United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MALACHY E. MANNION UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the court is plaintiff Casey Calpin's motion,
(Doc. 28), for the court's permission to use the
sealed deposition transcript from another federal civil case
in the instant case for purposes of opposing defendants
Lackawanna County and Brian Loughney's motion for summary
judgment, (Doc. 34). Based upon the following
analysis, the court will DENY the
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
of relevant background, on October 3, 2016, the plaintiff
commenced the instant action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§1983, claiming that the defendants engaged in
retaliation due to her participation in First Amendment
protected activities. (Doc. 1). On October 4, 2016,
the plaintiff filed an amended complaint. (Doc. 3).
The plaintiff, a former correctional officer for Lackawanna
County Prison (“LCP”) for over 15 years,
testified at a deposition in a federal civil rights case,
namely, Pleasants v. Lackawanna County, Civil No.
13-1611, M.D.Pa., on March 1, 2016. On June 20, 2016, the
plaintiff was interviewed by defendant Loughney, Deputy
Director for Human Resources for defendant Lackawanna County,
and he possessed the deposition transcript from the
plaintiff's deposition in the Pleasants'
case. Loughney asked plaintiff if she testified truthfully in
her deposition and she responded that she did. Subsequently,
on July 14, 2016, the plaintiff was terminated by the
defendants allegedly “because she provided truthful
testimony under oath.” The plaintiff also alleges that
after she was terminated the defendants appealed her
unemployment compensation award “based solely on the
testimony she provided under oath at a deposition [in the
Pleasants' case].” In her amended
complaint, the plaintiff asserts two claims relating to her
termination. In Count I, the plaintiff claims that
defendants, Loughney and Lackawanna County, terminated her in
direct retaliation for engaging in a First Amendment
protected activity, i.e., giving sworn deposition testimony
in a federal court case. The plaintiff also alleges that the
defendants retaliated against her due to her testimony by
appealing her award of unemployment compensation and by using
her testimony as evidence at the appeal hearing. The
plaintiff states that despite this evidence the unemployment
compensation referee upheld her award and found that the
defendants did not have just cause to terminate her and
failed to prove willful misconduct.
Count II, the plaintiff asserts a municipal liability claim
against Lackawanna County under §1983 because it failed
to train and supervise its employees in a way that would
ensure they did not harm employees engaging in truthful
testimony related to court proceedings.
relief, the plaintiff requests reinstatement, back pay and
front pay as well as compensatory damages against both
defendants as well as punitive damages as against Loughney.
November 9, 2016, the defendants filed an answer to the
amended complaint, which both denies any liability and raises
numerous affirmative defenses, including failure to state a
claim and qualified immunity. (Doc. 12). With their
answer, the defendants attached eight exhibits to support and
supplement their responses and statements made in the answer.
The plaintiff then filed a motion to strike the exhibits
attached to the defendants' answer, (Doc. 13).
The plaintiff's motion was briefed.
November 18, 2016, the defendants filed a motion for judgment
on the pleadings. (Doc. 17). The defendants'
motion was then briefed.
February 14, 2017, the court issued a memorandum, (Doc.
24), and order, (Doc. 25), denying
plaintiff's motion to strike the exhibits attached to
defendants' answer to her amended complaint, (Doc.
13), except with respect to Exhibit C, her
deposition transcript. The court also denied the
defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings, (Doc.
17), since it found the plaintiff plausibly stated a
First Amendment retaliation claim against them.
was then conducted and the court extended the deadline to
August 30, 2017. (Doc. 27).
August 29, 2017, the plaintiff filed her motion for the
court's permission to use the sealed deposition
transcript of LCP Captain Robert Mcguire from the case of
Sopinski v. Lackawanna County, Civil No. 16-466,
M.D.Pa., (Doc. 27), in her present case to oppose
defendants' motion for summary judgment, (Doc.
34), filed on September 20, 2017. On August 30,
2017, the plaintiff filed her brief in support of her motion.
(Doc. 29). Defendants filed their brief in
opposition on September 13, 2017. (Doc. 31).
Plaintiff filed her reply brief on September 22, 2017. (Doc.
court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§1331 and 1343. Venue is proper in this district.
simply states that she the has right “to inspect and
copy public records and documents, including judicial records
and documents” and, that she should be allowed to use
the sealed deposition of Mcguire that her counsel took in the
Sopinski case since there is no harm or prejudice to
defendants. (Doc. 29). Plaintiff cites to
Leucadia v. Applied Extrusion Technologies, Inc.,998 ...