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Owens v. Novia

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

February 6, 2019

MARVIN E. OWENS, Plaintiff,
v.
NOVIA et al., Defendants.

          RULING ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL

          DONNA F. MARTINEZ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         The plaintiff, who is self-represented, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendant Bridgeport police officers Novia, Lazaro and Feroni concerning a May 21, 2015 incident.[1] The operative complaint alleges false arrest and excessive force claims as to defendant Novia and failure to intervene claims as to defendants Lazaro and Feroni. Pending before the court is the plaintiff's motion to compel. (Doc. #102.)

         The court held a lengthy oral argument on the plaintiffs' prior motions to compel and issued a comprehensive ruling. (Doc. #96.) The plaintiff subsequently filed the instant motion, contending that the defendants' responses to some of the discovery requests that the court had granted are inadequate. In their opposition to the plaintiff's motion, the defendants argue that they fully complied with all the discovery requests in the court's ruling. (Doc. #107.) In an effort to clarify the record, the court ordered the defendants to "file a copy of the responses they served and a memorandum addressing each of the requests that the plaintiff challenges." (Doc. #123.) The defendants did so. See doc. ##130, 132. The matter now being ripe for adjudication, the court rules as follows:

         1. Production Request 2: The plaintiff seeks police incident reports for instances prior to May 21, 2015 when the Bridgeport police responded to the plaintiff's High Ridge Drive.[2]

         In his motion to compel, the plaintiff argues that the defendants have not produced police reports for the October 20, 2014 and November 10, 2014 incidents.

         The defendants respond that no police reports exist for those dates. They point to their supplemental compliance in July 2018 in which they so indicate and submit the affidavit of Detective Barbara Gonzalez who conducted the search for responsive documents. See doc. #130-2, Gonzalez Aff.

         The plaintiff's motion to compel is denied. See American Banana Co., Inc. v. Republic National Bank of New York, N.A., No.99 CIV 1330(AGS), 2000 WL 521341, *3 (S.D.N.Y. 2000) (the "court cannot compel production of what does not exist").

         2.Question 4: The plaintiff asks whether defendant Novia responded to a call on November 10, 2014 to go to the plaintiff's High Ridge Drive home and if so, seeks the "nature of [the] call" and the "outcome of police response."

          In the present motion, the plaintiff says that the defendants are trying to "mislead" him by providing information for November 10, 2015, when he asked about November 10, 2014.

         As they did in their Supplemental Compliance dated July 25, 2018, defendants explain that there are no records of a November 10, 2014 call and as a result they

assumed the plaintiff was referring to a matter on November 10, 2015. Because it was assumed that [] the date requested was November 10, 2015, information was disclosed to the plaintiff. To be clear, no matter exists for November 10, 2014. It has been determined that no call c[a]me into the Bridgeport Police Department on November 10, 2014 for 336 High Ridge Drive, therefore, no police incident reports exist.

See doc. 130-2.

         The plaintiff's motion to compel is denied.

         3. Question 5: The plaintiff seeks information that the police dispatcher gave defendant Novia about the May 21, 2015 call to the High Ridge address.

         In his motion, the plaintiff states that he requests "electronically stored audio communication between Dispatch and defendant Novia regarding May 21, 2015 call."

         The defendants explain that the 911 and dispatch recordings with respect to May 21, 2015 incident at 336 High Ridge Drive were saved to a USB flashdrive and produced to the plaintiff on two occasions: ...


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