Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Petaway v. Counselor Supervisor Osden

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

October 17, 2017

WILLIAM PETAWAY, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNSELOR SUPERVISOR OSDEN, ET AL, Defendants.

          RULING DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS FOR SANCTIONS

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         William Petaway (“Plaintiff”) filed this Complaint pro se on January 3, 2017, alleging that defendants violated his rights by failing to provide him with written notice of disciplinary action, failing to provide reasons or a written statement of evidence for those actions, and ultimately taking away good time credit as a result. Compl., ECF No. 1 at 3-4. Currently before the Court is Mr. Petaway's motion for leave to file a dispositive motion, ECF No. 46 and motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 48.

         Mr. Petaway has also filed two motions for sanctions. First, Mr. Petaway seeks sanctions for what he argues is a “failure to admit” information in response to the two paragraphs of the Complaint. Pl. Mot. for Sanctions, ECF No. 51 at 1 (“Rule 37 Mot.”). Second, Mr. Petaway seeks to sanction opposing counsel “for delay” because he argues that Defendants' asserted defenses are “not warranted in ‘law'” and “frivolous.” Pl. Mot. for Sanctions, ECF No. 62 at 1 (“Rule 11 Mot.”). Finally, Defendants move to Amend their answer to the Complaint, Def. Mot. to Amend, ECF No. 57, and for an extension of time to respond to Mr. Petaway's Summary Judgment motion. ECF No. 58.

         For the reasons described below, Plaintiff's motion for leave to file and motion for summary judgment will be DENIED as premature. Additionally, both motions for sanctions will be DENIED. Defendants' motion to amend is GRANTED. Defendants' motion for an extension of time is DISMISSED as moot.

         I. Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment

         Mr. Petaway filed a notice before this Court arguing that discovery was complete. Pl. Notice, ECF No. 47.[1] He also moved for leave to file a dispositive motion, ECF No. 46, and, before the Court addressed that motion, moved for summary judgment. ECF No. 48. Mr. Petaway argues that he is entitled to summary judgment because it is “clear upon a look at any of the plaintiff's RI.DOC tickets” that they would violate Mr. Petaway's due process rights. Pl. Br. In Support, ECF No. 49 at 2. He therefore argues that once the Defendants violated his Due Process rights when they received these “tickets” and then took “goodtime” away. Id. In support of his motion, Mr. Petaway submitted a declaration with several exhibits attached that appear to be the tickets at issue in this case. Pl. Decl., ECF No. 50.

         Defendants maintain that “[d]iscovery remains in the infancy stages” and list several different depositions that are still outstanding. Defs. Mot for Enlargement of Time, ECF No. 58 at 2-4. Additionally, according to the Scheduling Order in this case, discovery is not scheduled to be completed in this case until March 23, 2018. Sched. Order, ECF No. 43.

         As a result, discovery is still pending and therefore summary judgment is premature at this time. See Crystalline H2O, Inc. v. Orminski, 105 F.Supp.2d 3, 8 (N.D.N.Y. 2000) (“The Second Circuit has denied motions for summary judgment as premature in cases where nonmoving party did not have ‘a fully adequate opportunity for discovery.'”); Toussie v. Allstate Insurance Co., 213 F.Supp.3d 444, 445 (E.D.N.Y. 2016) (“Rule 56(b) allows a summary judgment motion to be made ‘at any time.' But courts routinely deny motions for summary judgment as premature when discovery over relevant matters is incomplete.”)

         Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is denied without prejudice, as is Mr. Petaway's motion for leave to file a dispositive motion.

         II. Plaintiff's First Motion for Sanctions Regarding Defendants' “Failure to Admit”

         Requests for admission are “not discovery tools, but rather serve to narrow or reduce the issues for trial.” Iron Workers Local No. 60 Annuity Pension Fund v. Solvay Iron Works, Inc., No. 515-cv-0054 (BKS)(DEP), 2017 WL 1458772, at *3 (N.D.N.Y. Apr. 24, 2017). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 36 governs such requests, providing that a party “may serve on any other party a written request to admit, for purposes of the pending action only, the truth of any matters within the scope of Rule 26(b)(1) . . . .” The opposing party must respond or “[i]f a party fails to admit what is requested under Rule 36 and if the requesting party later proves a document to be genuine or the matter true, the requesting party may move that the party who failed to admit pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred in making that proof.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(c)(2).

         Mr. Petaway moves for sanctions under Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(c), arguing opposing counsel “has the ‘information' . . . to respond to Complaint ‘Facts, ' paragraph #6(a) and (b).” Rule 37 Mot. at 1.[2] He now argues that, because Defendants allegedly have the information necessary to respond to these allegations, failure to do so is a “failure to admit” within the meaning of Rule 37 and therefore “[Attorney] Varunes can respond . . . as ‘admitted.' Rule 37 Mot. at 21.

         In response, Defendants argue that “Plaintiff's reliance on Rule 37 is misplaced” because “defendants answer a complaint; they were never asked to respond to admissions.” Defs. Objection, ECF No. 55 at 2. Additionally, they argue that, if the motion was grounded in Fed.R.Civ.P. 11, Mr. Petaway has failed to follow that Rule's procedural requirements. Id. at 2-3.

         Mr. Petaway has not demonstrated that he served Defendants with a request for admission or complied with the requirements of Rule 37. Additionally, his argument is duplicative of an earlier motion, in which Mr. Petaway requested the Court order Defendants to respond to the same paragraph in the Complaint. Pl. Mot. to Order Def. to Answer, ECF No. 29.[3]The current motion therefore seems only to address Defendants' response to the Complaint - in which they left Plaintiff to his proof - and not a Request For ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.