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Costantino v. City of Atlantic

United States District Court, D. New Jersey, Camden Vicinage

April 10, 2015

JANINE COSTANTINO, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF ATLANTIC CITY, et al., Defendants

          For ATLANTIC COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE, Movant: KATHLEEN E. BOND, LEAD ATTORNEY, Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, Mays Landing, NJ.

         For JANINE COSTANTINO, Plaintiff, Counter Defendant: JENNIFER ANN BONJEAN, LEAD ATTORNEY, BONJEAN LAW GROUP PLLC, BROOKLYN, NY.

         For CITY OF ATLANTIC CITY, POLICE OFFICER STERLING WHEATEN, Defendants, Cross Defendants: TRACY RILEY, LEAD ATTORNEY, MICHAEL E. RILEY, LAW OFFICES OF RILEY & RILEY, MOUNT HOLLY, NJ.

         For POLICE OFFICER JOSEPH GAROFALO, RON ANISETTE, DUSK NIGHT CLUB SECURITY MANAGER, DUSK NIGHT CLUB, DUSK MANAGEMENT GROUP, AC NIGHTLIFE, LLC, GARY VELORIC, RED STRIPE PLANE GROUP, Defendants: JOHN ANTHONY UNDERWOOD, LEAD ATTORNEY, UNDERWOOD & MICKLIN LLC, CHERRY HILL, NJ.

         For CAESAR'S ENTERTAINMENT CORP., CAESAR'S HOTEL & CASINO, Defendants, Cross Claimants, Cross Defendants: RUSSELL L. LICHTENSTEIN, LEAD ATTORNEY, COOPER, LEVENSON, PA, ATLANTIC CITY, NJ.

         For AC NIGHTLIFE, LLC, DUSK MANAGEMENT GROUP, DUSK NIGHT CLUB, POLICE OFFICER JOSEPH GAROFALO, RED STRIPE PLANE GROUP, GARY VELORIC, Cross Defendants, Cross Claimants: JOHN ANTHONY UNDERWOOD, LEAD ATTORNEY, UNDERWOOD & MICKLIN LLC, CHERRY HILL, NJ.

         For CITY OF ATLANTIC CITY, Cross Defendant: JOHN ANTHONY UNDERWOOD, LEAD ATTORNEY, UNDERWOOD & MICKLIN LLC, CHERRY HILL, NJ; TRACY RILEY, LEAD ATTORNEY, LAW OFFICES OF RILEY & RILEY, MOUNT HOLLY, NJ.

         For POLICE OFFICER STERLING WHEATEN, Cross Defendant: TRACY RILEY, LEAD ATTORNEY, LAW OFFICES OF RILEY & RILEY, MOUNT HOLLY, NJ.

         For CITY OF ATLANTIC CITY, POLICE OFFICER STERLING WHEATEN, Cross Claimants, Counter Claimants: MICHAEL E. RILEY, LAW OFFICES OF RILEY & RILEY, MOUNT HOLLY, NJ.

         For CITY OF ATLANTIC CITY, Cross Defendant: TRACY RILEY, LEAD ATTORNEY, MICHAEL E. RILEY, LAW OFFICES OF RILEY & RILEY, MOUNT HOLLY, NJ.

         For RON ANISETTE, DUSK NIGHT CLUB SECURITY MANAGER, Cross Claimant: JOHN ANTHONY UNDERWOOD, LEAD ATTORNEY, UNDERWOOD & MICKLIN LLC, CHERRY HILL, NJ.

          OPINION

         JOEL SCHNEIDER, United States Magistrate Judge.

         The incessant discovery disputes regarding the production of Atlantic City's Internal Affairs (" IA" ) files which have plagued the case have gone on long enough. It is time to end the bickering. The Court will decide once and for all how many Internal Affairs (" IA" ) files Atlantic City must produce in discovery.[1] The Court does not want there to be any ambiguity about its ruling. In short, plaintiff will get everything she originally asked for. Atlantic City is ordered to produce all of its IA files from 2003 to December 31, 2014. This totals approximately 2,000 files.[2] In addition to ordering the production of the files, the parties shall meet and confer to propose a reasonable schedule to produce the responsive documents. If the parties are unable to agree the Court will issue an appropriate order. The parties will be given a reasonable but short time to agree as the case has already been delayed too long.

