Keefe v. M.S.P. I.P.S. Officers et al
ORDER denying 32 Motion for Relief; granting 23 Motion to Notify. Signed by Magistrate Judge John Johnston on 10/5/2016. Mailed to Keefe. (TAG, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
At issue is Plaintiff Jordan Keefe’s “Motion to Notify of Contempt of Court
by the Defendants’ Council [sic].” (Doc. 23.) In the motion, Mr. Keefe alleges
that on July 13, 2016, counsel for Defendant called Unit Manager Ben Bouley at
Montana State Prison and requested the retrieval of all kites and grievances against
Officer Buresh. UM Bouley ordered Sgt. Hotchkiss to search Mr. Keefe’s
evidence and retrieve or take all documents. (Doc. 23.) No documents were taken.
On August 9, 2016, the Court issued an Order finding that Defendant’s
counsel violated Local Rule 26.1(d). (Doc. 31 at 4.) Since no relief was requested
in the motion, Mr. Keefe was given an opportunity to indicate to the Court the
relief he was seeking based upon counsel’s actions. (Doc. 31 at 5.) Mr. Keefe
filed “Motion for Relief due to Rule 26.1(d) Violations” on August 23, 2016,
asking for a bench trial and to impose a fine. (Doc. 32.) Defendant did not
respond to Mr. Keefe’s request but did file an Objection to the Order pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 636 and Rule 72, Fed.R.Civ.P. arguing that the August 9, 2016 Order
was clearly erroneous. (Doc. 38.)
Although counsel took advantage of Mr. Keefe’s incarceration to engage in
discovery prior to the issuance of a scheduling order, such activity constituted a
minor violation of the Court’s local rules. The Court will not tolerate violations of
the Local Rules, but Mr. Keefe has not shown that he suffered any prejudice or
other injury as a result of the incident. If he has the documents at issue, he has now
been required to produce those documents pursuant to the Court’s August 2, 2016
Amended Scheduling Order (Doc. 30). The Court sees no basis upon which to fine
counsel and it will not deny Defendant of his constitutionally protected right to a
Based upon the foregoing, the Court issues the following:
1. Mr. Keefe’s “Motion to Notify of Contempt of Court by the Defendants
Council [sic]” (Doc. 23) is GRANTED. The Court has been so notified.
2. Mr. Keefe’s “Motion for Relief due to Rule 26.1(d) Violations” (Doc. 32)
3. At all times during the pendency of this action, Mr. Keefe 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
DATED this 5th day of October 2016.
/s/ John Johnston
United States Magistrate Judge
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