Harris v. Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department
ORDER denying 12 Motion to Produce; denying 13 Motion to Produce; denying 14 Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Harris is directed to only refer to, and the Clerk is directed to docket any future filings in cv417-154. Signed by Magistrate Judge G. R. Smith on 12/7/17. (wwp)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
ERIC LATROY HARRIS,
SCMPD (CNT AGENTS),
Proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, Eric LaTroy Harris brings
this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against two unknown Counter Narcotics
Team (CNT) agents at the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police
The Court screened his Amended
Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and greenlit it for service. Doc. 9.
He seeks an Order granting him permission to access the Chatham
County Detention Center law library. Doc. 14 (explaining that he was
told the “law library & legal aid services are only available to ‘pro se’
When Harris filed his Amended Complaint in this case, it was erroneously
docketed as a new Complaint and a new case file was opened (CV417-184). That
second case was closed, and is no longer active. Harris is DIRECTED to only refer
to, and the Clerk is DIRECTED to docket any future filings in, the live case file
inmates who have an order from the courts stating they should be
granted access to legal aid/law library services.”); CV417-184, doc. 7
(explaining that “they won’t allow me access without [a] Court order.”).
It is unclear why Harris is being refused access to the CCDC law
library absent a court order, whether based on CCDC policy or as an
unrepresented by counsel, have a right to meaningful access to the
courts, including some right to legal research material. See Bounds v.
Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 828 (1977); Bowens v. Sikes, 2017 WL 486266 at *4
(S.D. Ga. Jan. 4, 2017); see also Bass v. Singletary, 143 F.3d 1442, 1445
(11th Cir. 1998) (deprivation of that right may be actionable where “the
prison official’s actions which allegedly infringed on an inmate’s right of
access to the courts [ ] frustrated or impeded the inmate’s efforts to
pursue a nonfrivolous legal claim.”). It is also unclear, however, whether
Harris has properly grieved this issue pursuant to the CCDC’s grievance
policy in an effort to seek administrative relief prior to court
intervention. Because administrative relief may yet be available to him
and Harris has not shown he properly exhausted that avenue, he would
not be entitled to any injunctive relief against the CCDC officials who
denied him library access even if they were parties to this Complaint
(which they aren’t). Accordingly, the Court DENIES his motions for an
order instructing the CCDC to permit him to use the law library for legal
research (doc. 14) and motion for injunctive relief ordering the same
(CV417-184, doc. 7).
Harris has also sent this Court copies of his “motions to produce in
accordance with F.R.O.C.P. Rule 26(b)(1).” Docs. 12 & 13. Presumably,
he means Fed. R. Civ. P. 34, which contemplates service of a request to
produce documents (or electronically stored information) and other
tangible things relevant to his claims.
If plaintiff wishes to serve
discovery on defendants, he must do so pursuant to the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure -- meaning, any discovery requests are mailed to the
party (or that party’s attorney) from whom he seeks that discovery. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(b) (describing procedure for service). The United States
Marshals Service is not needed for this purpose. Discovery requests are
not filed with the Court. Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(d) (initial disclosures and
discovery requests/responses are not filed until they are used for a
motion or the court orders them to be filed). His motions (docs. 12 & 13),
therefore, are DENIED.
SO ORDERED, this 7th
day of December, 2017.
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