Keith v. Degeorgis et al
ORDER denying 58 motion for a protective order; 72 motion to amend the scheduling order; and 74 motion for reconsideration. Signed by Magistrate Judge Shiva V Hodges on 4/7/2015. (gmil)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Captain Degeorgis; Officer Morgan;
Larry Cartledge; Florence Mauney;
Rhonda Abston; Sergeant J. Fish;
Lieutenant Church; Lieutenant
Robertson; Lindsey Harris; Captain
Miller; Major Early; Amy Enloe;
Sergeant Blackburn; Lieutenant
Arrowood; and Sergeant J. Palmer,
C/A No.: 1:14-36-RMG-SVH
Trovon Keith (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of his constitutional rights while
incarcerated at Perry Correctional Institution. This matter comes before the court on the
following motions of Plaintiff: (1) motion for a protective order [ECF No. 58]; (2) motion
to amend the scheduling order [ECF No. 72]; and (3) motion for reconsideration [ECF
No. 74]. All pretrial proceedings in this case were referred to the undersigned pursuant to
the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d) (D.S.C.).
Motion for Protective Order
Plaintiff claims that he was moved to a new cell assignment by Captain Rhonda
Abston in retaliation for his having named her as a defendant in multiple lawsuits. [ECF
No. 58]. He claims that his new cell smelled of feces, that large portions of the wall were
covered with feces, and that holes around the back window of the cell allow for insects to
enter the cell. Id. Plaintiff alleges that his mental health counselors are not allowed to
walk to his new cell and that the new cell assignment is causing him mental problems. Id.
Defendants deny Plaintiff’s allegations. [ECF No. 65].
Plaintiff’s motion must be denied, as the courts do not typically interfere with
prison housing assignments. Hayes v. Thompson, 726 F.2d 1015, 1016–17 & n.1 (4th Cir.
1984). Decisions relating to the day-to-day operation of prisons are entrusted to the
officials of the particular institution or correctional system. See Wetzel v. Edwards, 635
F.2d 283, 288 (4th Cir. 1980) (discussing the complexities of running a penal institution
and the reluctance of federal courts to interfere in the problems of prison administration).
To the extent Plaintiff has complaints about the walls of his cell being covered in feces or
any other alleged condition of confinement, he must first exhaust his administrative
Motion to Amend the Scheduling Order
Plaintiff filed a motion to amend the scheduling order on December 3, 2014,
seeking additional time to conduct discovery from defendants Arrowood and Palmer
(“New Defendants”), who were added pursuant to Plaintiff’s second amended complaint
filed on August 19, 2014. [ECF No. 72]. Plaintiff has not provided any explanation for
his delay in requesting an extension or what discovery he believes he needs from New
Defendants. Such an extension at this time would prejudice defendants, who collectively
filed a motion for summary judgment on October 20, 2014. Additionally, Plaintiff’s
allegations against New Defendants are nearly identical to those against several other
defendants and Plaintiff has failed to show how he would be prejudiced if he is not able
to obtain discovery from New Defendants. Therefore, Plaintiff’s motion for an amended
scheduling order is denied.
Motion for Reconsideration
In his motion for reconsideration, Plaintiff argues that the court improperly denied
as moot his motion to compel discovery responses after defense counsel filed a response
indicating that they had served the discovery responses. [ECF No. 74]. Plaintiff indicates
that he received responses to his interrogatories, but did not receive responses to his
requests for production. Id.
At the time of the court’s ruling on the motion to compel, defense counsel
indicated that they had served discovery responses. [ECF No. 69]. Therefore, it was not
necessary for the court to determine the substance of the motion to compel, such as
whether it was timely filed. In light of Plaintiff’s representation that he never received
responses to his requests for production [ECF No. 67], the undersigned will address the
underlying merits of his motion to compel [ECF No. 66].
Plaintiff states that he served the discovery requests on September 22, 2014. [ECF
No. 66]. The deadline for the expiration of discovery was July 21, 2014. [ECF No. 21].
Therefore, Plaintiff’s discovery requests were untimely. Although Plaintiff argues that he
needed additional time for discovery on New Defendants, he provides no explanation of
what documents he needed from New Defendants. As noted above, Plaintiff’s allegations
against New Defendants are almost identical to several of the defendants who Plaintiff
previously served with discovery requests. Therefore, Plaintiff’s motion to reconsider or
alter the undersigned’s denial of Plaintiff’s motion to compel is denied.
For the foregoing reason, the undersigned denies the following motions of
Plaintiff: (1) motion for a protective order [ECF No. 58]; (2) motion to amend the
scheduling order [ECF No. 72]; and (3) motion for reconsideration [ECF No. 74].
IT IS SO ORDERED.
April 7, 2015
Columbia, South Carolina
Shiva V. Hodges
United States Magistrate Judge
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