United States District Court, D. New Jersey, Camden Vicinage
AARON R. JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
LOUIS KING, Defendant.
Aaron R. Johnson, Bridgeton, NJ, Pro se Plaintiff.
James T. Dugan, Atlantic County Department of Law, Atlantic City, New Jersey, Attorney for Defendant.
RENÉE MARIE BUMB, District Judge.
This matter comes before the Court upon a motion by Defendant Louis King ("Defendant") to renew his motion for summary judgment. For the reasons that follow, Defendant's motion is denied and this matter will proceed to trial on June 19, 2014, as this Court will reconsider its prior decision regarding the costs of transporting Plaintiff's key witness.
Pro se Plaintiff, Aaron Johnson ("Plaintiff"), claims, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, that Defendant violated his constitutional right to be free from excessive force while he was a pre-trial detainee incarcerated in the Atlantic County Justice Facility. Plaintiff claims that on August 11, 2010, Defendant, a corrections officer at the facility, kicked him down a set of stairs while Defendant was escorting Plaintiff from the showers. Plaintiff's principal evidence in support of this claim is the eyewitness account of his cellmate - Michael Williams. Plaintiff has offered the testimony of no others in support of his contention that his fall was caused by Defendant kicking him. The only support for his contention are his own statements, as informed by Williams, and a written statement by Williams stating that "I seen [sic] Officer L. King kick Aaron Johnson down a flight stairs [sic]." [Docket No. 42 at Ex. D]. Defendant disputes Plaintiff's version of events and claims that Plaintiff simply fell down the stairs.
In this Court's prior Order [Docket No. 44], the Court found that Plaintiff could proceed with his claim against Defendant in his individual capacity as Plaintiff intended to present the live testimony of Williams at trial. Pursuant to motions in limine, this matter was set to proceed to a bifurcated trial with the liability portion of trial set to commence on January 13, 2014. Plaintiff's only fact witness, Williams, was ordered by this Court to be produced without the prepayment of fees by Plaintiff. [Docket No. 57].
On December 20, 2013, Defendant moved for reconsideration as to the production of inmate Williams at the expense of the State. [Docket No. 58]. This Court granted that motion for reconsideration and found that all costs related to producing Williams needed to be paid in advance by the Plaintiff pursuant to N.J.A.C. 10A:3-9.13, which states, in relevant part:
(a) The costs of transporting an inmate to court for civil action will be paid by the Department of Corrections when:
1. The cause of action is related to the inmate's confinement.
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(b) The cost of transporting an inmate to court for a civil action other than those listed in (a) above shall be paid in advance of the transportation by:
1. The inmate;
2. The inmate's attorney or ...