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Brown v. Tuttle

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

February 5, 2016

KENYA BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
JOANN TUTTLE and CAPTAIN VAN, Defendants.

RULING ON PENDING MOTIONS

VICTOR A. BOLDEN, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

Before the Court are multiple motions filed by the Plaintiff, Kenya Brown. Non-party Erinn Dolan has also filed a motion to quash a subpoena and motion for protective order.[1] For the reasons that follow, Mr. Brown’s motions seeking to waive the security for costs, ECF No. 108, and strike the Court’s prior Order granting Defendant Tuttle’s Motion for Security for Costs, ECF No. 109, are GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. All other motions, ECF Nos. 104, 107, 111-13, 115-17, 123-26, 136, are DENIED.

I. Motions to Waive Security for Costs and Strike the Court’s Order on Security Costs [ECF Nos. 108, 109]

Mr. Brown paid the filing fee to commence this action. On August 20, 2015, the Court granted the Defendants’ motion seeking an order requiring the plaintiff to deposit or file a bond with sufficient surety in the sum of $500.00 as security for costs. Order, ECF No. 106; see also D. Conn. L. Civ. R. 83.3(a) (enabling defendants in a civil action to ask the Clerk to enter an order for a cash deposit of $500 to be entered as a security for costs). In response, Mr. Brown filed two motions seeking to vacate the Order requiring him to post a $500 as a security for costs and to waive or modify the amount of the security for costs that he must pay.

Under Rule 83.3(b) of the Local Rules of Civil Procedure for the District of Connecticut, “the Court may modify or waive” the amount of security for costs upon a showing of good cause. Mr. Brown states that he does not have sufficient funds to pay the full $500.00 but could pay $100.00. Mot. to Waive Security for Costs 2, ECF No. 108. He attached a statement of his prisoner account, issued a few days before he filed these motions, indicating that he had a $106.62 “spendable balance.” Id. at 3. During the month prior to filing the motions, the statement shows two deposits in the amounts of $100.00 and $84.04, respectively, and two separate deposits in amount of $12.50 each. Id. at 4.

The Court finds that Mr. Brown has demonstrated good cause to modify the current Order for security for costs from $500.00 to $100.00. Accordingly, the motions seeking to strike and waive the security for costs are granted to the extent that the current Order for security for costs is modified from $500.00 to $100.00. These motions are denied in all other respects. The Clerk is directed to modify the current Order for security for costs from $500.00 to $100.00.

II. Motions to Take Deposition and to Expedite [ECF Nos. 116, 117]

Mr. Brown has filed a “Notice of Deposition of Joanne Tuttle.” See Mot. to Take Deposition from Joanne Tuttle, ECF No. 116. In this notice, he seeks leave from the Court to depose Joann Tuttle. Id. He has also filed a motion asking the Court to expedite its ruling on this request. Mot. to Expedite, ECF No. 117.

Mr. Brown does not need the Court’s permission to depose Defendant Tuttle. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(a)(1) (“[a] party may, by oral questions, depose any person, including a party, without leave of court” subject to certain exceptions that do not apply here). Accordingly, the motions seeking leave to conduct a deposition and to expedite a ruling on the motion for leave to conduct deposition are denied.

III. Motion for Order Re: Erinn Dolan [ECF No. 104]

Mr. Brown claims that he must depose non-party Erinn Dolan because she has important information regarding the facts alleged in the Amended Complaint against Defendant Tuttle. He seeks to serve a notice of deposition on Erinn Dolan, but he does not have Ms. Dolan’s current address. He asks the Court to order counsel for the Defendants to produce Erinn Dolan’s address to him or commit to producing her for her deposition. Mot. for Order re: Erinn Dolan, ECF No. 104.

Because Erinn Dolan’s employment address, MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution, 1153 East Street South, Suffield, Connecticut 06080, is included in the Motion to Quash and Motion For Protective Order filed by counsel for the Defendants on August 20, 2015, the relief sought in Mr. Brown’s motion is moot. The motion is denied as moot.

IV. Motion to Quash and Motion for Protective Order [ECF No. 107]

Non-party Erinn Dolan moves to quash a subpoena, written by Mr. Brown, to appear and testify at a deposition. Mr. Brown initially sought to depose Ms. Dolan in July 2015, when he filed a motion seeking permission to depose non-party Erinn Dolan on July 31, 2015. Mot. to Depose, ECF No. 98. Attached to that motion was a subpoena addressed to “Erin Nolin” but not signed by the Clerk. See Mot. to Depose, Ex. 1, ECF No. 98-1. On July 28, 2015, the Court denied Mr. Brown’s motion for various reasons, including the fact that Mr. Brown need not seek permission to conduct discovery on non-parties. Order 2-3, ECF No. 100.

On August 11, 2015, Mr. Brown sent a letter to counsel for the Defendants with a copy of a subpoena addressed to non-party Erinn Dolan. See Mot. to Quash, Doc. No. 107-1, Attach. A. He indicated that he would seek service of the subpoena on Erinn Dolan if counsel was “unresponsive.” Id. Counsel states that she received the copy of the subpoena addressed to non-party Erinn Dolan on August 17, 2015. Mot. to Quash 1, ECF No. 107.

Non-party Dolan moves to quash the subpoena directing her to appear at a deposition on August 31, 2015 on the ground that compliance with the subpoena would be burdensome. She contends that she is currently employed at another correctional facility and to take time away from her job for a deposition would prevent her from providing medical care to inmates at ...


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