SCOTT v. PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
ORDER denying 42 Motion to Compel. Signed by Chief Magistrate Judge Maureen P. Kelly on 1/11/18. A copy of this order will be mailed this day, 1/11/18, to Plaintiff at his address of record. (ard)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF
Civil Action No. 3:17-100
Chief Magistrate Judge Maureen P. Kelly
Re: ECF No. 42
Plaintiff Donald Scott (“Plaintiff”), an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at
Somerset, has presented a pro se civil rights Complaint. ECF No. 1. Currently before this Court
is a Motion to Compel filed by Plaintiff seeking an order directing Defendant to provide responses
to Plaintiff’s second, third and fourth discovery requests. ECF No. 42.
Also before the Court is Defendant’s Brief in Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel.
ECF No. 45. Therein, Defendant asserts: (1) its response to Plaintiff’s Fourth Request for
Production is not yet due; and (2) its responses to Plaintiff’s other discovery requests (which are
outlined in and attached to the Brief) were proper. Id.
As this Court has recently explained:
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) defines the scope of discovery as "any
nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and
proportional to the needs of the case." …
Rule 37 provides the mechanism to compel discovery from a person or party who
refuses to provide discovery. The party moving to compel discovery under Rule 37
bears the initial burden of proving the relevance of the material requested. See
Morrison v. Phila. Hous. Auth., 203 F.R.D. 195, 196 (E.D. Pa. 2001) (citations
omitted). If the movant meets this initial burden, then the burden shifts to the person
resisting discovery to establish that discovery of the material requested is
inappropriate. Momah v. Albert Einstein Med. Ctr., 164 F.R.D. 412, 417 (E.D. Pa.
1996) (citation omitted). The person resisting discovery must explain with
specificity why discovery is inappropriate; the boilerplate litany that the discovery
sought is overly broad, burdensome, oppressive, vague, or irrelevant is insufficient.
See Josephs v. Harris Corp., 677 F.2d 985, 991-92 (3d Cir. 1982).
PEG Bandwidth PA, LLC v. Salsgiver, Inc., Civ. A. No. 16-178, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108516,
at *3-4 (W.D. Pa. July 13, 2017).
Plaintiff has failed to meet his burden to prove the relevance of the material requested. He
offers a boilerplate statement that he seeks evidence which will help him prove or disprove issues
in his case, ECF No. 42 ¶ 20; however, he does not explain the relevance of any of the disputed
evidence to any issue or claim in his case. Further, it is worth noting that the Court’s review of
Defendant’s discovery responses attached to his Brief in Opposition did not reveal any facially
AND NOW, this 11th day of January, 2018, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff’s
Motion to Compel, ECF No. 42, is DENIED.
BY THE COURT:
/s/ Maureen P. Kelly
MAUREEN P. KELLY
CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
1600 Walters Mill Road
Somerset, PA 15510
All counsel of record via CM/ECF
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