Paige v. Murry et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER..IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs Motion to Produce (#111) and Motion to Withdraw Motion to Produce (#114) are DENIED as moot.IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs Motion to Terminate Counsel (#115) is DENIED. Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 8/18/15. (cc: Paige at SECC)(MRS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
JERRY MURRAY, et al.,
No. 1:12:cv40 SNLJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff, an inmate in custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections
(“MDOC”), brought the instant action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants
Leslie Tyler, Tina Boyet and Brian Robinson for alleged injuries he received while he
was incarcerated at Southeastern Correctional Center (“SECC”). Defendants are
correctional officers at SECC. This Court denied defendants’ motion for summary
judgment and appointed counsel for plaintiff. Notably, plaintiff previously requested
appointment of counsel (#41), and the Court determined that counsel was necessary at
that point to litigate the case through trial.
Plaintiff’s appointed counsel participated in a scheduling conference with the
Court and defense counsel pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16 on March 9,
2015. The matter is set for jury trial on March 1, 2016. Discovery closes on September
1, 2015. Plaintiff’s counsel filed a discovery request and a notice of deposition with the
Court on July 31, 2015 (#111, #112); the Clerk of the Court responded (#113) that
discovery documents are not accepted for filing in federal court. Plaintiff himself filed a
“Motion to Withdraw” those two discovery documents on August 10, 2015, because
plaintiff had not authorized his attorney to request the documents sought by those filings.1
Plaintiff states that he believes “counsel is purposely requesting such documents intended
to allow the defense to introduce evidence detrimental to plaintiff and advantageous for
the defense.” (#114 at 2.) Relatedly, plaintiff filed a “Motion to Terminate Counsel or in
the Alternative Motion to Order Counsel to Confer with and Receive Written Approval
from Plaintiff Prior to Filing any Motions etc.” (#115.)
Prisoner plaintiffs are sometimes dissatisfied with their court-appointed counsel.
Plaintiff’s particular complaint here is novel, however, because typically such plaintiffs
suggest that counsel is not doing enough to advance plaintiff’s case. Here, plaintiff’s
counsel is diligently pursuing discovery regarding matters relevant to plaintiff’s
complaint. Plaintiff is reminded that his counsel’s interests are aligned with his own, and
counsel must prepare the matter for trial such that all evidence is admissible in Court
pursuant to the Federal Rules of Evidence and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Plaintiff’s case revolves around a particular timeframe in a particular area of the prison,
and it is utterly reasonable that his counsel needs to obtain documents from the prison
(including regarding procedures and work assignments/hours of prison personnel) and to
access the prison itself in order to prepare to admit evidence properly at trial. Plaintiff is
reminded that his counsel is spending significant time, money, and other resources on
The Court notes that, typically, “[i]t is not our practice to consider pro se pleadings filed by the
parties represented by counsel.” United States v. Mentzos, 462 F.3d 830, 838 n.3 (8th Cir. 2006).
plaintiff’s case, and that it may not be practicable for counsel to advise plaintiff of every
procedural or discovery-related move in light of case deadlines.
Further, plaintiff is reminded that he filed a motion to “postpone a summary
judgment decision until adequate discovery has been completed” (#97), which this Court
denied because discovery was to be re-opened upon appointment of counsel. Thus
plaintiff’s aversion to discovery is all the more confusing. Plaintiff may disagree with his
counsel, but, in the absence of some proof to the contrary, plaintiff must accept that his
attorney is acting in plaintiff’s best interest. To the extent plaintiff is concerned that
defendant’s production of documents will result in unfavorable documents being used
against plaintiff, the Court notes that any such documents would be available to
defendants regardless. As explained above, the information counsel seeks appears to be
in line with the evidentiary requirements of this Court.
Plaintiff is finally advised that, should he choose to terminate his relationship with
counsel, the Court will not entertain a motion to appoint substitute counsel in light of
plaintiff’s apparent unreasonable reluctance to prosecute his case in keeping with
standard litigation practices.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s Motion to Produce (#111) and
Motion to Withdraw Motion to Produce (#114) are DENIED as moot.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff’s Motion to Terminate Counsel
(#115) is DENIED.
day of August, 2015.
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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