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Braham v. Perelmuter

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

April 1, 2016



SARAH A. L. MERRIAM, Magistrate Judge.

Pending before the Court is a motion filed by pro se plaintiff Michael Braham ("plaintiff"), seeking to compel discovery from defendants, Brian Perelmuter, Johnny Wu, Commissioner Scott Semple, and John Doe (hereinafter collectively referred to as "defendants"). [Doc. #80]. For the reasons articulated below, the Court GRANTS plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery.


Plaintiff has filed a motion seeking discovery from defendants. [Doc. #80]. Specifically, plaintiff seeks a response by defendant Wu to Interrogatory 2, and the production of items responsive to Requests for Production 1, 2 and 3. [Doc. #80-1 at 1-3; #80-2 at 2-3]. Defendants have filed an Objection to the pending motion. [Doc. #84]. Plaintiff has filed a reply to defendants' objections. [Doc. #90].

I. Untimeliness of Motion

The Court acknowledges that plaintiff's motion to compel is untimely. On September 24, 2015, defendants responded to plaintiff's requests for production dated September 4, 2015. See Doc. #80-2 at 16-22. On September 25, 2015, defendants responded to plaintiff's interrogatories dated August 26, 2015. See Doc. #80-2 at 9-11. The instant motion was filed on February 29, 2016. [Doc. #87].

Judge Hall's Scheduling Order states, "Any motion for an order compelling disclosure or discovery pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a) must be filed within 30 days after the due date of the response. Failure to file a timely motion in accordance with this scheduling order constitutes a waiver of the right to file a motion to compel." [Doc. #54 at 2]. Thus, plaintiff's motion to compel was filed approximately four (4) months late. The Court may extend this deadline only for good cause, which "requires a particularized showing that, despite due diligence, the party seeking the extension could not comply with this order." Id. at 2-3.

Plaintiff's motion and reply both detail specific reasons for the untimeliness of this motion, including numerous prison transfers, plaintiff's college course load, and his attention to other pending deadlines for this case. [Doc. #80-1 at 2; Doc. #90 at 3-4]. There is correspondence attached to both the plaintiff's motion and to the defendants' objections indicating that good-faith communications took place between plaintiff and counsel for defendants prior to requesting the Court's intervention. See Doc. #80-1 at 7-8; #84-2 at 2; #84-3 at 2-3. Additionally, there is evidence that plaintiff made several good-faith attempts to obtain a portion of the disputed discovery on his own. See Doc. #80-1 at 9-10. The deadline for discovery is May 30, 2016. [Doc. #54 at 1]. Considering these factors, and in light of plaintiff's pro se status, the Court will extend the deadline for this motion to compel. Notwithstanding the Court's willingness to hear this motion, plaintiff is reminded that he is bound to follow the Local and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and must comply with the applicable Scheduling Order. The Court does not anticipate granting another late application for discovery in this case.

II. Interrogatory 2

As to Defendant Wu, plaintiff seeks to compel a response to Interrogatory 2, to which defendant Wu has submitted an answer that plaintiff deems nonresponsive

Interrogatory 2 On February 25, 2014, Peter O'Shea, DDS submitted a Utilization Review Request requesting that Michael Braham be approved for oral surgery to extract mesioangular impacted teeth numbers 17 and 32. That request was approved by the Utilization Review Committee on March 10, 2014.
State the full legal name and job title of the Correctional managed Health Care employee who was responsible for scheduling Michael Braham for the surgical procedure that was requested on February 25, 2014 and approved on March 10, 2014.
ANSWER I do not know who handled scheduling for oral surgery cases at that time frame provided.

[Doc. #80-2 at 10]. Plaintiff argues that defendant Wu is required to make a reasonable inquiry regarding the information sought, and thus he should be compelled to do so. Defendants argue that plaintiff's contention is speculative, as there is "no evidence" that defendant Wu failed to make a reasonable inquiry for this information. [Doc. #84 at 5]. Further, defendants suggest that plaintiff instead pursue the information through Mr. Richard ...

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