         In brief summary, after the Court preliminarily indicated that it would not order Atlantic City to produce all of its IA files, plaintiff requested 721. However, after extensive briefing and oral argument, and after hearing the testimony of the parties' experts and the officer in charge of Atlantic City's Internal Affairs Unit, the Court is firmly convinced that Atlantic City should produce all of its IA files. The files are vital to plaintiff's Monell claim. Further, the parties' experts agree that in order to conduct the most accurate and complete analysis of Atlantic City's IA process, all IA files should be reviewed. In addition, the complete production will not only halt the ongoing dispute over what is a " representative sample" of files, but it will also short circuit unnecessary evidentiary disputes and motion practice. In contrast to these benefits Atlantic City has not shown that it will be unduly burdensome to produce the requested files. In fact, the opposite is true. And, whatever present burden results from the Court's Order will be offset by the future efficiencies and benefits Atlantic City will earn.[3]

         Background

         The background of the case has already been set forth in detail in other rulings issued in the case.[4] For present purposes it is enough to know that plaintiff alleges that on July 21, 2012, she was assaulted by security personnel and Atlantic City police officers at the Dusk Nightclub in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Plaintiff alleges that when she tried to record the incident Officer Sterling Wheaten not only assaulted her but also took her cell phone which has not been recovered. Plaintiff alleges Wheaten taunted her and filed false criminal charges which were eventually dropped. Plaintiff filed her § 1983 civil rights complaint naming Atlantic City and Officers Wheaten and Garafolo on November 1, 2013.

         Plaintiff is pursuing a Monell claim against Atlantic City. Plaintiff intends to show, inter alia, that Atlantic City has a custom, practice and policy of acquiescing in the habitual use of excessive force and the filing of false criminal charges by its police officers which it knew or shown have known would result in the violation of citizens' civil rights. Plaintiff contends that Atlantic City's actions encourage, foster and cause police misconduct. In short, plaintiff alleges Atlantic City's IA process is a sham.

         To date Atlantic City has only produced the IA files of the two police officer defendants. The underlying discovery dispute concerns Atlantic City's objection to producing any additional IA files. While plaintiff wants to review all of Atlantic City's IA files, she requested a " representative sample" of files based on the assumption that the Court would not order Atlantic City to produce all of its files.[5] Atlantic City objected to plaintiff's request and argues that no additional IA files should be produced. The rub is that while Atlantic City continues to argue that any conclusions plaintiff's expert draws from a representative sample is inadequate and not representative of Atlantic City's conduct, Atlantic City objects to producing any more IA files. Therein lies the conundrum.

         Additional background information is necessary to put the current discovery dispute in perspective. Atlantic City and its police department, and Wheaten in particular, are no strangers to § 1983 lawsuits in this District. According to the Court's rough count, Atlantic City is a named defendant in approximately thirty (30) pending § 1983 cases.[6] This number underestimates the number of § 1983 cases involving Atlantic City because it does not include the substantial number of settled or dismissed cases, or cases tried to verdict, of which there are many. Indeed, plaintiff's counsel is presently handling five (5) of these cases. Wheaten is a named defendant in at least two other pending cases.[7] Not unexpectedly or surprisingly, Atlantic City has been ordered to produce IA files in numerous other cases.[8]

         A not too dissimilar case relevant to appreciating the background of this case is Groark v. Timek, et al., C.A. No. 12-1984 (RBK/JS). The Groark complaint, filed on April 2, 2012, is similar to the spate of other § 1983 civil rights actions naming Atlantic City and its police officers, including Wheaten. The case is significant because virtually all IA related discovery issues decided in Groark are or were at issue in this case. Groark also " sets the scene" for the discovery dispute addressed in this Opinion.

