United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL
Jeffrey Alker Meyer, United States District Judge.
Velmon Braswell has filed this lawsuit against numerous
officials of the Connecticut Department of Correction arising
from his alleged mistreatment by correctional officials in
2016. He has now moved to compel discovery responses in this
case. I will largely deny plaintiff's motion to compel.
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure sets forth the proper
scope of 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.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Relevance and
proportionality involve consideration of “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.” Ibid. Even when a request seeks
relevant matter, the Court may limit such discovery when
“the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or
duplicative, or can be obtained from some other source that
is more convenient, less burdensome, or less
expensive.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C)(i).
first argues that defendants' objections to his requests
were not timely. The record, however, shows that defendants
received plaintiff's requests on October 28, 2017, and
mailed their responses on November 24, 2017. Doc. #111 at 2,
4. Defendants' objections were timely asserted within the
30 days permitted under the federal rules. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 34(b)(2)(A).
seeks responses to eight discovery requests. Doc. #108 at
14-16. The first three requests seek various information
regarding trips plaintiff made to the Stamford state
courthouse between May 25, 2016, and November 27, 2016. Doc.
#108 at 14. Defendants object on the ground that these
requests are overbroad, vague, and constitute a fishing
expedition. They argue that the operative complaint in this
case relates to incidents that occurred on specific dates.
Defendants state that if plaintiff were to revise his request
to reference only the dates of the incidents in the
complaint, they will provide the required information. Doc.
#111-2 at 2-3. In his motion, plaintiff argues only that
evidence of prior incidents of abuse by the defendants is
relevant to his claims that the defendants abused him and
that the supervisory defendants were aware of this conduct.
amended complaint includes only one incident regarding a
court trip: retaliation and use of excessive force prior to a
court trip on November 18, 2016. Doc. #106 at 8. Because
plaintiff does not allege facts suggesting that his
constitutional rights were violated on any other court trip,
the Court cannot discern how a list of other trips or the
persons involved in transport or recording of those trips
would lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
Plaintiff's motion to compel is denied as to requests 1-3
except to the extent that it requests such information for
the court trip of November 18, 2016.
fourth request, plaintiff seeks information regarding all
dates and times that he went to the prison hospital to be
transported to the University of Connecticut Health Center
and the names of the transporting officers. Doc. #108 at 15.
The defendants again object on the grounds that the request
is overbroad and vague. A review of the amended complaint
shows that plaintiff alleges in Count Two that he was taken
to the prison medical unit in a wheelchair. Doc. #106 at 5
(¶ 41). He does not allege that he was taken to the
University of Connecticut Health Center in connection with
any incident underlying the amended complaint. The Court
cannot discern why this request will lead to the discovery of
relevant evidence that is proportional to the discovery needs
of this case. Plaintiff's motion to compel is denied as
to the fourth request.
fifth request seeks copies of statements of two nurses
regarding the incident of June 13, 2016. Doc. #108 at 15.
Defendants object to this request as repetitive. Copies of
the statements were included in the incident report of June
13, 2016, that defendants provided to plaintiff in response
to his first set of interrogatories and discovery requests.
Doc. #111-2 at 3. Plaintiff does not dispute that he received
the incident report. Because plaintiff's request is
needlessly duplicative, the motion to compel is denied as
moot with regard to the fifth request.
sixth and seventh requests seek Department of Correction
policies regarding “staff ‘separation' from
prisoners” and treatment of pretrial detainees with
medical or mental health issues. The final request seeks
“any and all training that the or policie(s) on
prisoner(s) right(s) that the dept of correction(s) train the
defendant(s) on if not why not? [sic]” Doc. #108 at 15
(quotation marks omitted). Defendants object to all three
requests on the ground that plaintiff has equal access to the
Department of Correction Administrative Directives where the
information is contained. Plaintiff does not dispute his
access to the directives. Therefore, the motion to compel is
denied as to requests six, seven, and eight.
Motion to Compel (Doc. #108) is DENIED in large part and
GRANTED in part solely as to the first three requests with