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Conquistador v. Adamaitis

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

September 19, 2019

JEAN KARLO CONQUISTADOR, Plaintiff,
v.
ADAMAITIS, Defendant.

          ORDER ON PENDING MOTIONS

          KARI A. DOOLEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The plaintiff, Jean Karlo Conquistador (“Conquistador”), has filed three motions relating to discovery matters and one miscellaneous motion.

         Motion to Determine Sufficiency [ECF 39]

         Pursuant to Rule 36(a)(6), Conquistador has filed a motion asking the Court to determine the sufficiency of the defendant’s responses to his requests for admission. He contends that responses to requests 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 23, 24, 25, 26, 31, 34, 35, 37, 39, and 40 do not comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 36(a)(4).

         Rule 36(a)(4) provides:

If a matter is not admitted, the answer must specifically deny it or state in detail why the answering party cannot truthfully admit or deny it. A denial must fairly respond to the substance of the matter; and when good faith requires that a party qualify an answer or deny only a part of a matter, the answer must specify the part admitted and qualify or deny the rest. The answering party may assert lack of knowledge or information as a reason for failing to admit or deny only if the party states that it has made reasonable inquiry and that the information it knows or can readily obtain is insufficient to enable it to admit or deny.

         Conquistador contends that the defendant’s responses are vague and fail to state that defendant Adamaitis made a reasonable inquiry and that the information needed to respond is not readily obtainable.

         Requests 7- 11

         In each of these requests, Conquistador asks defendant Adamaitis, in one form or another to admit that Conquistador told him of a threatened assault and asked to be moved to a different housing unit. Defendant Adamaitis consistently denies that Conquistador reported a threat or asked to be moved to a different housing unit. Doc. No. 39 at 7-8. As defendant Adamaitis denies that the conversation occurred, his denials are adequate.

         Requests 12 & 13

         In Requests 12 and 13, Conquistador asks defendant Adamaitis to admit that surveillance footage shows defendant Adamaitis standing outside Conquistador’s cell between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on July 2, 2018, the day of the incident underlying the complaint, and that Correctional Officer Jenkins is depicted standing next to defendant Adamaitis during that time. Doc. No. 39 at 8. Defendant Adamaitis states that he lacks sufficient knowledge to respond to the request because surveillance footage was preserved only for the period from 4:44 p.m. thought 5:15 p.m., the time of the incident. The preserved footage does not depict these events. As the relevant footage no longer exists, defendant Adamaitis’ responses to requests 12 and 13 are sufficient.

         Requests 23 & 24

         In these requests, Conquistador asks defendant Adamaitis to admit that Conquistador was placed on suicide watch on July 2, 2018 and released from Hartford Correctional Center’s mental health unit on July 3, 2018. Defendant Adamaitis states he lacks sufficient knowledge to respond to the specific dates. He does admit that Conquistador was placed on suicide watch and then released from the mental health unit at some time following the July 2, 2018 incident. Doc. No. 39 at 11.

         “When assessing the sufficiency of a party’s responses, a court considers whether the response meets the substance of the request and whether any qualifications are demanded by, and made in, good faith.” Boudreau v. Smith, No. 3:17-cv-589(SRU), 2019 WL 3973997, at *2 (D. Conn. Aug. 22, 2019) (quoting Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., Nos. 96 Civ. 8386(KMW)(HBP), 01 Civ. 1909(KMW)(HBP), 2009 WL 1457142, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. May 26, 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted)). Defendant Adamaitis has admitted that Conquistador was placed on suicide watch and later released from the mental health unit. Although Conquistador is correct that defendant Adamaitis does not state that he made a reasonable inquiry regrading this information or that he cannot readily obtain information, to enable him ...


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