Harper v. Lemon et al
ORDER granting in part and denying in part 57 Motion for Discovery (To Reopen). Signed by Senior Judge Graham Mullen on 8/11/2017. (eef)
DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
MICHAEL S. HARPER,
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion to Reopen Discovery, (Doc. No. 57).
In this civil rights prisoner action originally brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, this Court
denied Defendants’ summary judgment motion on October 28, 2016, as to Plaintiff’s claim for
excessive force. (Doc. No. 50). In the Court’s order dated October 28, 2016, based on
Plaintiff’s prior requests for appointment of counsel, the Court stated that it would inquire into
appointment of counsel to represent Plaintiff at trial. Attorney John Fagg of the law firm of
Moore and Van Allen has since then agreed to provide pro bono representation to Plaintiff in this
action. (Doc. No. 51).
Plaintiff has now, through counsel, filed the pending motion to reopen discovery. (Doc.
No. 57). Defendants oppose the reopening of discovery. (Doc. No. 59). This Court finds that,
for good cause shown, Plaintiff is entitled to the reopening of discovery in order to obtain
discovery to prepare for trial in this matter scheduled for January 8, 2018. However, the Court
will deny the motion for discovery in part, as stated below.
Plaintiff’s Motion for Discovery, (Doc. No. 57), is granted in part and denied in part, and
the discovery period shall be reopened for an additional 120 days. That is, Plaintiff shall be
entitled to no more than 10 depositions, no more than 20 interrogatories, including subparts, and
no more than 20 requests for admission. Furthermore, Plaintiff is not entitled to designation and
depositions of expert witnesses regarding the issue of use of force. Plaintiff is entitled to obtain
discovery of Plaintiff’s medical records relevant to the alleged injuries following the incident,
video footage of the alleged excessive force incident (to the extent that it exists), and
photographs of Plaintiff following the incident. Plaintiff is entitled to propound requests for
production of documents and tangible things as set forth in his motion. The Court notes,
however, that, in response to Plaintiff’s discovery requests, Defendants may, of course, raise the
customary objections to discovery proposed by Plaintiff (i.e., that the proposed discovery is
overbroad, not relevant, privileged, protected by personnel confidentiality laws, etc.).
In sum, Plaintiff’s Motion to Reopen Discovery, (Doc. No. 57), is GRANTED in part
and DENIED in part, as stated in this Order.
Signed: August 11, 2017
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