Miller v. Buchanan et al
Memorandum of Conference and Order: See attached. Signed by Judge Donna F. Martinez on 6/30/17.(Constantine, A.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
MEMORANDUM OF CONFERENCE AND ORDER
On June 29, 2017, the court conducted a settlement conference
in which the plaintiff was self-represented and the defendant was
represented by Assistant Attorney General Parille.
settlement conference, the court went on the record to discuss the
plaintiff's submissions (doc. ##59, 61) regarding the defendant's
failure to comply with the court's June 6, 2017 discovery order.1
Production Request 1: In its June 6 ruling, the court ordered
defense counsel to notify the Health Service Coordinator Rikel
Lightner ("Lightner") to give the plaintiff access to a specified
manual by June 13, 2017.
plaintiff has not reviewed the manual.
It is undisputed that the
Attorney Parille stated
that he called Lightner and asked her to arrange for the plaintiff
The plaintiff filed doc. #59, entitled "Judicial Notice," on
June 23, 2017 and doc. #61, entitled "Plaintiff's Motion for
Sanctions," on June 28, 2017. Attorney Parille was unaware of the
plaintiff's filings. The court provided him with copies of those
filings as well as a copy of the court's June 6, 2017 ruling on the
plaintiff's motion to compel (doc. #52).
subsequently told him that she reached out to the plaintiff but
that the plaintiff refused Lightner's offer to review the manual.
The plaintiff flatly denied that Lightner ever offered him an
opportunity to review the manual.
As a result, it falls to the
court to set forth a procedure to ensure that the plaintiff is
given access to the requested material.
Lightner and Attorney Parille shall schedule a time and date,
no later than July 11, 2017, on which the plaintiff may examine the
manual. Lightner shall provide this information to the plaintiff's
appointment to review the manual.
the plaintiff to see the manual.
The counselor shall accompany
The counselor and Lightner shall
execute affidavits in which they set forth the steps taken to
effectuate this order.
If the plaintiff refuses to accompany the
unit manager to examine the manual, the plaintiff shall sign a
refusal that is co-signed by his counselor.
By July 13, 2017, the
defendant shall file the aforementioned documents.
Production Requests 3 and 4:
The plaintiff stated in his
submissions that the defendant had not complied with the court's
order as to these requests.
During the status conference, the
plaintiff indicated that he had received the defendant's response
the day before, that is, June 28, 2017.
Attorney Parille conceded
that the response was late2 because he had forgotten about it.
Production Requests 7, 8 and 9:
Request for Admission 14:
Same as above.
In its June 6, 2017 order, the
court ordered the defendant to serve an amended answer.
It is undisputed that the defendant has not done so.
Attorney Parille stated during the conference that he has had a
"hard time" reaching the defendant, Dr. Buchanan; that he must
confer with Dr. Buchanan to respond; and that he has a conference
call with Dr. Buchanan scheduled for June 30, 2017.
By July 11,
2017, the defendant shall serve an amended answer.
The court ordered the plaintiff to propound
a revised interrogatory and ordered the defendant to respond by
June 13, 2017.
(Doc. #52 at 2.)
The plaintiff timely propounded
the revised discovery request on June 9, 2017 and filed notice of
See doc. #55.
Notwithstanding the court's order, the
defendant did not respond to the interrogatory.
stated during the conference that he requires the assistance of the
defendant Dr. Buchanan to respond to the interrogatory. Again, the
defendant's response is due by July 11, 2017.
Interrogatories 7 and 8 and Second Request for Production 2:
Local Rule 37(d) provides that "[u]nless a different time is
set by the Court, compliance with discovery ordered by the Court
shall be made within fourteen (14) days of the filing of the
The court's order was issued on June 6, 2017.
Accordingly, except as to those requests where the court set
earlier deadlines, the defendant's compliance was due by June 20,
During oral argument on the plaintiff's motion to compel on June 6,
2017, Attorney Parille represented that in order to fully respond
to these requests, he needed the plaintiff to sign a release so
that the defendant could review the plaintiff's medical records.
plaintiff an authorization form by June 9, 2017 and ordered that
following "review of the plaintiff's medical records, the defendant
shall serve an amended answer to these requests by June 20, 2017."
The defendant has not served an amended answer to these requests.
During the status conference, Attorney Parille represented
subsequently concluded that a release was not necessary. He stated
that he did not serve amended responses because he is "waiting" for
defendant Dr. Buchanan.
The defendant's responses are due by July
In the court's ruling, the court ordered
the defendant to serve an amended answer to this request.
explaining again that he requires the assistance of Dr. Buchanan.
The defendant shall served an amended answer by July 11, 2017.
In sum, as to all the discovery requests granted by the court
in its June 6, 2017 order, defense counsel either served tardy
responses or failed to respond at all.
"Compliance with discovery
orders is necessary to the integrity of our judicial process."
Daval Steel Prods. v. M/V Fakredine, 951 F.2d 1357, 1365 (2d Cir.
"[D]iscovery orders are meant to be followed.
flouts such orders does so at his peril."
A party who
Bambu Sales, Inc. v.
Ozak Trading Inc., 58 F.3d 849, 853 (2d Cir. 1995).
required additional time in which to comply with the court's order,
he easily could have filed a motion requesting an extension of time
Attorney Parille shall cause a copy of this Order to be served
on defendant Dr. Buchanan.
The Clerk of the Court shall mail a
copy of this Order to Assistant Attorney General Terrence O'Neill
at 110 Sherman Street, Hartford, Connecticut.
Defendant is reminded that his response to the plaintiff's
motion for sanctions (doc. #61) is due by July 19, 2017.
SO ORDERED at Hartford, Connecticut this 30th day of June,
Donna F. Martinez
United States Magistrate Judge
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