Smyth v. Urch
ORDER denying 30 Motion for Hearing; denying 31 Motion for Discovery. Signed by Magistrate Judge Paige J Gossett on 3/12/2014.(abuc)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Keith Adger Smyth,
C/A No. 0:13-2691-RBH-PJG
Plaintiff Keith Adger Smyth (“Smyth”), a self-represented pretrial detainee, filed this action
seeking relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Smyth alleges violations of his constitutional rights by
the named defendant. This matter is before the court on plaintiff’s motions for a “court date” and
for free copies of his case file and discovery documents. (ECF Nos. 30 & 31.)
To the extent that Smyth seeks discovery through his motion, absent a dispute the court
generally does not enter the discovery process, which is detailed in the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. See generally Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 through 37; see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 45. Plaintiff is
advised that he does not need specific authorization from the court to obtain discovery from the
defendant. Rather, he should direct his discovery requests to the counsel of record for the defendant.
If Plaintiff is dissatisfied with the responses he receives from the defendant, he may then file a
motion to compel. See Local Civil Rule 37.01 DSC.
Additionally, while Plaintiff was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this matter
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, this status exempts litigants from paying the filing fees in full at the
time the lawsuit is filed; it does not exempt litigants from the costs of copying and filing documents,
service of documents other than the complaint, costs, expert witness fees, or sanctions. See, e.g., In
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re Richard, 914 F.2d 1526 (6th Cir. 1990) (stating that the granting of in forma pauperis status “does
not give the litigant a right to have documents copied and returned to him at government expense”).
Likewise, Plaintiff’s in forma pauperis status does not exempt him from paying the costs necessary
to conduct discovery. See Tabron v. Grace, 6 F.3d 147, 159 (3d Cir. 1993) (“There is no provision
in [28 U.S.C. § 1915] for the payment by the government of the costs of deposition transcripts, or
any other litigation expenses, and no other statute authorizes courts to commit federal monies for
payment of the necessary expenses in a civil suit brought by an indigent litigant.”).
Based on the foregoing, it is
ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion for copies and discovery is denied. (ECF No. 31.)
Additionally, Plaintiff’s motion for a court date is premature and is denied without prejudice at this
time. (ECF No. 30.)
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Paige J. Gossett
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
March 12, 2014
Columbia, South Carolina
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