Spencer v. City of Milwaukee Police Department et al
ORDER signed by Judge Pamela Pepper on 3/7/2018. 51 Plaintiff's motion to compel DENIED. 56 Plaintiff's request for clerk's entry of default DENIED. 59 Plaintiff's request for stipulation extending time limits DENIED. 61 P laintiff's letter request for order DENIED to the extent that he asks the court to order the prison to let him conduct depositions by phone. 65 Plaintiff's second motion to compel DENIED. 66 Plaintiff's supplemental motion to appoi nt counsel DENIED without prejudice. 67 Plaintiff's letter motion DENIED as moot. 68 Defendants' motion regarding plaintiff's improperly titled motions DENIED as moot. 69 Defendants' motion for extension of dispositive motio ns deadline GRANTED. 70 Plaintiff's motion for order to waive fees and rule on pending motions GRANTED. Within 14 days defendants to produce to plaintiff--free of charge--all documents, with the exception of transcripts, identified in their re sponses to his first and second requests for production of documents; defendants may produce some or all documents on CD. Within 30 days defendants shall serve the plaintiff--free of charge--with responses to his third set of requests for production of documents. Dispositive motions due by 5/25/2018; responses due within 30 days of service of the motion. (cc: all counsel, via mail to Jerpaul Spencer at Green Bay Correctional Institution)(cb)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
JERPAUL D. SPENCER,
Case No. 16-cv-662-pp
EDWARD A. FLYNN, et al.,
DECISION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION
TO COMPEL (DKT. NO. 51), DENYING PLAINTIFF’S REQUEST FOR
CLERK’S ENTRY OF DEFAULT (DKT. NO. 56), DENYING PLAINTIFF’S
REQUEST FOR STIPULATION EXTENDING TIME LIMITS (DKT. NO. 59),
DENYING PLAINTIFF’S LETTER MOTION (DKT. NO. 61), DENYING
PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY (DKT. NO. 65), DENYING
WITHOUT PREJUDICE PLAINTIFF’S SUPPLEMENTAL MOTION TO
APPOINT COUNSEL (DKT. NO. 66), DENYING AS MOOT PLAINTIFF’S
LETTER MOTION (DKT. NO. 67), DENYING AS MOOT DEFENDANTS’
MOTION REGARDING PLAINTIFF’S IMPROPERLY TITLED MOTIONS (DKT.
NO. 68), GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF
DEADLINE TO FILE DISPOSITIVE MOTIONS (DKT. NO. 69), GRANTING
PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR ORDER TO WAIVE FEES AND RULE ON
PENDING MOTIONS (DKT. NO. 70), DIRECTING DEFENDANTS TO
PRODUCE ALL DOCUMENTS IDENTIFIED IN THEIR RESPONSES TO
PLAINTIFF’S FIRST AND SECOND REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION OF
DOCUMENTS WITHIN FOURTEEN DAYS, DIRECTING DEFENDANTS TO
RESPOND TO PLAINTIFF’S THIRD REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF
DOCUMENTS WITHIN THIRTY DAYS, AND DIRECTING THE PARTIES TO
FILE DISPOSITIVE MOTIONS, TOGETHER WITH SUPPORTING
MATERIALS, ON OR BEFORE MAY 25, 2018
On August 23, 2016, District Judge Charles N. Clevert, Jr. granted the
plaintiff’s motion for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee, and
allowed the plaintiff to proceed on his Fourth Amendment claims regarding
warrantless searches and a possible City of Milwaukee policy or custom of
allowing, or at least encouraging, illegal searches and seizures. Dkt. No. 13 at
6. Defendant Milwaukee Police Department responded to the complaint by
filing a motion to dismiss. Dkt. No. 22. All of the defendants answered the
complaint. Dkt. No. 24. Judge Clevert denied as moot the Milwaukee Police
Department’s motion, dkt. no. 26, and entered a scheduling order, dkt. 27. On
January 26, 2017, Judge Clevert entered a series of text-only orders resolving
outstanding motions and extending the discovery deadline until April 1, 2017,
and the dispositive motion deadline until May 1, 2017. On March 15, 2017, the
case was reassigned to this court, due to Judge Clevert’s impeding retirement.
