United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
TOMMIE L. CARTER, Plaintiff,
ANTONIO CUMMINGS, ROBERT PICKLE and JAY VANLANEN, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
BARBARA B. CRABB, District Judge
prisoner Tommie Carter is proceeding on the following claims:
(1) defendants Antonio Cummings and Robert Pickle were aware
of a substantial risk that plaintiff would seriously harm
himself on October 17, 2013, but they consciously failed to
take reasonable measures to prevent the harm, in violation of
the Eighth Amendment; and (2) defendant Jay Vanlanen refused
to take pictures of plaintiff's injuries on October 17,
2013, in order to prevent plaintiff from proving his
injuries, in violation of plaintiff's right to have
access to the courts. Two motions are before the court, both
filed by plaintiff: (1) a motion to compel discovery, dkt.
#77; and (2) a motion to extend the summary judgment deadline
from December 2, 2016, to May 12, 2017, dkt. #80. For the
reasons explained below, I am denying the request for an
extension of time and denying the motion to compel, with one
Motion to Compel
discussing plaintiff's individual discovery requests, I
note a problem with his motion, which is that it includes no
arguments regarding why he disagrees with defendants'
objections to his requests. Instead, he simply summarizes
each request and objection. It is not until his reply brief
that he explains why he believes he is entitled to the
has litigated enough cases in this court to know that he must
support every motion he files with a developed argument
showing why he is entitled to relief. Defendants should not
have to guess. Including an argument in a reply brief is not
sufficient because defendants do not have an opportunity to
respond to a reply brief. In this case, the arguments in
plaintiff's reply brief did not make any difference to
the outcome of the motion, so defendants are not unfairly
prejudiced. However, in the future, if plaintiff fails to
support a motion to compel or any other motion with a
developed argument, I will deny the motion without requiring
any response from the defendants. In addition, if plaintiff
files another motion to compel in this case or any other, he
should attach copies of both his discovery requests and
defendants' responses to them. This will allow the court
to more easily understand plaintiff's motion and increase
his chances of getting relief.
Request for production: Any and all grievances,
complaints, or other documents received by prison officials
at GBCI including the Warden, Deputy Warden, Security
Director, Psychological service or his agents concerning the
mistreatment of inmates by the Defendants and any memoranda,
investigative files or other documents created in response to
such complaints since October 17, 2013. Request for
production: Any logs, lists or other documents
reflecting grievances filed GBCI inmates from October 17,
2013 to the date of your response.
object to these requests on the ground that they are
overbroad and I agree.
no connection between plaintiff's claims and a request
for all grievances filed after October 17, 2013 or the logs
recording those grievances. In his reply brief, plaintiff
limits his request to grievances filed between October 17,
2013, and November 18, 2014, but he still does not explain
how grievances unrelated to the issues in this case could
help him prove his claims.
Policies related to prisoner self harm
for production: Any and all policies, directives, or
instructions to staff concerning the way to handle inmates
who cut themselves.
provided seemingly contradictory responses to this request.
First, they said that they had no responsive documents.
Second, they said that they had written training materials,
but they objected to producing them because the materials
could “provide the inmate with the criteria that could
allow for manipulating potential incidents, or thwarting
staff response. Inmates could use the details in these
materials to circumvent security practices or staff actions
creating a dangerous situation for the inmate, staff, and the
institution.” I understand defendants to be arguing
that the training materials do not qualify as
“policies, directives or instructions, ” but even
if they do, defendants should not be required to produce them
for security reasons.
reply brief, plaintiff says that he “is not asking for
training materials, ” dkt. #83 at 2, so I need not
decide whether defendants need to produce those. Instead,
plaintiff says that he wants the “materials that show
the responsibility of the officers when an inmate inform[s]
them that he was going to harm himself and actually does harm
himself.” Id. ...