Tiedemann v. Southern Health Partners Inc et al
ORDER granting 18 Motion to Amend/Correct; granting 30 Motion to Amend/Correct; 39 Motion to Amend/Correct; denying 46 Motion to Compel; denying 47 Motion for Extension of Time to Complete Discovery; denying [57 ] Motion to Appoint Counsel; denying 66 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Plaintiff must file one, complete amended complaint in accordance with his motions as well as the requisite service documents within ten days of the date of this order. If Plaintiff fails to do so, the original complaint will remain in place. Signed by Magistrate Judge Thomas E Rogers, III on 02/02/2017.(dsto, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
SOUTHERN HEALTH PARTNERS, INC., )
MELLISA VAN DUSOR, Medical Director, )
THOMAS FOX, Director of Detention,
J. REUBEN LONG DETENTION CENTER,)
Civil Action No.: 4:15-cv-5075-RMG-TER
Plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se, brings this action, alleging violations of his constitutional
rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He also alleges state law claims. Presently before the court
are Plaintiff’s Motions to Amend (Documents # 18, 30, 39), Motion to Compel (Document # 46),
and Motions to Appoint Counsel (Documents # 57, 66). All pretrial proceedings in this case were
referred to the undersigned pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and (B) and Local
Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d), DSC.
MOTIONS TO AMEND COMPLAINT
Plaintiff seeks to add new Defendants, although it is not clear exactly who Plaintiff seeks to
add. He first states he would like to add “Doctor” and “Head Nurse,” who were under the
employment of Defendant Southern Health Care Partners, Inc. He later asks the court to add “the
Doctor of Indian Decent” [sic], the nurse referred to as “Head Nurse,” “Nurse Jessica,” “Nurse Nece”
and all other individuals who were responsible for his health and safety during his pretrial detention
at issue in this case.
He next seeks to amend his complaint to add that Defendants are being sued in their official
and individual capacities. He also asks to amend his request for relief for “negligent indifference
in the amount of two million dollars, gross negligent indifference, compensatory damages,
declaratory judgment, punitive damages. Also pay court fees and lawyer fees.”
Finally, Plaintiff seeks to amend his complaint to add “Mrs. Melissa Van Duser” as a
Defendant. However, Plaintiff has already named this Defendant, although he apparently misspelled
her name as “Mellisa Van Dusor.” Melissa Van Duser has filed an answer in this case.
Plaintiff has submitted a proposed amended complaint. However, it includes only “Melissa
Van Duser” as a Defendant in her official and individual capacities and the amendment to his request
for relief. It does not include any of the of the requested additional Defendants, any of the originally
named Defendants, or any of the original allegations. Plaintiff has also submitted new service
documents, but only for Melissa Van Duser, who has already filed an answer in this case.
Rule 15(a)(2), Fed.R.Civ.P., provides that leave to amend a pleading should be given freely
when justice so requires. Therefore, Plaintiff’s motions are granted. However, Plaintiff must file
one, complete amended complaint in accordance with his motions as well as the requisite
service documents within ten days of the date of this order. If Plaintiff fails to do so, the
original complaint will remain in place.
MOTION TO COMPEL
Plaintiff also moves for an order compelling Defendants to provide full and complete
responses to his requests for production of documents. Defendants Southern Health Partners and
Melissa Van Duser (the Medical Defendants) responded to Plaintiff’s discovery requests, but
Plaintiff complains that their responses were not adequate because (1) he requested “taped” progress
and non-progress notes and (2) certain records were redacted because they were outside the time
Specifically, Plaintiff requested “a copy of all progress and non progress reports that was [sic]
taped during August 19, 2013, thru December 25, 2013.” See Plaintiff’s First Request for
Production of Documents (Ex. to Pl. Motion (Document # 46-1)). In their response to the motion
to compel, counsel for the Medical Defendants stated that he read “taped” as a typo for “typed” and
responded accordingly. The Medical Defendants supplemented their response to the discovery
request to provide that no “tapes” exist. See Supplemental Discovery Responses (Ex. B to Def.
Resp. (Document # 49-2)). The Medical Defendants note that the medical records, which have
already been produced, are kept electronically, and no audio tapes are used. See Records Custodian
Affidavit of Janet Stevens (Ex. C to Def. Resp. (Document # 49-3)).
Plaintiff also requested “[a] copy of all medical records, report of Plaintiff by medical Dept.
of J. Reuben Long from August 19, 2013, through December 25, 2013.” See Plaintiff’s First
Request for Production of Documents (Ex. to Pl. Motion (Document # 46-1)). Plaintiff complains
that some of the records produced by the Medical Defendants are redacted. The Medical Defendants
note that they limited the production of Plaintiff’s medical records to the time frame requested by
Plaintiff. Therefore, even though Plaintiff had been detained at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center
for brief periods of time in April 2013 and May 2015, because Plaintiff did not request documents
for these dates, they either did not produce documents with medical records for those dates or
redacted those portions if otherwise responsive information was included on the same page. The
Medical Defendants also supplemented their responses with “screen shots of the electronic entries
for [Plaintiff], in an effort to demonstrate that he received the corresponding records for August to
December 2013, and only did not receive records for April 2013 and May 2015.” See Supplemental
Discovery Responses (Ex. B to Def. Resp. (Document # 49-2)).
In sum, because the Medical Defendants have provided Plaintiff with the documents
requested or provided by way of affidavit that no such materials (such as “tapes”) exist, Plaintiff’s
motion to compel is denied.1
MOTIONS FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL
This court previously denied Plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel, see Order
(Document # 11), finding no exceptional circumstances that would warrant appointment in a civil
action. See Cook v. Bounds, 518 F.2d 779, 780 (4th Cir. 1975). Plaintiff has since filed two
additional motions for appointment of counsel. In addition to the same grounds raised in his first
motion, Plaintiff adds to the subsequent motions that he has been diagnosed with colon cancer and
is undergoing treatment, which causes great fatigue, and once treatment is complete, he will undergo
surgery. While the court is not unsympathetic to Plaintiff’s medical treatment, the fact remains that
this civil rights action does not present complex issues, and, to this point, Plaintiff has demonstrated
that he is capable of representing himself in this matter. Therefore, his motions for appointment of
counsel are denied.
For the reasons discussed above, Plaintiff’s Motions to Amend (Documents # 18, 30, 39) are
GRANTED, Motion to Compel (Document # 46) is DENIED, and Motions to Appoint Counsel
(Documents # 57, 66) are DENIED. As set forth above, Plaintiff must file one, complete amended
complaint in accordance with his motions as well as the requisite service documents within ten
On the same day he filed his motion to compel, Plaintiff also filed a motion for extension
of time “to receive and respond to complete discovery.” Pl. Motion (Document # 47). However,
because the court finds that Defendants’ discovery responses were proper, no additional time is
necessary. Therefore, the motion is DENIED.
days of the date of this order. If Plaintiff fails to do so, the original complaint will remain in
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/Thomas E. Rogers, III
Thomas E. Rogers, III
United States Magistrate Judge
February 2, 2017
Florence, South Carolina
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