Since then, the parties have filed a number of motions, letters and
requests. Despite the fact that the case had been reassigned to this court, the
court did not respond to any of those documents, with the consequence that
there is something of a tangle of requests and responses. The responsibility for
the delay rests squarely with the court, and the court extends its apologies to
the parties for that delay. The court will attempt, in this order, to untangle the
knot and start the case moving forward again.
Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel (Dkt. No. 51)
On February 10, 2017, the plaintiff filed a motion to compel, alleging that
the defendants had not served timely responses to his first set of
interrogatories and requests for production of documents. Dkt. No. 51. He
stated that he’d made the demands on December 22 and 23, 2016, but that he
had not received responses as of the date on his motion (February 9, 2017). Id.
In opposition, the defendants argued that while the plaintiff had not tried to
meet and confer prior to filing the motion—as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)
and Civil L.R. 37 (E.D. Wis.)—they would send out their responses on March 6,
2017. Dkt. No. 54.
The defendants were correct that under the court’s local rules, a party
must try to work things out with the other side before filing a motion to compel;
a plaintiff who is in custody can make that effort by sending a letter to
opposing counsel. The plaintiff provided no proof that he did that, and under
normal circumstances, that would be a reason for the court to deny a motion to
Here, however, the defendants have filed a couple of pleadings, indicating
that they have provided the plaintiff with the discovery he requested. They
noted this in a motion they filed on April 27, 2017. Dkt. No. 68 at 2. They
explained it in more detail in a response they filed on August 24, 2017,
indicating that they had received the plaintiff’s December 2016 discovery
demands on December 27, 2016. Dkt. No. 71 at 1. They stated that they tried
to gather all the information he requested within thirty days, but they couldn’t
accomplish that task. Id. They indicate that they told the plaintiff at his
January 27, 2017 deposition that they were working on the responses, but that
they needed more time. Id. They concede that, in getting him the responses on
March 6, 2017, they were late in complying with his request. Id. at 1-2. They
indicated, however, that they did provide him the materials he requested, albeit
thirty-eight days after the due date. Id. at 2.
Because the defendants have responded to the plaintiff’s December 2016
discovery requests, the court will deny this motion as moot.
Plaintiff’s Motion to Request Clerk to Enter Default (Dkt. No.
On March 6, 2017, the clerk’s office received a motion from the plaintiff,
asking that the clerk enter default against the defendants. Dkt. No. 56. The
basis for this motion was the plaintiff’s assertion that the defendants had not
provided him with the discovery materials he’d requested in December 2016.
(The court notes that the plaintiff filed this motion on the date that the
defendants had said they’d provide him with the discovery.) The plaintiff also
asked the court to require the defendants to pay him $750 as fees, costs and
expenses of obtaining the order. Id. at 2.
The defendants opposed the plaintiff’s motion. Dkt. No. 60. They first
argued that the plaintiff had not established default. Id. at 1-2. They also
argued that the plaintiff was not entitled to payment of $750, because he had
not complied with the meet-and-confer requirement before filing the motion,
and because they’d provided the discovery and the plaintiff had not proved that
he’d incurred $750 in costs. Id. at 2.
Rule 55(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires the clerk of
court to enter default “[w]hen a party against whom a judgment for affirmative
relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend, and that failure is
shown by affidavit of otherwise.” A plaintiff may seek default under Rule 55(a)
when the defendant does not plead—that is, when a defendant either fails to
file an answer to the complaint, or files to file some other kind of defense or
response to the lawsuit.
