United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
D. WHITNEY CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion
to Compel Discovery, (Doc. No. 27), filed on August 23, 2017.
underlying action, brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
Plaintiff brings claims against various Defendants, alleging
that they were deliberately indifferent to his serious
medical needs while he was incarcerated as a pre-trial
detainee at the Graham County Detention Center. Defendants
have filed a summary judgment motion, and that motion is
pending before this Court.
pending motion to compel, Plaintiff seeks an order from the
Court “as may be appropriate” requiring various
persons and entities to provide certain
“exculpatory/inculpatory evidence” to Plaintiff.
(Doc. No. 27 at 1). Specifically, Plaintiff seeks the
following discovery: (1) an “investigative
report” of North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services,
related to the death of another inmate at the Graham County
Detention Center; (2) medical records from physicians at
Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, purportedly
showing “times of arrival, departures, and doctors'
statements of extended injuries due to defendants' delays
in initiating treatment”; and (3) records from the
Graham County Detention Center showing “radio
communications, phone records . . . show[ing] the numerous
times and pleas by Plaintiff for assistance for medical
treatments consistent with cardiac arrest.” Finally,
Plaintiff alleges in the motion to compel that defense
counsel Andrew Buckner “has obstructed and delayed said
proceedings by refusing to release doctors-medical reports,
investigation reports, and has even requested this court deny
the compilation of the production of these records.”
(Id. at 3).
Court will deny the motion for the reasons stated in
Defendants' memorandum opposing the motion to compel.
First, the motion is untimely. Plaintiff filed the pending
motion on August 23, 2017, about three months after
Defendants served their responses to Plaintiff's request
for production of documents. (Doc. No. 23). Moreover,
Plaintiff's motion was filed more than a month after the
Court's deadline of July 21, 2017, for the completion of
discovery, and several days following the deadline for
dispositive motions. (Doc. No. 15). Plaintiff has had ample
time to move the Court for relief relating to any
dissatisfaction with the adequacy of Defendants'
discovery responses before the expiration of the discovery
period and the filing of dispositive motions, and failed to
the motion is directed to entities and individuals who are
not parties and for which no obligation to produce materials
exists. That is, Plaintiff's motion is directed to: (1)
North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc.; (2)
“Mission Hospital/Cardio Units Doctor”; (3)
“Graham County Jail-Its Sheriff and Records;” and
(4) defense counsel. (Doc. No. 27). None of these entities
and individuals are parties to this action. Moreover,
Defendants state that they are not aware of any valid basis
for Plaintiff's complaints that North Carolina Prisoner
Legal Services, Inc. or “Mission Hospital/Cardio Units
Doctor” have failed to comply with any obligation to
provide any materials to Plaintiff. The Graham County
Detention Center is also not a party this action, and there
is no basis for ordering the jail to disclose “radio
communications, phone records (in written transcribed
form)” showing “numerous times and pleas by
plaintiff for assistance for medical treatments consistence
with cardiac arrest.” (Id. at 2).
also contends that defense counsel “has obstructed and
delayed said proceedings by refusing to release
doctors-medical reports-investigation reports-and has even
requested this Court deny the compellation [sic] of
production of these records.” (Doc. No. 27 at 3). In
response, Defendants assert that Plaintiff has never
requested Defendants to produce the materials he alleges
defense counsel has refused to produce. Defendants note that,
in Plaintiff's only discovery requests propounded on
Defendants, titled “Request for Voluntary Production of
Documents, ” he requested the following:
1. At all times material to the Complaint action
1:16-cv-00315, Plaintiff requests the transcribing of jail
recordings, said same produced for his records.
2. Any and all notes, communications, records relevant to
1:16-cv-00315 released to his below address and person.
No. 30-1: Ex. 1). Defendants note that Plaintiff did not
request any “doctors-medical reports” in these
requests. (Id.). Defendants further note that they
served objections and responses to these requests, and
produced responsive documents on May 22, 2017. (Doc. No. 23).
Finally, Defendants explain that no medical records were
produced because Defendants do not possess such records.
Defendants further note that their pending summary judgment
motion is based, in part, on the ground that Plaintiff failed
to produce any medical records (or any medical evidence) to
support his pending deliberate indifference claim and in
response to Defendants' requests for production. (Doc.
No. 24-1 at 29, 70-77). As Defendants note, the burden of
producing medical evidence supporting his claim rests on
Plaintiff, not Defendants.
for the reasons stated herein and in Defendants' response
brief, the Court will deny the motion to compel.
IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion for an
Order Compelling Discovery, (Doc. No. 27), is