United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Huntington Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
A. EIFERT, UNITED STATE MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
following motions are pending in this action filed pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983:
1. Plaintiff's Motion to Amend the Second Amended
Complaint, (ECF No. 52);
2. Defendants' Combined Motion to Dismiss and Motion for
Summary Judgment, (ECF No. 76);
3. Plaintiff's Motion to Extend Discovery Deadline and
Stay Order Granting Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and
Motion for Summary Judgment, (ECF No. 81); and
4. Plaintiff's Motion to Admit All Plaintiff's
Requests for Admissions as True, (ECF No. 82).
relevant to the issues in dispute are Defendants'
Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Compel
and to Show Cause Order, (ECF No. 69), and Plaintiff's
Objection to the Order granting Defendants leave to file
their dispositive motion late, (ECF No. 81). For the reasons
that follow, the Court GRANTS
Plaintiff's Motion to Amend; GRANTS
Plaintiff's Motion to Extend the Discovery Deadline;
DENIES Plaintiff's Motion to Stay, but
holds in abeyance the filing of proposed findings and
recommendations regarding Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
and Motion for Summary Judgment; and DENIES
Plaintiff's Motion to Admit All of Plaintiff's
Relevant Procedural History
November 18, 2016, Plaintiff filed a complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendants violated his
constitutional rights when they allowed inmates to physically
assault Plaintiff while he was being held in Protective
Custody. (ECF No. 2). In addition, Plaintiff claims that
Defendant Dameron improperly confiscated Plaintiff's
religious materials and failed to return them.
(Id.). On April 14, 2017, the undersigned held a
status conference and entered a Scheduling Order setting a
discovery deadline of August 31, 2017. (ECF No. 20). On that
same date, Plaintiff was permitted to file an amended
complaint, (ECF No. 21), and discovery ensued. On May 26,
2017, Plaintiff was granted leave to file a second amended
complaint, in which he added three additional defendants and
a supervisory liability claim. (ECF No. 32).
16, 2017, Defendants filed Objections to Discovery Requests.
(ECF No. 41). In these objections, Defendants complained that
Plaintiff had exceeded the permissible number of
interrogatories and argued that Plaintiff was seeking
information that would prejudice the physical security and
operations of the Western Regional Jail. (Id. at 2).
Defendants did not attach the objectionable discovery
requests to their filing, nor did they move the Court for a
protective order pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c) limiting the
scope of discovery, or forbidding inquiry into certain
August 10, 2017, the undersigned conducted a discovery
conference. (ECF No. 48). During the discovery conference,
the parties and the Court engaged in a discussion regarding
Plaintiff's excessive interrogatories. Defendants'
counsel admitted that Defendants had not yet responded to
any of the interrogatories. Accordingly, the Court
instructed Plaintiff to resubmit interrogatories to
Defendants, limiting the number to 40 per defendant. Given
that discovery was not yet completed, the Court issued an
Amended Scheduling Order. (ECF No. 49). Under the amended
order, the deadline for filing written discovery was extended
to August 31, 2017, and the discovery deadline was extended
to November 30, 2017. (Id. at 2). The parties were
also ordered to engage in settlement discussions no later
than December 15, 2017 and to file dispositive motions no
later than January 5, 2018. Counsel for Defendants was
ordered to arrange the settlement negotiations.
August 31, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Certificate of Service,
confirming that he had served Defendants' counsel on
August 29, 2017, via United States Mail, with Requests for
Admissions and a second set of interrogatories. (ECF No. 51).
Two weeks later, Plaintiff filed the pending motion to amend
the second amended complaint. (ECF No. 52). On October 2,
2017, Defendants filed responses to Plaintiff's discovery
requests. (ECF Nos. 53, 54). On October 24, 2017, Plaintiff
filed a motion to compel further responses to requests for
admissions and to interrogatories. (ECF No. 56). The motion
identified the objectionable responses by number and
explained how the responses were insufficient.
(Id.). The motion also rephrased some of the
interrogatories, apparently to provide clarification of the
information sought. (Id.).
November 13, 2017, after expiration of the time allowed for a
response in opposition to the motion to compel, the
undersigned entered an Order granting the motion on the basis
that Defendants did not object to it. (ECF No. 57). Two days
later, Defendants objected to the Order granting the motion,
and filed a motion to stay the Order. (ECF No. 59).
Construing the objection as a motion for additional time to
respond to the motion to compel, the presiding District Judge
granted Defendants an extension of time, giving them until
November 24, 2017 to respond to the motion to compel. (ECF
No. 63). The undersigned thereafter stayed the Order
compelling discovery responses pending resolution of
Defendants' objections to the discovery requests. (ECF
Nos. 63, 64). On December 12, 2017, noting that Defendants
had not filed a response in opposition to the motion to
compel, the undersigned entered a Show Cause Order, giving
Defendants until December 15, 2017 to file their response in
opposition to the motion to compel and to show cause for
their failure to comply with the Court's Order granting
them an extension. (ECF No. 67).
December 15, 2017, Defendants filed a response to the Show
Cause Order. (ECF No. 69). In addition, Defendants filed
Certificates of Service, indicating that they had served