The court understands that because the plaintiff is not a lawyer, he may
not understand the difference between pleading—responding to the filing of a
lawsuit—and providing discovery. In the context of Rule 55(a), to “plead” means
to answer or respond to the complaint. Here, the defendants did plead—the
City filed a motion to dismiss (which is an acceptable response to a complaint),
and all of the defendants answered (which is the most traditional pleading in
response to a complaint). The remedy for a plaintiff who has not received
discovery is not default. The remedy is for the plaintiff to meet and confer with
the other side, and if that fails, to file a motion to compel.
There is no basis for the clerk to enter default. The court will deny the
plaintiff’s motion for default.
Plaintiff’s Request for Stipulation for Extending Time Limits
for Discovery (Dkt. No. 59)
On March 23, 2017, the court received a motion from the plaintiff (which
he dated March 20, 2017), asking the court to extend the deadline for
completing discovery (which Judge Clevert had set for April 1, 2017). Dkt. No.
59. He explained that he hadn’t received the discovery he’d requested in
December 2016 until March 6, 2017, and that that left him with little time to
amend his discovery requests or rebut. He asked for an additional nineteen
days to complete discovery. Id.
Obviously, had the court seen this motion at the time the plaintiff filed it,
it could have taken action to avoid much of the docket activity that has ensued
since. The court did not act timely on the plaintiff’s motion, and it should have.
The court will try to remedy that here. The court will deny this motion—the
plaintiff has filed three sets of discovery demands—but will extend the deadline
for the defendants to respond to all of his requests.
Plaintiff’s Letter Motion for Order (Dkt. No. 61)
On March 27, 2017, the court received a letter from the plaintiff, in
which he described the difficulties he had been having conducting discovery as
a pro se prisoner. Dkt. No. 61. He reiterated that he hadn’t received the
responses to his December 2016 discovery requests until March 6, 2017, but
added that when he received the responses, the defendants told him that he
would have to make a prepayment of approximately $90.00 before they would
send him 161 responsive documents and two CDs. Id. The plaintiff said that in
the alternative, the defendants had offered to let him go to defense counsel’s
office to inspect the discovery, which would be impossible for the plaintiff
because he is incarcerated. Id. He explained that he was indigent, and could
not afford to pay the fees defense counsel had demanded. Id. The plaintiff also
reported that he had tried to gather his medical records from the Milwaukee
County Jail, but that he could not pay the $35.85 prepayment the jail
requested. Id. The plaintiff asked the court to give him an order or a letter that
he could give the prison as proof that he needed access to a telephone that
would record, so that he could conduct telephone depositions. Id. Finally, he
asked the court to waive the fees associated with obtaining the discovery. Id.
The court will deny the plaintiff’s letter motion for an order to give to the
prison. The plaintiff has sought, and received, some discovery materials from
the defendants, which should give him some of the information he could have
obtained in discovery. At the end of this order, the court will direct the
defendants to provide the plaintiff with additional materials. As for depositions,
the burden of arranging for depositions, getting them recorded and paying the
costs of the deposition rests with the party seeking the deposition. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 30(b). The court will not order the prison to bear the burden of those
costs. Most incarcerated plaintiffs are able to obtain the information they need
through written discovery, and the court will not order the prison to bear the
cost of the plaintiff conducting depositions.
As for the plaintiff’s request for a waiver of the fees the defendants have
demanded, the court will address that request below.
Defendants’ March 30, 2017 Letter (Dkt. No. 63)
On the court’s web site, it has posted practice tips for lawyers.
www.wied.uscourts.gov. Section II(F) of those procedures advises lawyers that if
they want the court to do something, they should file motions or notices, not
Nonetheless, on March 30, 2017, the court received a letter from counsel
for the defendants. Dkt. No. 63. Counsel stated that the letter was “in response
to Plaintiff’s letter dated March 23, 2017 and his request for stipulation
extending time limits for discovery.” Id. at 1. Counsel stated that although she
was sympathetic to the fact that the plaintiff was indigent, the defendants were
not obligated to give him his discovery free of charge. Id. She indicated that
there was nothing “stopping him from sending a member of his family or a
friend to look over the documents for him.” Id. She asserted that the plaintiff
could obtain some of the documents “directly from the source.” Id. She stated
that in an effort to be understanding, she had offered to copy the documents
the plaintiff requested at a fee of $0.25 per page. Id. She indicated that the
defendants “vigorously oppose[d]” any characterization of the defendants as
being evasive or prolonging discovery. Id. In turn, she characterized the
plaintiff’s discovery requests as overly broad and burdensome, argued that the
plaintiff had not signed releases until the court ordered him to do so in late
January 2017, and asserted that any delays were the plaintiff’s fault. Id. at 1-2.
