United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Dublin Division
K. EPPS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
an inmate incarcerated at Georgia Diagnostic &
Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia, commenced the
above-captioned case pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
concerning events alleged to have occurred at Telfair State
Prison (“TSP”) in Helena, Georgia. For the
reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS IN
PART and DENIES IN PART
Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery (doc no. 112),
DENIES Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to
File an Amended Complaint (doc. no. 121), and DENIES
AS MOOT Plaintiff's Motion to Object (doc. no.
asserts Eighth Amendment claims for failure to protect
against Defendants Danforth, Wilcox, Zanders, McCloud,
Jordan-Thomas, Taylor, Bell, and John Doe, Eighth Amendment
claims for denial of medical care against Defendants Cravey
and Dr. Chaney, a First Amendment retaliatory transfer claim
against Defendant Danforth, and Fourteenth Amendment Claims
for administrative segregation without a hearing against
Defendants Danforth, Zanders, and McCloud. (See doc.
no. 43.) The Court initially set June 6, 2017, as the
deadline for discovery, but on the parties' joint motion,
extended the deadline to August 5, 2017. (Doc. nos. 81, 95,
18, 2017, Plaintiff served on Defendants 155 individual
discovery requests totaling fifty-five pages and seeking
extensive information and documentation. (See doc.
no. 113-1, Ex. 1.) Defendants' responses were originally
due on June 20, 2017; however, on June 19, 2017, Plaintiff
agreed to extend Defendants' time to respond until July
19, 2017. (See doc. no. 118-1, Ex. A.) Defendants
timely responded to Plaintiff's discovery requests on
July 19, 2017, serving Plaintiff with nine sets of responses
including extensive substantive information, 712 pages of
records, five videos, and twenty-six audio recordings.
(See doc. no. 188, Exs. B-K.)
27, 2017, Plaintiff sent a letter to Defendants indicating he
disagreed with their discovery responses. (Doc. no. 113-2,
Ex. 2.) Plaintiff did not specify his disagreements but
rather listed the seventy-four responses and cited the
ostensibly applicable Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and
Evidence next to each. (Id.) Despite these
deficiencies, Defendants attempted to discern Plaintiff's
perceived issues with the responses and addressed each
request, along with additional documentation, by letter dated
August 7, 2017. (See doc. no. 118-12, Ex. L.)
August 6, 2017, Plaintiff sent a second letter requesting
production of twenty-eight items, most of which were not
included in his original discovery requests. (Doc. no. 113-3,
Ex. 3.) Nonetheless, “in the spirit of liberal
construction and compromise, ” Defendants broadly
interpreted Plaintiff's correspondence requests and
produced another seventy-four pages of documents and three
additional recordings. (See doc. no. 118-13, Ex. M.)
filed his Motion to Compel on August 23, 2017, seeking
production of “Electronically Stored Information . . .
for inspection and copying the documents on May 18,
2017.” (Doc. no. 112.) He argues the requests seek
relevant information and Defendants waived all objections by
not serving their responses within the original thirty-day
deadline. (Doc. no. 114.) Defendants contend they timely
served the responses within the extended time period allowed
by Plaintiff, raised proper objections, and produced all
relevant documents despite Plaintiff's vague requests.
(Doc. no. 118.)
Plaintiff's Motion to Compel
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1), “Parties may obtain discovery
regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any
party's claim or defense . . . . Information within this
scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be
discoverable.” The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
strongly favor full discovery whenever possible, Republic
of Ecuador v. Hinchee, 741 F.3d 1185, 1189 (11th Cir.
2013), and “[w]hen there is a doubt over relevancy, the
court should still permit discovery, ” Coker v.
Duke & Co., 177 F.R.D. 682, 685 (M.D. Ala. 1998).
However, “the Court obviously cannot compel production
of documents that do not exist” and “is generally
entitled to rely on representations made in discovery
requests and responses.” Hunter v. Corr. Corp. of
Am., No. CV 314-035, 2015 WL 5042245, at *2 (S.D. Ga.
Aug. 26, 2015) (internal citations omitted).
discovery motion must “include the specific ground for
the motion or objection” and “may not be made
generally.” Loc. R. 26.5(b)-(c). Plaintiff's motion
does not satisfy this requirement because of its
generalities, but like Defendants, the Court will endeavor to
discern and address Plaintiff's concerns given his
pro se status. (See doc. no. 114.) While
not entirely clear, Plaintiff appears to take issue with
Defendants' responses to the following discovery
requests: Warden Danforth, Request No. 11; Deputy Warden
Zanders, Request Nos. 4, 5, 6; Lieutenant Wilcox, Request No.
8; Sergeant Taylor, Request No. 10; Sergeant Jordan-Thomas,
Request Nos. 6, 12, 13; Officer Bell, Request Nos. 6, 7, 8,
9, 10; Dr. Cheney, Request No. 14; and all of the items
requested in Plaintiff's August 6, 2017 letter.
(See Id. at4). The Court addresses
each in turn below, after first addressing Plaintiff's
Defendants Did Not Waive Objections.
granted Defendants an extension through July 19, 2017, to
serve their discovery responses. (Doc. no. 118-1, Ex. A.)
Defendants timely served their responses on July 19, 2017.
(See doc. no. 188, Exs. B-K.) Plaintiff's
consent to the extension forecloses any waiver argument.
Requests to Defendant Danforth
dispute for Defendant William Danforth, TSP Warden, is
Plaintiff's request no. 7 as follows:
7. Was a report made by any person concerning the
incident? If so, state:
(a) the name, title, identification number, and employer
of the person who made the report;
(b) the date and type of report made;
(c) the name, address, and telephone number of the person
whom the report was made; and
(d) the name, address, and telephone number of each
person who has the original or a copy of the report.
RESPONSE: An Incident Report was made by Telfair State
Prison Staff concerning the July 15, 2013 incident.
Investigator Neal Thompson of the Criminal Investigations
Division also made a Report of Investigation. The information
requested is set forth in the produced documents
DEF00485-00648 and is therefore ascertainable by Plaintiff
pursuant to Federal Rule of Procedure 33(d).
Danforth produced 163 pages of responsive reports. Plaintiff
does not identify why the production is deficient.
Accordingly, the Court DENIES
Plaintiff's motion to compel as to Defendant Danforth.
Requests to Defendant Zanders
in dispute for Defendant Sam Zanders, TSP Deputy Warden, are
three requests as follows:
4. State the names, titles, and duties of all staff and
prison officials at Telfair State Prison from 2013 until
response, who have responsibility for ensuring and preserving
all institutional documentary and surveillance footage.If
those duties are set forth in any job description, policy
directive, or other document, produce the document(s).
RESPONSE: Defendant objects to this Interrogatory as
overly broad, unduly burdensome, seeking irrelevant
information, and not proportional to the needs of
Plaintiff's case. Plaintiff's request for the names,
titles, and duties of all staff members responsible for
ensuring and preserving documentary and surveillance footage
at Telfair State Prison for the past four years is
excessively burdensome and irrelevant to the issues in
Plaintiff's Complaint. Objecting further, this
Interrogatory is irrelevant as there have been no identified
issues regarding preservation of surveillance footage.
Subject to and without waiving said objections, Defendant is
unaware of the “names, titles, and duties of all staff
and prison officials at Telfair State prison from 2013 until
response, who have responsibility for ensuring and preserving
all institutional documentary and surveillance
5. State the name, model, and capability of the
institutional cameras mounted inside and outside B, D, also E
Buildings/Dormitories at Telfair State Prison and the
institutional hand-held cameras used by staff/prison
officials. If the specific model mandated by Georgia