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Barry Louis Lamon v. Derral Adams

February 1, 2011

BARRY LOUIS LAMON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
DERRAL ADAMS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sheila K. Oberto United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER RE MOTION (Doc. 67) /

Plaintiff Barry Louis Lamon ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On December 22, 2010, Plaintiff filed a motion "for a Judgment of Default Based on Defendant's Deliberate Failure to Provide Court-Ordered Discovery." (Doc. #67.) Defendants filed an opposition to Plaintiff's motion on January 10, 2011. (Doc. #73.) For the reasons set forth below, the Court will deny Plaintiff's motion.

I. Background

The discovery dispute before the Court stems from a motion to compel filed by Plaintiff on June 9, 2010. (Doc. #39.) The Court partially granted Plaintiff's motion on November 2, 2010. (Doc. #55.) The Court ordered Defendant Adams to provide a further response to Plaintiff's Request for Production of Documents Nos. 1, 7 and 8 and Plaintiff's Requests for Admissions Nos. 9 and 14.

Plaintiff filed the pending motion on December 22, 2010. Plaintiff contends that Defendants failed to comply with the Court's order. Plaintiff's motion is titled as a motion seeking "judgment of default" against all the defendants remaining in this action, despite the fact that the discovery dispute only concerns Defendant Adams. Plaintiff's motion requests no other relief. The final page of Plaintiff's motion states: "Plaintiff respectfully requests that this Court issue the following sanctions against Defendant Adams, and/or his Counsel, for the willful and unsubstantially justified failure to participate with good-faith in the discovery process." (Pl. Barry Louis Lamon's Notice and Mot. for a Judgment of Default Based on Def.'s Deliberate Failure to Provide Court-Ordered Discovery 16, ECF No. 67.) The remainder of the page is blank, suggesting that Plaintiff sent the Court an incomplete draft of his motion.

II. Discussion

A. Default Judgment

Plaintiff requests sanctions against Defendant Adams for deliberately failing to obey the Court's November 2, 2010, order partially granting Plaintiff's motion to compel. Specifically, Plaintiff seeks default judgment against Defendant. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(b)(2)(A)(vi), a court may render a default judgment against a party who fails to obey a discovery order. However, for the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that Defendant did not fail to obey a discovery order. Accordingly, Plaintiff's request for default judgment will be denied.

B. Request for Production of Documents No. 1

Plaintiff's Request for Production of Documents No. 1 states:

Any and all grievances, complaints, or other documents received by the defendants or their agents at Corcoran concerning an allegation of unnecessary and/or excessive use of force on inmates by Defendants Adams, Junious, Callow, Lee, Ponce, Purvis, Baeri, Valdez, or Buenos and any memoranda, investigative files, or other documents created in response to such documents, since June 21, 2003.

The Court ordered Defendant Adams to provide a supplemental response after overruling Defendant's objection that the request was overly burdensome. The Court determined that the request was relevant to prove Plaintiff's allegation that the supervisory defendants in this action were aware that the subordinate defendants posed a serious threat to Plaintiff's safety.

Plaintiff argues that Defendant Adams only provided a single "Internal Affairs Investigation Request and Report" in response to Plaintiff's request. Adams also provided a privilege log.*fn1

Plaintiff's arguments challenging Defendant's disclosure are rambling and inflammatory. Plaintiff states that Defendant's counsel "has attempted to insult the intelligence of both the Court and Plaintiff by basing her flagrant defiance of the Court's order . . . on the assertion of privilege." (Mot. for a Judgment of Default 5-6, ECF No. 67.) Plaintiff claims that it "is rudely-apparent as the poppycock sham-excuse it is when one merely reviews the undisputed facts." (Mot. for a Judgment of Default 6, ECF No. 67.) Plaintiff argues "wow, we've already had this discovery fight" and "[i]t, therefore, makes no reasonable sense for a trained professional lawyer to believe that any such response is appropriate at this point." (Mot. for a Judgment of Default 6, ECF No. 67.) Plaintiff further argues that the Court "should attach the slightest amount of credibility to [Defendant's] privilege log and . . . contention that the report ...


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