         In Groark the plaintiff alleged that while he was a patron at the Dusk Nightclub in Caesar's Casino in Atlantic City on August 7, 2010, Wheaten and another police officer assaulted him without provocation. Also like this case, the plaintiff was arrested and criminal charges were filed which were eventually dropped. In Groark, Atlantic City initially objected to plaintiff's request for its IA files.[9] On November 27, 2013, the Court granted Groark's motion to compel discovery and directed Atlantic City to produce (1) the " complete" Internal Affairs files for the defendant police officers, including Wheaten[10] (2) all Internal Affairs Index Cards for the defendant officers; and (3) the complete records and investigations regarding the August 7, 2010 incident. At bottom, the Court justified its decision by ruling that the plaintiff's interest in the requested IA files substantially outweighed Atlantic City's confidentiality concerns. Groark I, 989 F.Supp. at 390-94. The Court also discussed in detail how and why the requested discovery was relevant to Groark's Monell claim. Id. at 393.

         Subsequent to its November 27, 2013 decision, Groark requested all of Atlantic City's IA files from 2003 to the present, not just those of the defendant officers. The Court estimated that 1,887 files existed (not including 2013 files). Atlantic City objected to the request. It also objected to producing what it referred to as " factually dissimilar complaints." On July 18, 2014, the Court granted in part and denied in part Groark's motion to compel discovery. Instead of directing Atlantic City to produce all of its IA files, the Court Ordered Atlantic City to produce a " representative sample of its IA files from January 1, 2003 to August 10, 2011 (one year post-incident)." See Groark v. Timek (Groark II), C.A. No. 12-1984 (RBK/JS), 2014 WL 3556367, at *10 (D.N.J. July 18, 2014). The Court also ruled that plaintiff may discover IA files for all police officers, not just the named defendants, and IA files for all serious police complaints, not just the limited categories Atlantic City requested.[11]

         Rather than defining the number of files that comprised a " representative sample," and hoping that a reasonable compromise could be worked out, the Court directed the parties to meet and confer to see if they could agree. After the parties did not agree, the Court issued its August 14, 2014 [Doc. No. 82] and October 2, 2014 Orders [Doc. No. 96].[12] Although Groark requested 20% of the available IA files, or approximately 340 files, and supported his request with the reports of his consultant, the Court denied the request. The Court concluded that plaintiff's request had no adequate support since the sum and substance of his consultant's methodology was the summary conclusion that, " I think that a 20% sample of those files should be adequate to answer the questions that counsel has raised in our discussions." See Aug. 14, 2014 Order at 2. The Court also denied Groark's request for 340 files because " plaintiff has already received the most important IA files in the case" (i.e., those of the defendant police officers), and that the importance and relevance of the 340 IA files plaintiff requested was disproportional to the burden and expense to produce the files. Id. at 3-4; see also Oct. 2, 2014 Order at 2. Instead, the Court directed Atlantic City to produce a random sample of 32 IA files. See Aug. 14, 2014 Order at 7.

         Turning back to this case, the Court has already decided most of the discovery disputes that typically plague Atlantic City's § 1983 cases. These include issues such as whether IA files other than for the July 21, 2012 incident at issue have to be produced (yes), whether all IA files of the defendant police officers must be produced (yes), whether all categories of IA complaints are relevant and not just excessive force complaints (yes), and whether post-incident IA files must be produced (yes).[13] The core issue that now has to be decided is how many IA files should be produced. Plaintiff wants all of the IA files but in the alternative is requesting 721. Atlantic City objects to producing any additional IA files but grudgingly agrees to produce 32.

