United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MEMORANDUM OF CONFERENCE AND ORDER
F. Martinez United States Magistrate Judge.
29, 2017, the court conducted a settlement conference in
which the plaintiff was self-represented and the defendant
was represented by Assistant Attorney General Parille. After
the settlement conference, the court went on the record to
discuss the plaintiff's submissions (doc. ##59, 61)
regarding the defendant's failure to comply with the
court's June 6, 2017 discovery order.(Doc. #52.)
Production Request 1: In its June 6 ruling, the
court ordered defense counsel to notify the Health Service
Coordinator Rikel Lightner ("Lightner") to give the
plaintiff access to a specified manual by June 13, 2017.
(Doc. #52.) It is undisputed that the plaintiff has not
reviewed the manual. Attorney Parille stated that he called
Lightner and asked her to arrange for the plaintiff to see
the manual. According to Attorney Parille, Lightner
subsequently told him that she reached out to the plaintiff
but that the plaintiff refused Lightner's offer to review
the manual. The plaintiff flatly denied that Lightner ever
offered him an opportunity to review the manual. As a result,
it falls to the court to set forth a procedure to ensure that
the plaintiff is given access to the requested material.
and Attorney Parille shall schedule a time and date, no later
than July 11, 2017, on which the plaintiff may examine the
manual. Lightner shall provide this information to the
plaintiff's counselor, who, in turn, shall inform the
plaintiff of his appointment to review the manual. The
counselor shall accompany the plaintiff to see the manual.
The counselor and Lightner shall execute affidavits in which
they set forth the steps taken to effectuate this order. If
the plaintiff refuses to accompany the unit manager to
examine the manual, the plaintiff shall sign a refusal that
is co-signed by his counselor. By July 13, 2017, the
defendant shall file the aforementioned documents.
Production Requests 3 and 4: The plaintiff stated in
his submissions that the defendant had not complied with the
court's order as to these requests. During the status
conference, the plaintiff indicated that he had received the
defendant's response the day before, that is, June 28,
2017. Attorney Parille conceded that the response was
because he had forgotten about it.
Production Requests 7, 8 and 9: Same as above.
Request for Admission 14: In its June 6, 2017 order,
the court ordered the defendant to serve an amended answer.
(Doc. #52.) It is undisputed that the defendant has not done
so. Attorney Parille stated during the conference that he has
had a "hard time" reaching the defendant, Dr.
Buchanan; that he must confer with Dr. Buchanan to respond;
and that he has a conference call with Dr. Buchanan scheduled
for June 30, 2017. By July 11, 2017, the defendant shall
serve an amended answer.
Interrogatory 2: The court ordered the plaintiff to
propound a revised interrogatory and ordered the defendant to
respond by June 13, 2017. (Doc. #52 at 2.) The plaintiff
timely propounded the revised discovery request on June 9,
2017 and filed notice of the same. See doc. #55.
Notwithstanding the court's order, the defendant did not
respond to the interrogatory. Attorney Parille stated during
the conference that he requires the assistance of the
defendant Dr. Buchanan to respond to the interrogatory.
Again, the defendant's response is due by July 11, 2017.
Interrogatories 7 and 8 and Second Request for Production
oral argument on the plaintiff's motion to compel on June
6, 2017, Attorney Parille represented that in order to fully
respond to these requests, he needed the plaintiff to sign a
release so that the defendant could review the
plaintiff's medical records. The court, in response,
ordered defense counsel to send the plaintiff an
authorization form by June 9, 2017 and ordered that following
"review of the plaintiff's medical records, the
defendant shall serve an amended answer to these requests by
June 20, 2017." The defendant has not served an amended
answer to these requests.
the status conference, Attorney Parille represented that he
did not send the plaintiff a release because he subsequently
concluded that a release was not necessary. He stated that he
did not serve amended responses because he is
"waiting" for defendant Dr. Buchanan. The
defendant's responses are due by July 11, 2017.
Interrogatory 16: In the court's ruling, the
court ordered the defendant to serve an amended answer to
this request. (Doc. #52.) Attorney Parille conceded that he
has not done so, explaining again that he requires the
assistance of Dr. Buchanan. The defendant shall served an
amended answer by July 11, 2017.
as to all the discovery requests granted by the court in its
June 6, 2017 order, defense counsel either served tardy
responses or failed to respond at all. "Compliance with
discovery orders is necessary to the integrity of our
judicial process." Daval Steel Prods. v. M/V
Fakredine, 951 F.2d 1357, 1365 (2d Cir. 1991).
"[D]iscovery orders are meant to be followed. A party
who flouts such orders does so at his peril." Bambu
Sales, Inc. v. Ozak Trading Inc., 58 F.3d 849, 853 (2d
Cir. 1995). If counsel required additional time in which to
comply with the court's order, he easily could have filed
a motion requesting an extension of time pursuant to Local
Rule 7(b) rather than simply ignoring the deadline.
Parille shall cause a copy of this Order to be served on
defendant Dr. Buchanan. The Clerk of the Court shall mail a
copy of this Order to Assistant Attorney General Terrence