United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Huntington Division
A. EIFERT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
are several motions/documents related to initial disclosures
and discovery, including the following:
1. West Virginia Division of Corrections'
(“DOC”) Objections to Plaintiff's Request for
Documents, (ECF No. 52);
2. Plaintiff's Motion to Extend Time to File Amended
Complaint, (ECF No. 56); and
3. Plaintiff's Motion to Compel, (ECF No. 57).
issues have been fully briefed by the parties. For the
reasons that follow, the Court SUSTAINS, in
part, and OVERRULES, in part, the DOC's
objections and correspondingly GRANTS, in
part, and DENIES, in part, Plaintiff's
Motion to Compel. Furthermore, the Court
GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion to Extend.
Plaintiff shall have through and including July 5,
2019 in which to file her amended complaint.
April 1, 2019, Defendants were instructed to provide some
preliminary disclosures to Plaintiff in order to assist her
in identifying individuals she wished to add as parties to
this civil action. (ECF No. 47) In addition, the parties were
given deadlines in which to conduct discovery. (Id.
at 4). To facilitate the production of the preliminary
disclosures, Plaintiff was ordered to provide to the DOC a
list “indicating the specific institutional
records-such as incident reports, log books, and other
reports relevant to Plaintiff's claims-that Plaintiff
believes are necessary to identify parties to be joined in
this litigation.” (Id. at 2). Plaintiff did
submit such a list to the DOC; however, the DOC believed the
list was broader in scope than that ordered by the Court and,
thus, refused to produce certain materials. Accordingly, a
substantial portion of the DOC's objections to
Plaintiff's list is based on the contention that the list
seeks information beyond that ordered by the Court.
reviewed the list, the Court agrees that a portion of the
requested documents exceed the scope of the specific order
pertaining to the identification of potential defendants.
Notwithstanding this fact, because Plaintiff was concurrently
permitted to submit written discovery, the undersigned has
construed requests that are beyond the scope of the order as
stand-alone requests for the production of documents. For
that reason, the DOC's objections to requests based
solely on their relevance to the order are
DENIED and each contested request is
examined on its merits.
request 1, Plaintiff asked for documents related to a civil
rights complaint she attempted to file in 2010. Plaintiff
states that the draft complaint and substantiating documents
were removed from her cell and never returned. She
subsequently was disciplined by Lakin Correctional Center
(“LCC”) for allegedly taking the complaint form
and instructions from the facility's library. Defendant
objected to request 1 on the basis of scope, which Plaintiff
argues is a blanket objection signifying Defendant's
arbitrary and capricious compliance with discovery
obligations. Although Defendant also contends that request 1
fails to identify documents to be produced, it appears to the
undersigned that Plaintiff wants her draft civil rights
complaint and substantiating documentation returned.
Court notes that the incident described by Plaintiff is quite
remote in time, making her need for the documents
questionable. While Plaintiff claims that documents from as
long as twelve years ago are relevant to show continuing
retaliation and discrimination, a section 1983 case typically
is designed to remedy discrete acts of retaliation and
discrimination. Once a plaintiff knew or should have known of
the retaliation or discrimination, the statute of limitations
begins to run and is not tolled by subsequent, unrelated
episodes of discrimination or retaliation. Nonetheless,
because discovery has just started in this case, the Court
OVERRULES the DOC's objection to this
request; GRANTS Plaintiff's motion to
compel; and ORDERS the DOC to provide
Plaintiff, on or before June 21, 2019, with
a copy of her draft 2010 civil rights complaint and
supporting documentation if the DOC retains possession of