Leniart v. Murphy et al
RULING denying 37 Motion to Compel; denying as moot 50 Motion for Order; denying 51 Motion for Conference; granting 60 Motion for Extension of Time until 12/17/2012 to Respond to Discovery ; denying without prejudice 62 Motion to Appoint Co unsel ; granting 64 Motion for Extension of Time until up to and including January 9, 2013 to comply with 58 Order re: 11 Order ; denying 65 Motion for Extension of Time until 12/24/2012 to Object or Request Reconsideration 58 Order on Motion for Extension of Time ; denying 66 Motion re: Error in filing the Declaration in Support of Motion for Appointment of Counsel. Signed by Judge William I. Garfinkel on 12/11/2012. (Oliver, T.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
GEORGE M. LENIART,
WARDEN PETER MURPHY, et al.,
CASE NO. 3:11-cv-1635 (SRU)
RULING ON PENDING MOTIONS
This ruling considers one motion filed by the defendants and seven motions filed by
plaintiff: Motion to Compel [Doc. #37], Motion for Order on Motion to Compel [Doc. #50],
Motion for Status Conference [Doc. #51], Motions for Extension of Time [Doc. ## 60, 64, 65],
Motion for Appointment of Counsel [Doc. #62] and Motion re Error [Doc. #66].
Motions to Compel and for Order on Motion to Compel
The plaintiff moves to compel responses to his January 2012 request for production of
Motions to compel are governed by Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and
the District of Connecticut Local Civil Rules. The local rule requires that, before filing a motion
to compel, the moving party must confer with opposing counsel in a good faith effort to resolve
the dispute. The purpose of this rule is to encourage the parties to resolve discovery disputes
without court intervention. See Hanton v. Price, No. 3:04cv473(CFD), 2006 WL 581204, at *1
(D. Conn. Mar. 8, 2006). If discussions are not successful, the party moving to compel must
submit an affidavit certifying the attempted resolution and specifying which issues were resolved
and which remain. In addition, Local Rule 37(b)1 requires that copies of the discovery requests
must be included as exhibits.
In his affidavit, the plaintiff acknowledges only a brief discussion regarding the names of
the John Doe defendants. He does not provide any evidence suggesting any attempt to resolve
the remaining issues and does not indicate any follow-up letter regarding the names of the John
Doe defendants or any discussion with defendants’ counsel including specific facts to try to
ascertain the identity of the John Doe defendants. Although he claims to have been adamant in
his pursuit of the information, there is no documentation of such efforts.
In addition, Rule 37(b)1 requires that any discovery motion be accompanied by a
memorandum of law “contain[ing] a concise statement of the nature of the case and a specific
verbatim listing of each of the items of discovery sought or opposed, and immediately following
each specification shall set forth the reason why the item should be allowed or disallowed.” The
plaintiff has not complied with this requirement.
The motion to compel is denied. In light of this order, the plaintiff’s motion for an order
on the motion to compel is denied as moot.
Motion for Status Conference and Extension of Time
The plaintiff asks the court to schedule a status conference to ensure that the case proceed
in a timely manner. After filing the motion, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint and the
defendants responded to the plaintiff’s motion to compel. In light of these developments, the
court concludes that a status conference is not required at this time. The plaintiff’s motion is
There also are three pending motions for extension of time. The defendants seek an
extension of time, until December 17, 2012, to respond to recent discovery requests. The
defendants’ motion is granted.
The plaintiff seeks an extension of time, until January 9, 2013, to provide the correct
spelling and current work addresses for defendants Yother and Howen. He states that he has
requested this information in his recent discovery requests and the defendants have sought an
extension of time to respond to those requests. The plaintiff’s motion is granted. No further
extensions will be granted to supply this information. If the information is not received by the
court on or before January 9, 2013, the claims against defendants Howen and Yother will be
The plaintiff also seeks an extension of time, until December 24, 2012, to seek
reconsideration of the court’s November 9, 2012 order granting in part his motion for extension
of time. He states that he requires articulation of the order. Articulation is not necessary. The
order specifically directs the plaintiff to identify all John Doe defendants within thirty days. As
the plaintiff has indicated that he sought this information through discovery and all discovery
responses are to be served by December 17, 2012, the plaintiff shall provide this information to
the court on or before January 9, 2013, along with the correct names and current addresses for
defendants Yother and Howen. No further extensions of time will be granted and no motion for
reconsideration of the order is required.
Motion for Appointment of Counsel
The plaintiff seeks appointment of pro bono counsel in this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915. The Second Circuit repeatedly has cautioned the district courts against the routine
appointment of counsel. See, e.g., Hendricks v. Coughlin, 114 F.3d 390, 393 (2d Cir. 1997);
Cooper v. A. Sargenti Co., 877 F. 2d 170, 172 (2d Cir. 1989). The Second Circuit has made
clear that before an appointment is even considered, the indigent person must demonstrate that he
is unable to obtain counsel. Hodge v. Police Officers, 802 F.2d 58, 61 (2d Cir. 1986), cert.
denied, 502 U.S. 996 (1991).
In his motion, the plaintiff identifies several attorneys but provides no information on
when the contacts were made or why the attorneys declined assistance. In addition, there is no
indication that the plaintiff contacted Inmates’ Legal Assistance Program, the organization
created to provided legal assistance to Connecticut inmates. Because the plaintiff may be able to
obtain legal assistance on his own, appointment of counsel is not warranted at this time. The
motion for appointment of counsel is denied.
Motion re Error
The plaintiff states that he inadvertently omitted the certification page from two motions
filed with the court and asks the court to swap corrected pages in the documents. Once a
document is filed with the court, it cannot be altered. The plaintiff’s motion is denied.
The plaintiff’s motion to compel [Doc. #37] is DENIED and his motion for order on the
motion to compel [Doc. #50] is DENIED as moot. The plaintiff’s motion for status conference
[Doc. #51] and motion for extension of time to file a motion for reconsideration [Doc. #65] are
DENIED. The plaintiff’s motion for extension of time [Docs. # 64], until January 9, 2013, to
provide correct names and addresses information for defendants Howen and Yother is
GRANTED. The plaintiff shall identify all John Doe defendants and provide the corrected
information for defendants Howen and Yother by January 9, 2013. The plaintiff’s motion for
appointment of counsel [Doc. #62] is DENIED without prejudice and his motion regarding
errors [Doc. #66] is DENIED.
The defendants’ motion for extension of time [Doc. #60] is GRANTED.
SO ORDERED this
day of December 2012, at Bridgeport, Connecticut.
/s/ William I. Garfinkel
William I. Garfinkel
United States Magistrate Judge
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