United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION TO COMPEL AND MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE
SARAH A. L. MERRIAM UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court is a motion by defendants E. Corl and Tom
Morrasini (“defendants”) for a protective order,
and a motion to compel by self-represented plaintiff Vance
Solman (“plaintiff”). Each motion is fully
briefed. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
DENIES defendants' Motion for a
Protective Order, and GRANTS plaintiff's
Motion to Compel.
an incarcerated self-represented party, filed this action on
November 5, 2015, pursuant to section 1983 of title 42 of the
United States Code. [Doc. #1]. Plaintiff alleges that he was
retaliated against for the filing of a prior federal lawsuit,
in violation of his constitutional rights. See Id.
On February 25, 2016, Chief Judge Janet C. Hall issued an
Initial Review Order, permitting plaintiff's First
Amendment retaliation claims to proceed against defendants
Corl and Morrasini in their individual and official
capacities. See Doc. #7. The Initial Review Order also
established a schedule for the case, setting deadlines for
discovery and for the filing of any dispositive motions. See
Id. at 27-28.
was set to close on August 25, 2016. See Doc. #7 at 28. On
September 15, 2016, defendants filed the instant Motion for a
Protective Order. [Doc. #26]. Defendants seek an order
protecting them from responding to the plaintiff's Second
Request for Production of Documents, as the request was
mailed on the date of the discovery deadline. See
Id. Plaintiff, in turn, filed the instant Motion to
Compel responses to the same request. [Doc. #29]. Plaintiff
argues that defendants should be compelled to respond to his
second discovery requests, as they were propounded a day
prior to the discovery deadline, and that any delay was
occasioned by defendant's late response to
plaintiff's first requests. See id.
26(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure sets forth
the scope and limitations of permissible discovery:
Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged
matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense
and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the
importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount
in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant
information, the parties' resources, the importance of
the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden
or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely
benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not
be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). “The party resisting
discovery bears the burden of showing why discovery should be
denied.” Cole v. Towers Perrin Forster &
Crosby, 256 F.R.D. 79, 80 (D. Conn. 2009).
protective order may be issued by the Court pursuant to Rule
26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which
provides, in relevant part: “The court may, for good
cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from
annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or
expense, including ... forbidding the disclosure or
discovery[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1)(A). “Rule
26(c) confers broad discretion on the trial court to decide
when a protective order is appropriate and what degree of
protection is required.” Seattle Times Co. v.
Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20, 36 (1984). Further,
“[w]here the discovery is relevant, the burden is upon
the party seeking nondisclosure or a protective order to show
good cause.” Dove v. Atl. Capital Corp., 963
F.2d 15, 19 (2d Cir. 1992).
request protection from responding to plaintiff's Second
Request for Production of Documents, as, defendants contend,
the requests were served late. [Doc. #26-1]. Defendants
contend that they should not be required to respond to
plaintiff's requests because plaintiff “waited
until the very close of the discovery period to serve his
second demand, ” and that no good cause or diligence
can be shown that would justify an extension of the discovery
deadline. Id. at 3.
objects, and argues that defendants should be required to
respond to plaintiff's second requests, as they were
served promptly upon receipt of defendant's untimely
response to plaintiff's first requests. See Doc. #29 at
1; Doc. #33 at 1. Plaintiff claims that the requests seek
relevant discovery, and were propounded as a follow-up to
defendants' discovery responses. See Doc. #29 at 1.
Defendants have filed an objection to plaintiff's motion
to compel that simply directs the Court's attention back
to defendants' Motion for a Protective Order. See Doc.
#36 at 2. Defendants do not offer any substantive objections
to the requests themselves, nor do defendants respond to the
allegation that defendants' first discovery responses
were late. See generally, id.
in this case closed on August 25, 2016. Once the deadline for
discovery has passed, discovery may be reopened only for good
cause. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4); see also Gucci Am.,
Inc. v. Guess?, Inc.,790 F.Supp.2d 136, 139 (S.D.N.Y.
2011). “The primary consideration in determining
whether good cause has been shown is whether the moving party
can demonstrate diligence.” Casagrande v. Norm
Bloom & Son, LLC, No. 3:11CV1918(CSH), 2014 WL
5817562, at *2 (D. Conn. Nov. 10, 2014) (quotation marks and
citation omitted). “Good cause may be shown if a party
cannot, despite [his] due diligence, reasonably meet the
schedule. The requisite good cause is based on factors such
as the diligence vel non of the party requesting an
extension, bad faith vel non of the party ...