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16-1543 - Harnage v. Wu et al


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16-1543 - Harnage v. Wu et al
January 18, 2018
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ORDER. On December 1, 2017, this matter was referred to the undersigned for a discovery planning conference. See Doc. #59. The Court scheduled a telephonic conference for December 11, 2017. On that date, the Court attempted to conduct a conference, but the self-represented plaintiff declined to participate, because of requirements placed on him by staff at the correctional facility. See Doc. #64. As a result, the Court determined that it would resolve any discovery disputes in writing, rather than by conference. The Court therefore ordered that "the self-represented plaintiff and counsel for defendants shall each file a detailed description of any discovery they seek, but have not yet received, in this matter" on or before December 29, 2017. Id. The order also required plaintiff, as to any discovery he was seeking, to "indicate (1) the defendant from whom he seeks the discovery; (2) the specific claim(s) brought against that defendant in his Complaint; (3) the form and nature of discovery he seeks from that defendant; and (4) the basis for his assertion that the discovery he seeks is permissibleunder the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, in light of the nature of the claims asserted and the procedural posture of this case." Id. The Court created a form to assist in this process, directing the plaintiff to "complete and file one form for each defendant as to whom he seeks additional discovery responses[,]" and mailed the order and 20 copies of that form to the self-represented plaintiff. Id. Plaintiff has not submitted the information ordered, or completed the forms provided by the Court. Rather, plaintiff has simply attempted to file on the docket a new set of discovery requests, directed to certain defendants. These materials are not responsive to the Court's order, and are not directed to the Court. As noted in the attached order, plaintiff's discovery requests will be returned because the Clerk of Court does not docket discovery requests. Plaintiff has failed to respond to the Court's order, in spite of the granting of an extension of time to do so. See Doc. ##70, 73. The Court therefore concludes that plaintiff does not seek relief from the Court regarding any discovery requests previously served on defendants. It is so ordered. Signed by Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam on 1/18/2018. (Gust, L.)
January 29, 2018
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ORDER. Plaintiff has filed a variety of submissions with the Court relating to discovery. He now asks the Court to reconsider its Order of January 18, 2018. (Doc. #75). That Order concluded that plaintiff did not "seek relief regarding any discovery requests previously served on defendants." Doc. #75. The intent of the Court's December 11, 2017, Order (Doc. #64) was to give the Court a clear understanding of what discovery requests had been made, what responses had been received, why plaintiff believes the responses he has received are inadequate, and what, if any, Court action is necessary. The submissions received do not elucidate the situation. Plaintiff now asks the Court to "grant an order that the discovery sought be provided or schedule an in-court discovery conference." Doc. #76 at 5. The Court has attempted to avoid the need for formal motion practice regarding discovery disputes in this case, but it has become apparent that will not be possible. Accordingly, the Court declines to take any further action regarding discovery in this matter until and unless either party files a motion, in compliance with the Federal and Local Rules of Civil Procedure, seeking specific relief. The Court attaches to this Order a copy of Local Rule 37, which governs Discovery Disputes. Local Rule 37(b)(1) provides that memoranda shall be filed by both parties "before any discovery motion is heard by the Court." D. Conn. L. Civ. R. 37(b)(1). The Court directs the parties' attention to this Rule, and advises the parties that any motions for relief must comply with the Rule. In particular, the Court notes the "meet and confer" requirements of Local Rule 37(a) and the briefing requirements of Local Rule 37(b), including the requirement that any motion contain "a specific verbatim listing of each of the items of discovery sought or opposed, and immediately following each specification shall set forth the reason why the item should be allowed or disallowed[,]" as well as "copies of the discovery requests in dispute." D. Conn. L. Civ. R. 37. The Court GRANTS, in part, the Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. #76) to the extent it seeks to permit plaintiff to file motions relating to discovery requests served prior to January 17, 2018. Plaintiff may file appropriate motions relating to discovery served prior to that date, if such motions are in compliance with the Local Rules and have a sound basis in law. Discovery in this matter closes on March 30, 2018. Accordingly, any motions directed to discovery shall be filed on or before March 1, 2018, with responses to be filed on or before March 22, 2018. After the Court reviews any motions, the Court will determine whether a conference is necessary. It is so ordered. Signed by Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam on 1/29/2018. (Gust, L.)