United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
REIDINGER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff's
Pro Se “Motion for Leave” [Doc. 39],
which the Court construes as a motion to compel discovery.
Also before the Court is a letter that Plaintiff directs to
the Court in which the Plaintiff appears to attempt to
supplement his motion to compel. [Doc. 38].
se Plaintiff Ronald McClary is an inmate of the State of
North Carolina, currently incarcerated at Bertie Correctional
Institution in Windsor, North Carolina. Plaintiff filed this
action on July 19, 2018, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
naming as Defendants FNU Dixie, identified as a nurse at
Lanesboro Correctional Institution, Plaintiff's former
place of incarceration, and Defendant John Doe, identified as
a dietician at Lanesboro at all relevant times. Plaintiff
brings his claim against Defendants for deliberate
indifference to serious medical needs in violation of his
Eighth Amendment rights. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges
that, on unspecified dates, Defendant Dixie refused to treat
Plaintiff, despite the fact that he suffers from numerous
ailments. Plaintiff alleges that he has submitted numerous
sick calls, which went unanswered by Defendant Dixie.
Plaintiff also alleges that an unnamed dietician at the
prison deprived Plaintiff of adequate nutrition by refusing
to provide Plaintiff the special diet he requires.
[See Doc. 1].
August 27, 2019, the Court notified the Plaintiff that N.C.
Prisoner Legal Services (NCPLS) is available to assist the
Plaintiff with discovery in this case if the Plaintiff chose
to accept its services. [Doc. 31]. On September 6, 2019, the
Plaintiff filed his acceptance of NCLPS's discovery-phase
assistance during the discovery phase in this matter. [Doc.
34]. On September 10, 2019, the Court entered an Amended
Pretrial Order and Case Management Plan (“Amended
PTO”) appointing NCPLS to conduct discovery in this
case on Plaintiff's behalf, which was mailed to Plaintiff
the same day. [Doc. 35]. The terms of the Amended PTO require
that the NCPLS file a notice of non-representation within 10
days of that Order if it is unable to accept appointment or
serve discovery requests on Plaintiff's behalf within 60
days. [Id. at 2]. No. notice of non-representation
has been filed.
September 17, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant motion before
the Court in which he seeks the Court to compel Defendants to
respond more fully to Plaintiff's First Request for
Production of Documents. [Doc. 39]. With this motion,
Plaintiff submits a copy of Defendants' response to
Plaintiff's discovery request. Defendants' response
is dated September 9, 2019. [Doc. 39 at 5-9]. Plaintiff does
not state when he served the discovery request at issue on
Defendants. Plaintiff has also not certified that he has
conferred in good faith in an attempt to resolve the dispute
with Defendants and was unable to do so, as required by the
Amended PTO. [See Doc. 37 at 7]. It is unclear from
the timing of the various filings in this matter whether
Plaintiff was aware when he filed the instant motion that the
NCPLS had been appointed to conduct discovery on his behalf.
reviewing the Plaintiff's motion to compel together with
the Defendants' discovery responses, Defendants'
responses appear generally sufficient. With respect to
Defendants' response to Request No. 4,  the Court is
without sufficient information to assess the relevancy of the
documents Plaintiff requests here or whether the
Defendants' response is appropriate. The Court also notes
that it is contemporaneously entering a protective order that
will allow Defendants to provide the medical records at issue
in Request No. 1, as well as any records that are responsive
to Request No. 3, which requests “All request
[sic] McClary made to medical staff.”
[See Doc. 39 at 7]. The Court also notes that
Plaintiff's request is overly broad in that it is not
limited to medical staff named as Defendants in this action.
event, because the NCPLS has been appointed to assist the
Plaintiff in conducting discovery on Plaintiff's behalf,
because Plaintiff failed to certify that he conferred with
Defendants to resolve the discovery dispute, and because it
appears that the Defendants' responses were prepared in
accordance with Rule 26(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, the Court will deny the Plaintiff's motion
without prejudice to refile should the NCPLS be unable to
resolve any questionable discovery issues with Defendants
without Court intervention. The Court notes also that the
Plaintiff, through the NCPLS, can serve another discovery
request on Defendants that more specifically requests some of
the documents Plaintiff contends that Defendants are
wrongfully withholding here.
the letter to the undersigned that Plaintiff filed the same
day as his motion to compel, the Court declines to consider
it and will strike it from the record in this matter. All
documents that Plaintiff files with this Court must include
the applicable case caption and should never be directed to
the judge assigned to the case. The Plaintiff frequently
submits “letters” to the judges assigned to his
cases in this District. This is improper and the undersigned
judge will not consider them. Should the Plaintiff seek
particular relief, he must file a proper motion with the
Court. Should the Plaintiff wish to supplement a previously
filed motion, the Plaintiff may file a motion to supplement
along with his proposed supplement. The Court will,
therefore, strike the Plaintiffs letter [Doc. 38] from the
record in this matter.
IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that the Plaintiffs Motion
for Leave [Doc. 39] be DENIED without
prejudice to refile in accordance with the terms of this
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs letter [Doc. 38]
is STRICKEN from the record in this matter.
IS SO ORDERED.