Jarrell v. McDonald et., al.
ORDER denying 36 Motion to Compel. Signed by Magistrate Judge Sharon L. Ovington on 11/28/17. (kma)(This document has been sent by regular mail to the party(ies) listed in the NEF that did not receive electronic notification.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
WESTERN DIVISION AT DAYTON
ROBERT McDONALD, Secretary of the :
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, et :
STEPHEN PAUL JARRELL,
Case No. 3:16-cv-0095
District Judge Walter H. Rice
Magistrate Judge Sharon L. Ovington
The case is before the Court upon Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel and attached
Exhibits (Doc. #36) and the record as a whole. Plaintiff explains that on July 19, 2017,
he “requested records from the Defendant. Specifically, the records (forms) attached to
Ben Szabo’s email dated May 9, 2014 that spelled out to the VA that Plaintiff was not
absent the required 180 consecutive days that constitutes a bar to VA benefits in
accordance with VAR 1012(C)(6).” (Doc. #36, PageID #353) (internal citations
“Although the parties generally may discover any unprivileged
evidence relevant to their claim, Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1), the district court may
limit discovery due to irrelevance and burdensomeness.” Entertainment Productions,
Inc. v. Shelby County, Tenn., 721 F.3d 729, 744 (6th Cir. 2013). “Information within
th[e] scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.” Fed. R.
Civ. P. 26(b)(1).
Plaintiff is not entitled to an Order compelling Defendant to produce the records
he requested on July 19, 2017 because those records are not relevant to his only
remaining claim. His sole remaining claim asserts that Defendant violated the Privacy
Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a(d)(1), by failing to respond to his request for the “Summary of
Evidence used by the VA in a Jan. 14, 2015 Determination regarding [his] eligibility for
service connected disability.” (Doc. #4, PageID #18); see Doc. #20 (dismissing
Plaintiff’s claims two through twelve).
The records Plaintiff presently seeks relate to the denial of his July 19, 2017
records request and, in turn, to his present desire for records to show that he was not
absent without leave for 180 consecutive days during his brief military service in the late
1970s. Plaintiff’s desire to show he was not AWOL for 180 consecutive days goes to the
merits of his claim that the VA erred in determining, on January 14, 2015, that he was
ineligible for disability benefits. He essentially explains this in his argument that “he
submitted timely evidence to the VA through Ben Szabo conclusively showing that he
was AWOL for less than 180 days, and that the VA failed to consider that evidence in
making their January 14, 2015 decision….” (Doc. #36, PageID #354). Not only does
this have no relevance to his sole remaining claim, U.S. District Courts lack jurisdiction
over challenges to VA disability determinations. (Doc. #20, Page ID #195).
Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel lacks merit.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:
Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel (Doc. #36) is DENIED.
November 28, 2017
s/Sharon L. Ovington
Sharon L. Ovington
United States Magistrate Judge
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