Roberts v. Hobbs et al
ORDER granting docket entry # 51 Plaintiff's Motion to Compel. Signed by Magistrate Judge J. Thomas Ray on 05/27/2011. (ksm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
PINE BLUFF DIVISION
RODERICK JOHNSON, et al.
Plaintiff, Brunson Roberts, is a prisoner in the Cummins Unit of the Arkansas
Department of Correction. He has commenced this pro se § 1983 alleging that, while
he was in the Varner Super Max Unit, Defendants subjected him to cruel and
inhumane conditions of confinement when they allowed raw sewage to remain on his
cell floor for approximately two weeks. See docket entries #2, #46, and #48.
Plaintiff has recently filed a Motion to Compel Defendants to respond to four
discovery requests he sent them on an unspecified date.1 See docket entry #51.
Defendants have filed a largely unhelpful Response to that Motion. See docket entry
#54. The Court will address each contested discovery request separately.
Plaintiff’s Request for a Witness’s Full Name and ADC number
Plaintiff asked Defendants to provide the full name and ADC number of an
Neither party has provided the Court with a copy of Plaintiff’s discovery
requests or the Defendants’ responses thereto.
inmate who worked on the plumbing near or in his cell.2 See docket entry #51.
Plaintiff asserts that he needs this information so that he can question the inmate
about the nature of the plumbing problems, how long they existed, and how
Defendants’ may have addressed any such problems. Accordingly to Plaintiff, he
needs this information to establish deliberate indifference.
Defendants state, without any explanation, that unspecified “security concerns”
prevent them from releasing the requested information to Plaintiff. See docket entry
#54 at 1. They also state that Plaintiff will not be able to contact the inmate because
unspecified prison rules prevent prisoners from corresponding with one another. Id.
Without some explanation of the specific prison rules in question and the
alleged security concerns, the Court cannot evaluate Defendants’ objections.
Accordingly, Defendants have fourteen days from the entry of this Order to provide
the Court with a full explanation of the prison rules in question and the legitimate
security concerns that prevent the ADC from providing Plaintiff with the requested
information so that he can “contact” the prisoner in question.3
Plaintiff alleges that he knows the inmates last name, but not his first name or
ADC number. Neither party has provided the Court with the inmate’s last or first
While Plaintiff may not be allowed to contact the prisoner due to “security
concerns,” he is at least entitled to discover the name of this prisoner so that, if the
case proceeds to trial, he can be called as a witness.
Plaintiff’s Request for ADC Administrative Regulation 225
Plaintiff has requested a copy of ADC Administrative Regulation 225 on
“Employee Conduct Standards.” See docket entry #51. Plaintiff explains that he
needs the policy to establish that Defendants acted with deliberate indifference. Id.
Defendants state, without any explanation, that inmates are not permitted to
possess ADC polices due to unspecified “security concerns.” See docket entry #54
at 1. The Court finds Defendants’ unexplained refusal to provide the documents to
be at odds with the ADC’s practice in other cases, where it has released
Administrative Directives and policies to prisoners. Second, many ADC policies and
directives are available in the prison libraries. Third, Administrative Directive 225 is
available to the public on the ADC’s website. Accordingly, Defendants have fourteen
days to provide the Court with a full explanation of the security concerns that justify
Plaintiff not being allowed to have a copy of Administrative Regulation 225.
Plaintiff’s Request for a Copy of his March 2, 2011 Deposition
Plaintiff, who is proceeding in forma pauperis, has requested a copy of his
March 2, 2011 deposition. See docket entry #51. Defendants claim that they are
under no obligation to do so. See docket entry #54.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(3)(A) and (f)(3) specify that the party
taking the deposition shall bear the cost of recording it, and that any party may request
a transcript of that recording. The Rule does not specify who is to pay for copies of
However, it is the custom in this district for the party taking the
deposition to pay for and provide a copy of the transcript to the deponent. Thus,
Defendants have fourteen days from the entry of this Order to provide Plaintiff with
a copy of his March 2, 2011 deposition.
Plaintiff’s Request for An Insurance Agreement
Plaintiff has requested a copy of any insurance agreement that will cover
damages that may be awarded in this case. See docket entry #51. Defendants state
that they do not have any such insurance agreement. See docket entry #54.
Defendants cannot be ordered to produce what they do not have. Thus, the Motion
to Compel is denied as to this request.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel (docket
entry #51) is GRANTED, as specified in this Order.
Dated this 27th day of May, 2011.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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