United States District Court, D. Connecticut
CONFERENCE MEMORANDUM AND ORDER REGARDING DISCOVERY
Michael P. Shea, U.S.D.J.
Court held a Rule 16 conference today to discuss the
plaintiff's claims, the status of the case, and a
discovery dispute between the parties. Mr. DeSouza and
counsel for the defendants appeared at the conference, which
was held in the courtroom and lasted approximately one hour.
The Court began by asking Mr. DeSouza to articulate his
claims. He explained that in January 2014 the Defendants took
a series of steps, including attempting unsuccessfully to
evict him and raising his rent, that he believes were
discriminatory on the basis of his race and reflected a
desire to retaliate against him for his filing complaints
about the Defendants with the U.S. Department of Housing and
Urban Development (“HUD”). Mr. DeSouza also
explained that the Defendants' then-property-manager, Ms.
Doughtie, made serious, false accusations against him in
2014, including accusing him of criminal conduct within the
hearing of a group of people and a police officer. Mr.
DeSouza said that, although the police officer did not
believe these accusations and did not arrest him, and
although he was not physically harmed on this occasion, he
continues to suffer from emotional distress due to these
listening to Mr. DeSouza, the Court asked defense counsel
whether the defendants had thoroughly searched for documents,
including electronic communications, reflecting
communications about Mr. DeSouza by Ms. Doughtie, another
office worker with whom Mr. DeSouza dealt (Ms. Gannuscio),
and their direct supervisor[s]. The Court also discussed with
the parties whether a document in Mr. DeSouza's tenant
file apparently reflecting emails between Ms. Doughtie and/or
Ms. Gannuscio and the Defendants' outside counsel was
protected by the attorney-client privilege and, if so,
whether the privilege had been waived through inadvertent
production or by operation of HUD policies regarding the
accessibility of tenant files.
the Court briefly discussed with the parties Mr.
DeSouza's pending motion to amend the complaint (Doc. #
119), the Defendants' intention to file a motion for
summary judgment, and the possible need to postpone the trial
so that the Court has an adequate opportunity to review the
parties' submissions in connection with any motion for
summary judgment; the Court made no ruling on these issues.
considering the parties' arguments at the conference
today, and after considering the letters and discovery
requests attached to this order, the Court issues the
following orders with respect to the outstanding discovery
disputes between the parties:
1. The plaintiff shall file within seven (7)
days any HUD policies that require the landlords of
HUD-subsidized housing to make tenants' files available
to tenants. The plaintiff shall at the same time make any
arguments with respect to whether any attorney-client
privilege that might apply to ECF No. [88-2] has been waived;
any such arguments by the plaintiff must be set forth in a
double-spaced memorandum, not to exceed 5 pages. The
defendants shall have seven (7) days to respond to any
filings by the plaintiff; that response may not exceed 5
2. Also within seven (7) days, the defendants shall file a
statement on the docket stating whether they have produced
all non-privileged e-mails from Kim Doughtie, Lori Gannuscio,
and their direct supervisor[s] from January 1, 2014 to
November 16, 2015. If the defendants have not produced all
such communications, they shall produce them within 14 days.
If the Defendants claim that any such communications are
privileged, they shall produce a privilege log and file a
copy of the log on the docket.
3. The Court sustains the defendants' objections to
further production of insurance information both because the
requested additional information falls outside of the
relevant time frame and because, in any event, it is
4. The Court sustains the defendants' objection to the
production of personnel files, including those pertaining to
Kim Doughtie's termination. As the court explained
previously in ECF No. , information relating to Ms.
Doughtie's termination is not relevant, in part because
it took place after the conduct alleged by the plaintiff in
5. The Court sustains the defendants' objection to
producing copies of the current lease because it would not be
relevant to the alleged events taking place between January
1, 2014 and November 16, 2015.
6. Because defense counsel represented at the conference that
the Defendants had produced all materials in the tenant file
other than privileged documents, the defendants'
objections to further production of the tenant files are
sustained except with regard to the privilege issue
concerning ECF No. [88-2], set forth above, which the court
will decide after it reviews the submissions concerning a
7. Defense counsel further stated at the conference that he
was unaware of any documents relating to the plaintiff's
accusations concerning the defamation claim. He further
stated that he was unaware of any facts concerning that claim
until the claim was recently made in this lawsuit. He also
represented that Ms. Doughtie has not worked for the
Defendants since she was terminated in 2015. Accordingly, the
defendants' objection to producing further information
concerning the defamation claim is sustained.
rulings, combined with the Court's earlier rulings (see,
e.g., ECF No. 45), appear to resolve the outstanding
discovery disputes between the parties. The parties'
correspondence presenting these discovery issues to the Court
is attached. If any party believes the Court has not resolved
all discovery issues remaining between the parties, that
party shall file a statement so indicating and listing the
specific outstanding discovery requests (including them
verbatim in the statement) that ...