Guille v. Sweeney et al
ORDER granting 83 Motion to Compel; denying 90 Motion for Protective Order. On or before August 31, 2017, Defendants shall advise the Court whether they would be willing to participate in a mediation of this matter. Signed by Magistrate Judge John Johnston on 8/17/2017. Mailed to Guille. (TAG)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
JOSH SWEENEY, TOM WOOD,
CHRIS CONNEL, MYRON BEESON,
SGT. ROBERT TURNER, JOSH
KNIGHT, SAMUEL SHORT, JASON
TRUDEAU, GARRETT KENT,
DANIEL SEGOVIA, and LEROY
Plaintiff Adrian Guille is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis and
without counsel. Although his claims arose while he was incarcerated at Montana
State, he was transferred to a facility in New Jersey on March 27, 2017. (Doc.
111-1, Notice of Change of Address, Doc. 112.) Pending are Mr. Guille’s Motion
to Compel (Doc. 83) and Defendants’ Motion for a Protective Order (Doc. 90).
The discovery request at issue is Mr. Guille’s request for “any and all
grievances, complaints, or other documents received by prison staff, concerning
the mistreatment of inmates by the IPS Defendants and any memoranda,
investigative files, or other documents created in response to such complaints from
July 5, 2012 to July 5, 2013.” (Mtn to Compel, Doc. 84 at 2.) Defendants argue
the motion should be denied because “1) he seeks documents that are not relevant;
2) searching for and producing the requested documents would impose a
significant undue burden on Defendants; 3) production of these documents could
compromise safety and security at MSP; and 4) the documents cannot be used as
character evidence.” (Doc. 88 at 2.)
The Court addressed the relevancy of the requested documents on two prior
occasions finding that “other inmates’ grievances regarding the use of force by the
individual Defendants prior to July 5, 2013 may be vital to establishing supervisory
liability.” (December 16, 2015 Order, Doc. 51 at 5-6, n.3; August 19, 2016 Order,
Doc. 79 at 29.) In its August 19, 2016 Order, the Court indicated that it was
“inclined to order the production of these documents with the redaction of names
and other confidential information of the inmates making and/or involved in the
grievances.” (Doc. 79 at 30.)1
The Court conducted two hearings on Defendants’ “unduly burdensome”
defense to the motion to compel. Based upon the evidence presented at those
hearings, the Court finds that there is a method by which MSP can obtain the
Judge Christensen agreed with this course of action in his December 14,
2016 Order. (Doc. 96 at 7.)
information responsive to Mr. Guille’s request which is not unduly burdensome.
Based upon the testimony of Associate Warden Wood there are use of force
packets which contain a cover sheet stating the names of the officers involved.
Therefore, it appears that it would be possible for Defendants to review the
approximately 60-100 use of force packets for July 5, 2012 through July 5, 2013 to
determine in which use of force incidents IPS officers Sweeney, Knight, Short,
Trudeau, Kent, and Segovia were involved. From that information, it could be
determined if an inmate filed a grievance complaining about the use of force by the
Therefore, the Court is going to require the production of documents
requested by Mr. Guille. In order to protect the confidentiality of the grievance
process, the Court will allow the documents to be redacted to remove all reference
to other inmates and MSP staff not named as Defendants in this lawsuit. Should
Defendants want additional protections regarding these documents they may
present a draft protective order within 10 days of the date of this Order.
Based upon the foregoing the Court issues the following:
1. Mr. Guille’s Motion to Compel (Doc. 83) is GRANTED. Defendants
shall produce to Mr. Guille “any and all grievances, complaints, or other
documents received by prison staff, concerning the mistreatment of inmates by the
IPS Defendants and any memoranda, investigative files, or other documents
created in response to such complaints from July 5, 2012 to July 5, 2013” within
30 days of the date of this Order. If an inmate filed a grievance regarding a
particular use of force, the use of force packet should be produced.
Responsive documents may be redacted to remove all identifying
information regarding the identity of other inmates and MSP staff not named as
defendants in this action. The Non-IPS team Defendants shall have 21 days after
the production of these documents to renew their motion for summary judgment.
2. Defendants’ Motion for a Protective Order (Doc. 90) is DENIED.
3. On or before August 31, 2017, Defendants shall advise the Court whether
they would be willing to participate in a mediation of this matter.
4. Mr. Guille must immediately advise the Court and opposing counsel of
any change of address and its effective date. Failure to file a notice of change of
address may result in the dismissal of the action for failure to prosecute pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b).
DATED this 17th day of August, 2017.
/s/ John Johnston
United States Magistrate Judge
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