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Chase v. Nodine's Smokehouse, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

June 6, 2019

NICOLE CHASE, Plaintiff,
v.
NODINE'S SMOKEHOUSE, INC., CALVIN NODINE, TOWN OF CANTON, JOHN COLANGELO, ADAM GOMPPER, Defendants.

          RULING GRANTING MOTION TO COMPEL PRIVILEGE LOG [DKT. 99] AND DENYING MOTION TO COMPEL CASE DETAILS [DKT. 100]

          Hon. Vanessa L. Bryant United States District Judge

         Before the Court are two motions to compel discovery responses from Defendants Adam Gompper, John Colangelo, and Town of Canton (the “Town Defendants”). The first seeks a privilege log from the Town Defendants for documents responsive to Plaintiff's discovery requests but withheld based on asserted privileges. See [Dkt. 99 (MTC Privilege Log)]. The second seeks the identities of two victims of alleged sexual assaults whose cases were handled by Defendants Gompper and Colangelo and whose allegations did not result in an arrest. [Dkt. 100 (MTC Victim Identification)]. For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS both motions.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff brought an action alleging, inter alia, false arrest, malicious prosecution, and denial of equal protection under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Connecticut state law against the Town Defendants. See generally [Dkt. 1 (Compl.)]. The claims arise out of the Town Defendants' investigation into Plaintiff's allegations of sexual assault against her employer and Plaintiff's eventual arrest and prosecution for making a false statement. Id.

         Plaintiff served her first set of discovery requests on the Town Defendants on June 25, 2018. The Town Defendants submitted objections to some of the requests, including assertions of privilege, though provided no privilege log. On November 14, 2018, rather than ordering production of withheld documents for failure to comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(5), [1] the Court ordered the Town Defendants, within 14 days of the order, to serve on Plaintiff a privilege log identifying the factual and legal basis as to any assertion of privilege in response to an interrogatory or request for production. See [Dkt. 52 (Nov. 14, 2018 Order)]. Following a discovery status teleconference on March 6, 2019, the Court ordered the Town Defendants to produce within 30 days of the order all records of complaints, reports, and investigations of sexual assault, domestic violence, and crimes involving perjury, making a false statement, falsely reporting an incident, and hindering a prosecution from the past 10 years. See [Dkt. 76 (Mar. 6, 2019 Order)]. The Town Defendants produced responsive documents to Plaintiff on April 3, 2019. Plaintiff laid out her objections to that production in the two motions to compel, addressed in turn below.

         II. Discussion

         1. Motion to Compel Privilege Log

         Plaintiff contends that the Town Defendants have not produced all responsive records and that she is entitled to a privilege log of those withheld from production. [Dkt. 99 at 3]. The Court has already determined that all records of complaints, reports, and investigations of sexual assault, domestic violence, and crimes involving perjury, making a false statement, falsely reporting an incident, and hindering a prosecution are relevant to the claims and defenses in this case, see [Dkt. 76], and that a privilege log of any unproduced responsive records is generally required by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(5).

         The Town Defendants represent that they produced all responsive records but those subject to erasure and/or protected within juvenile or youthful offender records by Connecticut General Statutes §§ 54-142a, 54-76l, 46b124. [Dkt. 101 at ].

         Connecticut General Statute § 54-142a provides, in pertinent part:

(a) Whenever in any criminal case, on or after October 1, 1969, the accused, by a final judgment, is found not guilty of the charge or the charge is dismissed, all police and court records and records of any state's attorney pertaining to such charge shall be erased upon the expiration of the time to file a writ of error or take an appeal, if an appeal is not taken[.]
. . .
(e)(1) The Clerk of the court or any person charged with retention and control of such records in the records center of the Judicial Department or any law enforcement agency having information contained in such erased records shall not disclosure to anyone, except the subject of the record, upon submission pursuant to guidelines prescribed by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator of satisfactory proof of the ...

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