Jenkins v. Livonia Police Department et al
ORDER denying 25 Motion to Compel. Signed by District Judge Victoria A. Roberts. (CPin)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case Number: 13-14489
Honorable Victoria A. Roberts
LIVONIA POLICE DEPARTMENT, ET AL.,
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO COMPEL (DOC. # 25)
On October 25, 2013, Plaintiff Van Jenkins – an inmate of Michigan Department
of Corrections – filed a pro se complaint against Livonia Police Department, the City of
Livonia, and individual police officers (“Defendants”); attached to his complaint were
discovery requests. Defendants timely answered Plaintiff’s complaint; however, rather
than producing the requested discovery, Defendants’ counsel sent Plaintiff a letter
proposing to schedule a phone conference under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(f) before engaging
Instead of responding to Defendants’ letter, Plaintiff filed a “Motion to Compel
Production of Documents & to Answer Complaint & Interrogatories” (Doc. # 25); this
motion is before the Court. The matter is fully briefed; the Court waives oral argument
under L.R. 7.1(e)(2).
Plaintiff asks the Court to compel Defendants to properly answer the complaint;
specifically, Plaintiff says the answers are improper because they contain legal jargon
and fail to admit that Defendants violated his constitutional rights. After review of the
complaint and answers, the Court finds that Defendants’ responses were sufficient and
not improper in any respect. The Court will not compel Defendants to supplement their
answers to the complaint.
Plaintiff also asks the Court to compel Defendants to respond to his
interrogatories and produce the documents he requested; notably, although there were
interrogatories attached to the complaint, the Court could not decipher any request for
production of documents – which may be due to the handwritten nature of the pleading.
In response, Defendants say Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(d) prohibits Plaintiff from
engaging in formal discovery before the parties have conferred under Rule 26(f).
Additionally, they say Plaintiff failed to seek concurrence before filing his motion, in
violation of L.R. 7.1(a).
Rule 26(d) provides that: “A party may not seek discovery from any source
before the parties have conferred as required by Rule 26(f), except in a proceeding
exempted from initial disclosure under Rule 26(a)(1)(B)....” Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(d)(1)
(emphasis added). One such proceeding exempted from initial disclosure is “an action
brought without an attorney by a person in the custody of the United States, a state, or a
state subdivision.” See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(1)(B)(iv). Thus, Defendants are incorrect
that Plaintiff had to confer under Rule 26(f) before engaging in discovery.
However, Plaintiff failed to seek concurrence under L.R. 7.1(a) before filing his
motion. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel is DENIED.
The Court orders that Plaintiff seek concurrence from Defendants’ counsel before
filing any additional motions; the Court also orders that Plaintiff serve Defendants with a
new copy of his discovery requests that are more easily readable. Additionally,
although not required by Rule 26, the Court urges Plaintiff to confer with Defendants’
counsel – as Defendants’ letter proposed – to make the discovery process more
S/Victoria A. Roberts
Victoria A. Roberts
United States District Judge
Dated: March 3, 2014
The undersigned certifies that a copy of this
document was served on the attorneys of
record and Van Jenkins by electronic means
or U.S. Mail on March 3, 2014.
S/Carol A. Pinegar
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