Defense counsel also objected “to Plaintiff’s third request for production
as untimely.” Id. at 2. While apparently acknowledging that the plaintiff had
tried to ask the court to extend the discovery deadline, counsel nonetheless
argued that the plaintiff had mailed the third request on March 20 and that the
defendants had not received it until March 24, under the April 1, 2017
discovery deadline. Id. She stated, “Defendants ask the Court to strike the
request, or alternatively, to grant Plaintiff’s incorrectly titled motion for an
extension of the discovery deadline.” Id. Finally, counsel asked the court to set
a status conference at its earliest convenience. Id.
The court will address the points raised in this letter in relation to other
motions below. It notes only that this letter is the first mention of the plaintiff
having made a third discovery demand.
Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Discovery (Dkt. No. 65)
On March 31, 2017, the court received from the plaintiff a second motion
to compel. Dkt. No. 65. The plaintiff indicated that he’d served a second set of
discovery demands on the defendants on February 13, 2017, but that the
defendants had not timely responded. Id. at 1. He said that he attempted to
meet and confer with the defendants by sending a letter asking them to
respond to his discovery requests. Id. He asked the court require the
defendants to pay him $750 in fees and costs. Id. at 2.
The court accepts the plaintiff’s assertion that this time, he did comply
with the court’s meet-and-confer requirements. In the pleading filed April 27,
2017, however, the defendants indicated that they had responded to the
plaintiff’s second set of discovery demands. Dkt. No. 68 at 2. The plaintiff also
conceded, in an April 24, 2017 letter to the court, that the defendants had
responded to the request (although he noted that he received the information
only a week before the April 1, 2017 discovery deadline). Dkt. No. 67 at 2.
Because the plaintiff now has received responses to his second set of discovery
demands, the court will deny this motion as moot.
Plaintiff’s Supplemental Motion to Appoint Counsel (Dkt. No.
On March 31, 2017, the court received the plaintiff’s supplemental
motion to appoint counsel. Dkt. No. 66. He noted that the court had denied his
first motion, and explained that he’d been unsuccessful since then in retaining
a lawyer on his own. Id. at 1. He reiterated the problems he’d had getting his
discovery on time. Id. He discussed the fact that the defendants had objected to
many of his requests, had suggested he could obtain some materials through
public records requests, and had made unreasonable demands that he come
and review the documents at defense counsel’s offices or pay for records. Id. at
2. He reiterated that his case is legally and factually complex, and argues that
it is possible his case should be joined with other cases involving similar
issues. Id. at 3. For all of these reasons, he asks the court to appoint counsel
to represent him.
A court in a civil case has discretion to decide whether to recruit a lawyer
for someone who cannot afford one. Navejar v. Iyola, 718 F.3d 692, 696 (7th
Cir. 2013); 28 U.S.C § 1915(e)(1); Ray v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., 706
F.3d 864, 866-67 (7th Cir. 2013). First, the person has to make a reasonable
effort to hire private counsel on their own. Pruitt v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 653
(7th Cir. 2007). The plaintiff has done that, dkt. no. 66-1, which means that
the court must decide “whether the difficulty of the case – factually and legally
– exceeds the particular plaintiff’s capacity as a layperson to coherently present
it.” Navejar, 718 F.3d at 696 (citing Pruitt, 503 F.3d at 655). To decide that, the
court looks, not only at the plaintiff’s ability to try his case, but also at his
ability to perform other “tasks that normally attend litigation,” such as
“evidence gathering” and “preparing and responding to motions.” Id.
