Legg v. Rhodes et al
ORDER granting 44 Motion for Protective Order; denying 42 Motion for Reconsideration; denying as moot 48 Motion to Delay Ruling on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. Plaintiff's response to Defendants' motion for summary judgment remains due November 8, 2012. Signed by Magistrate Judge Shiva V Hodges on 10/19/2012.(abuc) Modified to edit text on 10/19/2012 (abuc).
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Ronald L. Legg,
Chief Rhodes, Horry County Police;
Det. Neil Frebowitz, Horry County
C/A No.: 4:12-811-RMG-SVH
Plaintiff Ronald L. Legg (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis,
brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter comes before the court on
the following motions: (1) Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration on an order denying as
moot his motion to compel [Entry #42]; (2) Defendants’ motion for protective order
[Entry #44]; and (3) Plaintiff’s motion to delay ruling on the motion for summary
judgment [Entry #48]. All pretrial proceedings in this case were referred to the
undersigned pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule
Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration
On August 20, 2012, Plaintiff filed a motion to compel Defendants to further
respond to his discovery requests. [Entry #32]. Defendants filed a response indicating
they had provided Plaintiff with all responsive documents they possessed. [Entry #37].
Plaintiff failed to file a reply by the September 17, 2012 deadline. On September 24,
2012, the undersigned issued an order denying Plaintiff’s motion as moot in light of
Defendants’ response and Plaintiff’s failure to file a reply disputing the same. [Entry
#39]. On September 25, 2012, the Clerk’s office docketed Plaintiff’s reply, which was
dated September 23, 2012. [Entry #41]. Plaintiff filed his motion for reconsideration of
the undersigned’s order on October 1, 2012. [Entry #42].
Motions for reconsideration of interlocutory orders are appropriately granted only
in narrow circumstances: (1) the discovery of new evidence, (2) an intervening
development or change in the controlling law, or (3) the need to correct a clear error or
prevent manifest injustice. American Canoe Ass’n v. Murphy Farms, Inc., 326 F.3d 505
(4th Cir. 2003). Here, as Plaintiff has not discovered new evidence and there has been no
intervening change in the controlling law, it appears Plaintiff is arguing reconsideration is
necessary to correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice.
In his reply in support of his motion to compel, Plaintiff alleges that his criminal
attorney gave him documents received from the Horry County Police Department that
Defendants have failed to produce. [Entry #41] Therefore, Plaintiff believes Defendants
are withholding responsive documents. Id. However, Plaintiff does not attach an example
or otherwise provide specific information about what documents he believes Defendants
possess that should have produced. Therefore, the undersigned has no means to evaluate
Plaintiff’s allegations, and Plaintiff has not met his burden to show clear error or manifest
Additionally, Plaintiff argues that Defendants should be compelled to create items
they do not possess, such as a chain of custody or digital recording, based on his indigent
status. Plaintiff’s argument that the law requires Defendants to create such documents is
unfounded and the undersigned declines to grant reconsideration on this basis. Finally,
Plaintiff argues Defendants should be compelled to respond to his supplemental
discovery requests, served September 10, 2012. The undersigned disagrees. Plaintiff’s
discovery requests would have had to been served by July 3, 2012 to be timely under the
scheduling order. Plaintiff did not attempt to file a motion for extension of the discovery
deadline. As such, Plaintiff has not met his burden of demonstrating reconsideration is
appropriate and his motion [Entry #42] is denied.
Defendants’ Motion for Protective Order
Defendants have moved for a protective order to relieve them of any obligation to
respond to Plaintiff’s untimely discovery requests. Pursuant to the scheduling order, all
discovery requests were to be served in time for the responses thereto to be served by
August 3, 2012. [Entry #22]. As Plaintiff’s supplemental discovery requests were served
over a month after the deadline and he failed to request an extension of time, the
undersigned grants Defendants’ motion for a protective order [Entry #44].
Plaintiff’s Motion to Delay Ruling on Motion for Summary Judgment
Plaintiff’s motion to delay ruling on Defendants’ motion for summary judgment
requests that the court wait to rule on summary judgment until Plaintiff receives
responses to his untimely discovery requests. Given the undersigned’s foregoing rulings
denying Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration and granting Defendants’ motion for a
protective order, Plaintiff’s motion to delay ruling [Entry #48] is denied as moot.
Plaintiff’s response to Defendants’ motion for summary judgment remains due November
IT IS SO ORDERED.
October 19, 2012
Columbia, South Carolina
Shiva V. Hodges
United States Magistrate Judge
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