United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge United States District
Robert Reifschneider, who is incarcerated at Wisconsin Secure
Program Facility (WSPF) and representing himself, filed this
civil action on July 18, 2018. Reifschneider alleges that,
during May of 2015 while housed at Columbia Correctional
Institution (CCI), his civil rights were violated when
Defendant Dustin R. Kingsland beat him in his cell and the
other defendants failed to intervene. The court twice granted
leave for Reifschneider to amend his complaint. Presently
before the court is Reifschneider's motion to compel
discovery and motion for leave to file a third amended
complaint. For the reasons below, these motions will be
Motion to Compel
motion to compel, Reifschneider asks the court to compel
responses to Interrogatory No. 1 in his First Set of
Interrogatories and Document Request No. 10 in his First Set
of Requests for Production of Documents. Interrogatory No. 1
The full name, department of corrections' identification
number (if wrong or not provided) and full address where the
inmate is currently located of 1) all inmates housed on lower
B tier Unit 9 on 5/17/15, 2) Oscar McMillian 42747, 3) Paul
Asik 522666, 4) Jacob Baker 316255, 5) Todd Jones, 6) Anthony
Haessley 526045, 7) Ray Kelly 423469, and; 8) Peter Yang.
Dkt. No. 38-1 at 9. When Reifschneider attempted to contact
individuals based on the defendants' response, some
letters were sent back to him, leading him to believe that
the defendants provided false information.
evidence suggests falsity. Attachments to Reifschneider's
motion appear to show that he sent several letters before he
received the defendants' response in December 2018.
See Id. at 1-4 (postmarked August 2018).
Reifschneider also attempted to contact Anthony Haessly
(identified as “Haessley”) via a parole office
address, but his letter was returned with the phrase
“Not at this Add[ress].” Id. at 5. A
letter Reifschneider sent to Oscar McMillian was also
returned, apparently because no P.O. Box was listed.
Id. at 7. Defendants have no control over what
Haessly's probation office does with mail addressed to
him. Moreover, that Reifschneider did not list a P.O. Box in
his letter to McMillian-despite inmates being advised in an
inmate handbook to list a P.O. Box in correspondence to other
inmates, Michael Glass Decl. Dkt. No. 42 at ¶ 11-does
not mean the defendants provided false information.
also challenges the defendants' objection to the first
subpart of his interrogatory. The defendants objected to
providing the name, DOC number, and address of each inmate
housed on Lower B Tier Unit 9 at CCI on May 17, 2015, as
overly broad, burdensome, and without reasonable limitation.
Defendants explained in their response (and again in
opposition to the present motion) that retrieving the
requested information would require that the electronically
stored bed assignments for each of the approximately 800
inmates at CCI be reviewed, a task estimated to require a
minimum of one to two weeks of full-time work for a reviewing
staff member. Dkt. Nos. 38-1 at 10; 41 at ¶¶ 9-11.
The defendants are correct that requiring such a task would
be overly broad and burdensome, especially given that there
are twelve cells in Lower B Tier Unit 9, only three of which
would be able to see the area outside Reifschneider's
cell and three of which would be able to hear sounds from the
cell. Dkt. No. 42 at ¶ 8. No. relief is therefore
appropriate regarding Interrogatory No. 1.
second challenge is to the defendants' response to his
Document Request No. 10. This Request states:
Any rules and regulations, including but not limited to
Internal Operating Procedures, regarding or making a
statement about physical altercations, entering a cell,
and/or the use of pepper spray, mace, and a taser,
promulgated in affect [sic] during the time mentioned in the
Dkt. No. 38-1 at 15. Defendants objected to this request on
the grounds that the policies at issue are kept confidential
to protect the security of the institution and safety of
staff, inmates, and visitors. According to the defendants,
the policies contain confidential security practices,
procedures, and methods, and release of the information would
breach the security and safety of the institution. Consistent
with standard practice, the defendants allowed Reifschneider
to submit an interview/information request to WSPF Litigation
Coordinator Ellen Ray to review the policies, and he was
allowed to take notes during the review. He was not allowed
to maintain a copy of the policies.
claims the review-and-take-notes practice is insufficient
because he is not the person actually litigating the action
and he would want to produce the policies as exhibits to the
court and jury. That Reifschneider is receiving help in this
litigation does not mean that he is not capable of recording
in notes the portions of the policies he finds relevant to
his claims. To the extent Reifschneider needs the policies
entered as an exhibit at summary judgment or during trial,
the defendants have indicated their willingness to provide a
copy to the court. Dkt. No. 41 at 6.
further explanation about why the review-and-take-notes
policy is inadequate, no further response need be compelled.
This is especially the case in light of courts'
recognition that “[t]he security of the prison and the
public is a valid penological goal, and a prison's
regulations designed to achieve that goal are subject to
substantial deference.” Sebolt v. Samuels, 749
Fed.Appx. 458, 460 (7th Cir. 2018).