The court finds that the plaintiff has satisfied the first Pruitt factor—he
has submitted proof that he tried, unsuccessfully, to find a lawyer on his own.
Nonetheless, the court will deny the plaintiff’s supplemental motion to appoint
counsel without prejudice. The court does not have funds to pay lawyers to
represent plaintiffs in civil cases (unlike it does in criminal cases, where the
Constitution mandates that the defendants be represented by counsel). Most
inmates who file lawsuits have no legal training and little money, and most ask
the court to appoint counsel to represent them. There are not enough volunteer
lawyers to represent everyone who asks for one. This is why the court must
carefully consider whether, at each stage of the case, a plaintiff has the ability
to present his arguments on his own.
The plaintiff has presented his claims and legal issues to the court
clearly and concisely; his motions and letters are easy to understand. He has
effectively used the discovery process to obtain information relevant to his
claims. The next step in the process is for him to decide whether to file a
motion for summary judgment, and prepare a response to the defendants’
motion for summary judgment, if they file one. If any of the plaintiff’s claims
survive summary judgment, the court will be willing to entertain another
motion asking the court to recruit pro bono counsel to represent the plaintiff.
VIII. Plaintiff’s Letter Motion to Waive Fees and Extend Discovery
Deadline (Dkt. No. 67)
On April 25, 2017, the court received a letter from the plaintiff. Dkt. No.
67. The plaintiff referred the court again to the fact that the defendants had
offered him the opportunity to view discovery at defense counsel’s offices; he
made clear that he wished to see the materials at the prison, and at no cost to
himself. Id. at 1. He argued that the defendants’ offer to let him inspect the
discovery in Milwaukee was unreasonable, given his status as an inmate. Id.
He also argued that their suggestion that a “representative,” friend or family
member could come inspect the documents was unreasonable, as well; he does
not have a representative, and neither friends nor family would know what to
look for. Id. He asked the court (again) to either waive the fees the defendants
demanded, or allow him to pay them once the case is over. Id. at 2.
The plaintiff also noted that the defendants had asked the court to strike
his third discovery requests as untimely. Id. He argued that the defendants had
been late in responding to his first and second discovery requests, leaving him
only a very short period of time to seek any additional documents; in essence,
he argued that the defendants had caused the time shortage of which they
complained. Id. Finally, he asked the court to rule on all of his pending
The court will address the plaintiff’s request for fee waiver below. It also
will, as it has indicated, extend the deadline for the defendants to respond to
the plaintiff’s discovery demands.
Defendants’ Motion Regarding Plaintiff’s Improperly Titled
Motions (Dkt. No. 68)
On April 27, 2017, the defendants filed a motion. Dkt. No. 68. They
noted that the plaintiff had filed a number of requests and letters, as well as
the motions the court discussed above. Id. at 1-2. Ironically, despite having
sent the court a letter themselves on March 30 (dkt. no. 63), they speculate
that the plaintiff might have filed several letters because he appeared to be
unaware of the court’s practice tips for lawyers. Id. at 1. They indicated that
they were bringing the motion “in an effort to highlight the outstanding issues;”
in other words, to remind the court that there were motions pending. Id. They
explained that they had responded to two of the plaintiff’s three sets of
discovery demands, and asserted again that he hadn’t filed his third set in time
to give them the ability to respond before the April 1, 2017 discovery deadline.
Id. at 2. They asked that the court either strike the plaintiff’s third request for
production, or construe it as a motion to extend the discovery deadline and
grant it. Id. They also asked the court to schedule a status conference to
discuss the pending issues. Id. Finally, they asked the court to deny the
plaintiff’s request for entry of default, deny the motions to compel, and extend
the discovery deadline. Id. at 2-3.
The court already has denied the plaintiff’s request for entry of default
and his motions to compel. The court will deny the defendants’ motion to strike
the plaintiff’s third set of discovery requests. The court will, as it has indicated
above, extend the discovery deadline, and the dispositive motions deadline.
