, Mr. Rivera was ordered to supplement his discovery motions by identifying each discovery request in dispute as well as specifying why he believes Deputy Walsh's responses are evasive and incomplete. (ECF No. 207.) Mr. Rivera filed his supplemental supporting briefs on January 12, 2016. (ECF Nos. 209 - 211.) Deputy Walsh filed a singular opposition brief to all three motions. (ECF No. 213.) On March 16, 2016, Mr. Rivera filed a collective reply brief in support of all three motions. (ECF No. 216.)

         For the reasons that follow, Mr. Rivera's motions to compel will be granted in part and denied in part.

         II. Standard of Review

         Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs motions to compel discovery. Under Rule 37(a), a party may file a motion to compel discovery when the opposing party fails to respond or provides incomplete or evasive answers to properly propounded document request or interrogatories. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(3)(B)(iii - iv). Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1), a party “may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1).

         The scope and conduct of discovery are within the sound discretion of the trial court. In re Cendant Corp. Sec. Litig., 343 F.3d 658, 661-62 (3d Cir. 2003); see also McConnell v. Canadian Pacific Realty Co., 280 F.R.D. 188, 192 (M.D. Pa. 2011) (“Rulings regarding the proper scope of discovery, and the extent to which discovery may be compelled, are matters consigned to the Court's discretion and judgment.”).

         This discretion is guided, however, by certain basic principles. Thus, at the outset, it is clear that Rule 26's broad definition of that which can be obtained through discovery reaches only “non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense.” Therefore, valid claims of relevance and privilege restrict the court's discretion in ruling on discovery issues. Furthermore, the scope of discovery permitted by Rule 26 embraces all “relevant information, ” a concept which is defined in the following terms: “Relevant information need not be admissible at trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” With these principles in mind, the Court turns to consider the various discovery requests set forth in Mr. Rivera's motions to compel.

         III. Discussion

         A. Mr. Rivera's Motion to Compel Responses to his October 1, 2015, Request for Production of Documents (ECF No. 198).

         As directed, Mr. Rivera provided the Court with a copy of his October 1, 2015, request for production of documents and Deputy Walsh's response. (ECF No. 209, pp. 9 - 16.)

         Where Mr. Rivera's document requests are similar, or redundant, they will be addressed together.

         1. Request No. 1: Disciplinary and Personnel Complaints ...


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.