United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION
FOR EXTENSION OF TIME (DKT. NO. 27), DENYING
PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR ORDER (DKT. NO. 28), AND DENYING
PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO APPOINT OFFICER OF THE COURT
(DKT. NO. 29)
PAMELA PEPPER United States District Judge
29, 2016, the court received several motions from plaintiff
Daniel Anthony Peace, a state prisoner who is proceeding
pro se on claims under 42 U.S.C. §1983. The
plaintiff also filed a motion for preliminary injunction and
temporary restraining order on July 5, 2016, but the
defendants have not yet responded to that motion.
MOTION FOR 60-DAY EXTENSION (DKT. NO. 27)
motion, the plaintiff asks the court to extend the July 22,
2016, discovery deadline by sixty days. Dkt. No. 27. The
reasons he gives for seeking the extension include: (1) that
he wants to give the defendants a second chance to turn over
his discovery requests; (2) that he may have to contact other
inmates (possibly at other institutions) to ask them to sign
releases for their medical records; (3) that he has requested
a court officer to depose defendants; (4) that he needs
additional time to review his medical file and his inmate
complaint file; and (5) that he has asked the court to
authorize him to use money in his release account to make
defendants filed a response to this motion, Dkt. No. 34, and
the plaintiff filed a reply, Dkt. No. 35. The plaintiff
asserts in his reply brief that the defendants do no dispute
his motion for an extension of the discovery deadline, Dkt.
No. 35 at 1, but that is not entirely true. In fact, the
defendants responded that they timely responded to the
discovery requests the plaintiff served on them, that they
are working on additional responses, and that the plaintiff
has had ample opportunity to serve them with discovery. Dkt.
No. 34 at 1-2. Rather than agreeing to an extension of the
discovery deadline, they propose that the court
extend the dispositive motion deadline by sixty
days, which will give the plaintiff additional time to review
his medical file and inmate complaint file. Id. at
court will grant the plaintiff’s motion for extension
of time, and will impose new deadlines for both the close of
discovery and the filing of dispositive motions. The
court’s decisions regarding the plaintiff’s other
motions may limit the amount of discovery the plaintiff has
left to do, but the court will provide him with the
additional time he requests.
MOTION FOR ORDER AUTHORIZING USE OF RELEASE ACCOUNT (DKT. NO.
plaintiff asks the court to authorize him to use $16.98 from
his prison release account to pay for copies of documents he
seeks. Dkt. No. 28. The documents relate to the names of
other inmates who were receiving “medical ice” at
the time relevant to this case. Id. at 1. In
discovery, the defendants objected to the plaintiff’s
requests for the names of those inmates, and also objected to
the plaintiff’s requests for any complaints the
defendants ruled on regarding medical records. Id.
The defendants maintain that this information is privileged,
and that the inmates would have to sign authorizations to
release their medical records to the plaintiff. Id.
As a result, the plaintiff wants to send authorizations to
these inmates (through the defendants) so that he can obtain
this information. Id. at 1-2.
are a number of problems with the plaintiff’s plan.
First, the court will not allow the plaintiff to use funds
from his prison release account to conduct discovery.
Although the court may allow an inmate to use funds from a
prison release account to pay a filing fee, such fees are
required to proceed with the case. Use of funds to conduct
discovery is discretionary, and the court will not undermine
the intent behind the concept of the prisoner release account
by allowing the plaintiff to access the release account to
fund litigation costs. See Wis. Adm.Code. § DOC
309.466 (stating that disbursements from a prisoner's
release account are authorized "for purposes that will
aid the inmate's reintegration into the community").
As the Seventh Circuit has instructed, “like any other
civil litigant, [a prisoner] must decide which of [his] legal
actions is important enough to fund, ” Lindell v.
McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107, 1111 (7th Cir. 2003).
the plaintiff’s proposed use of the funds is not
appropriate discovery. While the plaintiff has not filed a
motion to compel discovery, the court must note that: (1) it
would be unduly onerous for the court to require the
defendants to identify these other inmates who were
prescribed medical ice in the relevant time period, and (2)
it would be inappropriate for the plaintiff to ask other
inmates to sign authorizations to release their medical
records to him. Those inmates aren’t parties to this
case, and they have privacy rights in their medical records.
Nor has the plaintiff demonstrated how the fact that other
inmates may have been prescribed “medical ice” is
relevant to his claim that the defendants were deliberately
indifferent to his need for medical ice.
court will deny the plaintiff’s motion for an order
authorizing use of his prison release account.
MOTION TO APPOINT OFFICER OF THE COURT (DKT. NO. 29)
motion, the plaintiff asks the court to appoint an officer of
the court because he mailed three deposition requests to the
defendants on June 7, 2016, and would like to use the
information if there is a trial. Dkt. No. 29. The plaintiff
attached to his motion lists of questions that, if allowed to
depose them, he would ask defendants Bradley Turner and
Bonnie Lind, as well as a witness, a nurse named B. Rudack.
Dkt. No. 29-1.
appears that the plaintiff may be attempting to take
depositions by written questions under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 31. If that is the case, it is not clear why the
plaintiff would need an “officer of the
court”-usually, in the context of depositions, a court
reporter. If the plaintiff is proposing to conduct an oral
deposition of these three individuals, he has not-as the
defendants point out in their response-complied with the
requirements of the rules. For an oral deposition under Rule
30-as with any discovery request-it is the plaintiff’s
responsibility to arrange and fund the discovery process,
including issuing subpoenas and having them served on the
witnesses (or getting the defendants’ agreement to
depose them), hiring a court reporter or other officer of the
court to create and certify a deposition transcript, and
paying non-party witness fees. If the plaintiff is unable to
afford these things, he must find alternate means of
obtaining discovery-and such alternate means do exist. For
example, with regard to his requests to defendants Turner and
Lind, the plaintiff provides no ...