Defendant’s Civil L. R. 7(h) Motion for Extension of Deadline
to File Dispositive Motions (Dkt. No. 69)
The defendants reiterate in this motion their reminders to the court that
there were a number of outstanding motions pending. Dkt. No. 69 at 1. They
asked the court to rule on those motions, and to extend the deadlines for filing
dipositive motions. Id. at 2. The court advises the defendants that the local rule
allowing expedited non-dispositive motion practice “do[es] not apply to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 actions brought by incarcerated persons proceeding pro se.” Civil
L.R. 7(h)(3). Nevertheless, the court finds good cause to extend the deadline for
filing dispositive motions. The court will grant this motion and set a deadline
for the parties to file motions for summary judgment.
Plaintiff’s Supplemental Motion for Discovery Disclosure and
Fees (Dkt. No. 70)
On August 3, 2017, the court received this motion from the plaintiff. Dkt.
No. 70. He reiterates in the motion all the issues he previously had raised
regarding discovery, including the fees the defendants had told him he must
pay and his arguments regarding the unreasonableness of their requests. Id. at
1-3. He again asked the court to waive the fees, or to allow him to pay them at
the end of the case. Id. at 4. He reiterated that it wasn’t his fault that his third
discovery requests were served when they were, and asked the court to order
the defendants to respond to those requests. Id. Finally, he again asked the
court to rule on all the prior motions. Id. The plaintiff attached to the motion a
chart prepared by the defendants that shows a cost of $469.25, plus tax and
shipping, if plaintiff obtains his medical records, the documents he has
requested, and the deposition transcripts from the City of Milwaukee. Dkt. No.
70-1. The chart shows that the City of Milwaukee has paid $2,422.82 to obtain
these documents, though the court notes that the vast majority of that is the
$1,865.15 it incurred deposing the plaintiff on two separate dates. Id. The
defendants’ calculations are based on a $0.25 per page copy cost. Id.
The defendants responded to the motion, reiterating everything they’d
said in their previous letter and filings. Dkt. No. 71. They ask the court to deny
the motion to waive fees, to strike the third set of discovery demands or extend
the deadline for responding to them, and grant their motion to extend the
dispositive motions deadline. Id. at 5.
The court is somewhat taken aback by the defendants’ arguments that
they are justified in requiring the plaintiff to pay for photocopies of the
documents he requested in discovery. The defendants frequently face litigation
from indigent, incarcerated plaintiffs who do not have the funds to pay for
discovery the way parties in traditional civil litigation do. The defendants’
refusal to provide the plaintiff with documents responsive to legitimate
discovery requests without prepayment is unreasonable, and ignores the reality
of inmate civil rights litigation under §1983.
It is also unreasonable, if not disingenuous, for the defendants to offer
the plaintiff the option of coming to its Milwaukee offices to view discovery. The
plaintiff accurately points out that he is not free to travel to Milwaukee, and
does not have a “representative,” whatever the defendants mean by that. The
court agrees with the plaintiff that the defendants’ suggestion that he send a
friend or family member to review the discovery for him makes no sense, and
furthermore, the court finds that that suggestion violates the letter and spirit of
the statutes and rules governing discovery. The law requires parties to provide
discovery to parties, not to their friends, or their families. The defendants are
required to provide discovery to the plaintiff.
The court will grant the plaintiff’s motion for waiver of the fees demanded
by the defendants. The court will require the defendants to produce to the
plaintiff free of charge the documents identified in the defendants’ responses to
the plaintiff’s first and second requests for production of documents. In his
letters, the plaintiff reasonably indicates that he is willing to accept the
documents on a CD, which would enable him to view them at the prison
without the defendants incurring the cost of copying hundreds of pages. The
court will allow defendants to produce whatever documents they are able to
produce on CD. The defendants must produce on paper any documents that
they are unable to put on CDs, and they must produce those documents to the
plaintiff free of charge. The only exception the court will make to this order is
for the deposition transcripts, which are the property of the court reporter. The
defendants cannot copy those for the plaintiff. The defendants shall produce all
documents other than the transcripts within fourteen (14) days of this order.
