Bell v. Burl et al
ORDER granting 33 Plaintiff's Motion to Compel, as modified; granting 37 Motion to Extend Time. Signed by Magistrate Judge J. Thomas Ray on 12/11/2013. (kcs)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
JOE LEONARD BELL, JR.,
DANNY BURL, Warden; and
JEREMY ANDREWS, Major,
East Arkansas Regional Unit, ADC, et al.
In this pro se § 1983 action, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants wrongfully seized
a medical script authorizing treatment and accommodations for his foot problems.
Doc. 2. Plaintiff has filed a Motion asking the Court to compel Defendants to provide
him a copy of his prison medical records. Docs. 31, 32, & 33.
Defendants argue that the Motion to Compel is improper because it does not
contain a good faith certification, as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(1). Doc. 34.
Because prisoners have limited access to telephones and mailing supplies, the Court's
general practice is to not require them to confer in good faith prior to filing a Motion
Defendants also contend that they properly objected to Plaintiff's discovery
request because they do not have access to his prison medical file. Id. According to
Defendants, Plaintiff must file a request to review his medical records with the
appropriate Corizon, Inc. employees working at the East Arkansas Regional Unit. Id.
The Court has learned, in other prisoner cases, that the Warden has the authority
to order Corizon employees to give prisoners access to their medical records,
especially when the prisoner is involved in litigation regarding his medical care.
However, legitimate security concerns prevent prisoners from having copies of their
entire medical records.
Accordingly, the Motion to Compel is granted, as modified. Defendants must,
within fourteen days of the entry of this Order, make arrangements for Plaintiff to
have at least four hours of access to his prison medical records. During that time,
Plaintiff may review his medical records and take notes.
If Defendants later file a Motion for Summary Judgment, Plaintiff can ask
Defendants to provide him with copies of relevant portions of his prison file that are
not already attached to Defendants' Motion. If Defendants do not provide such copies,
Plaintiff should promptly refile his Motion to Compel. Further, if this case proceeds
to trial, the Court will order the Defendants to bring Plaintiff’s complete prison file,
including his prison medical records, to Court.
Finally, Plaintiff has filed a Motion seeking permission to extend the discovery
deadline so that he may review his medical records. Doc. 37. The Court finds good
cause for granting that request.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:
Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel (Doc. 33) is GRANTED, AS MODIFIED.
Plaintiff’s Motion for an Extension of Time (Doc. 37) is GRANTED.
Dated this 11th day of December, 2013.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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