As the court indicated, it will deny the defendants’ motion to strike the
plaintiff’s third set of discovery requests. The court agrees with the plaintiff
that it is somewhat ironic that the defendants continue to insist that his third
request was untimely. The defendants’ responses to the plaintiff’s first set of
discovery demands were due somewhere around January 26 or 27, 2017. The
defendants did not provide the plaintiff with those documents until March 6,
2017—over a month late—and the defendants appear to have expected the
plaintiff to accept that without complaint. Meanwhile, the plaintiff issued a
second set of discovery demands; he indicates that the defendants were late in
responding to those, as well. He appears to have issued his third request for
production only after he’d reviewed the documents the defendants had
provided (and after he’d been told repeatedly that they would not produce
certain responsive documents unless he paid). And he asked the court to
extend the discovery deadline—it was not his fault, and not for lack of trying,
that the court did not timely respond.
The defendants have asserted that the plaintiff’s discovery demands are
overbroad and burdensome. The court will give the defendants a mechanism
for dealing with any demands they feel they cannot meet. The defendants may
contact the court’s staff by telephone, and ask the court to schedule a
telephone conference. The court understands that the defendants suggested
this in some of their filings. In the future, until the discovery is completed in
this case, the court offers the defendants the option of calling chambers, and
asking the court to set up a telephone conference. The court then will contact
the defendant’s institution and arrange for a call, if that is what is necessary to
make sure that the defendants are able to comply with the plaintiff’s requests.
The court will order the defendants to respond to the plaintiff’s third
request for production of documents within thirty (30) days of this order, and
to produce all responsive documents free of charge.
To be clear to all parties: the court is not reopening discovery. The
parties may not serve any new discovery demands. The court is extending the
deadline for the defendants to respond to the demands the plaintiff already has
The court DENIES the plaintiff’s motion to compel. Dkt. No. 51.
The court DENIES the plaintiff’s request for Clerk’s Entry of Default. Dkt.
The court DENIES the plaintiff’s request for a stipulation extending time
limits. Dkt. No. 59.
The court DENIES the plaintiff’s letter request for an order, to the extent
that he asks the court to order the prison to let him conduct depositions by
telephone. Dkt. No. 61.
The court DENIES the plaintiff’s second motion to compel. Dkt. No. 65.
The court DENIES WITHOUT PREJUDICE the plaintiff’s supplemental
motion to appoint counsel. Dkt. No. 66.
The court DENIES AS MOOT the plaintiff’s letter motion. Dkt. No. 67.
The court DENIES AS MOOT the defendants’ motion regarding plaintiff’s
improperly titled motions. Dkt. No. 68.
The court GRANTS the defendants’ motion for extension of the deadline
for filing dispositive motions. Dkt. No. 69.
The court GRANTS the plaintiff’s motion for order to waive fees and rule
on pending motions. Dkt. No. 70.
The court ORDERS that, within fourteen (14) days of this order, the
defendants shall produce to the plaintiff all of the documents identified in their
responses to the plaintiff’s first and second requests for production of
documents, with the exception of deposition transcripts. The defendants shall
produce these documents without charging the plaintiff for photocopies or
postage or any other fee. The defendants may produce some or all of these
documents on CDs for the plaintiff to view them electronically.
The court ORDERS that, within thirty (30) days of this order, the
defendants shall serve the plaintiff with responses to the plaintiff’s third set of
requests for production of documents. The defendants shall provide these
documents free of charge.
The court ORDERS that any party wishing to file dispositive motions
shall do so by the end of the day on May 25, 2018. Responses to dispositive
motions are due within thirty (30) days of service of the motion, under Judge
Clevert’s October 26, 2016 scheduling order. Dkt. No. 27.
Dated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this 7th day of March, 2018.
BY THE COURT:
HON. PAMELA PEPPER
United States District Judge
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