         An important point still needs to be mentioned. As discussed on numerous occasions with the parties, the reason plaintiff is requesting additional IA files is because of Atlantic City's insistence that it reserves its right to argue at trial that the IA files produced to date are not representative of its IA process. In other words, that plaintiff did not review enough IA files to get an adequate or representative picture of Atlantic City's IA process. If Atlantic City had agreed that the files produced thus far are representative, plaintiff did not need or want to review more IA files.[14] Atlantic City did not agree. Further, if Atlantic City had agreed that a specific number of IA files were representative, even if that number is substantially less than 721, plaintiff would have agreed to the limited production. Thus, if Atlantic City would have agreed that the IA files produced to date plus the 32 files produced in Groark comprised a representative sample, plaintiff would have limited her request to only 32 IA files. Atlantic City did not agree. As is its right, Atlantic City steadfastly refuses to commit to how many IA files comprise a " representative sample." Thus, it is left to the Court to determine the number of IA files to be produced.[15]

         At plaintiff's request the Court held an evidentiary hearing to address how many IA files should be produced.[16] Dr. Shane testified for plaintiff. Lt. Hendricks from the ACPD and Atlantic City's expert, Dr. Bernard Lentz, testified for Atlantic City. Their testimony will be summarized, infra.

         Discussion

         1. Relevance of Atlantic City's IA Files

         Although it is beyond peradventure, the Court will provide a brief background as to why Atlantic City's IA files are critically important. Plaintiff is pursuing a Monell claim against Atlantic City. See Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of City of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978). Pursuant to Monell Atlantic City may be liable for an unconstitutional policy or custom. As to policy, municipalities like Atlantic City are liable where " the action that is alleged to be unconstitutional implements or executes a policy statement, ordinance, regulation, or decision officially adopted and promulgated by that body's officers." Id. at 690. As to custom, municipalities may be sued for " constitutional deprivations visited pursuant to governmental 'custom' even though such a custom has not received formal approval through the body's official decision[-]making channels." Id. at 690-91. Liability based on a custom rather than a formal adopted policy proceeds on the theory that the relevant practice is so widespread as to have the force of law. Board of County Com'rs. of Bryan County, Okl. v. Brown, 520 U.S. 397, 404, 117 S.Ct. 1382, 137 L.Ed.2d 626 (1997). Custom may also be established by proof of knowledge and acquiescence. McTernan v. City of York, 564 F.3d 636, 658 (3d Cir. 2009). The Supreme Court has recognized that where a violation of federal rights is a " highly predictable consequence" of an inadequate custom in a situation likely to recur, municipal liability may attach based upon a single application of the custom. Monaco v. City of Camden, C.A. No. 04-2406 (JBS), 2008 WL 8738213, at *7 (D.N.J. April 14, 2008) (citing Board of County Com'rs, 520 U.S. at 409-10 (1997)).

         In order to impose § 1983 liability pursuant to a custom, " plaintiff must show that the municipal action was taken with the requisite degree of culpability and [there must be]... a direct causal link between the municipal action and the deprivation of federal rights." Board of County Com'rs, 520 U.S. at 404. A pattern or continued adherence to an approach that a municipality knows or should know has failed to prevent tortious conduct of police officers may establish " the conscious disregard for the consequences of [its] action -- the 'deliberate indifferences' - necessary to trigger municipal liability." Id. at 407.

         One focus of plaintiff's case is Atlantic City's internal affairs process. The goal of internal affairs " is to ensure that the integrity of the department is maintained through a system of internal discipline where an objective and impartial investigation and review assure fairness and justice." N.J. Attorney General Internal Affairs Policy & Procedures[17] (" IAPP" ) (revised July 2014) at 12. " Achieving the desired level of discipline within the law enforcement agency is among the most important responsibilities of the law enforcement executive." Id. at 6. The IAPP recognizes the importance courts put on the IA function:

[T]he courts, particularly the federal courts, have focused on the importance of the internal affairs function. They have come to perceive this function as an important means of protecting the constitutional rights and civil liberties of the state's citizens.

Id. at 3. This is understandable since " indifference to the internal affairs function will have a negative impact on the administration of criminal justice and the delivery of police services to New Jersey's citizens." Id. at 5.

         Like all municipalities in New Jersey, Atlantic City is required to adopt and implement an internal affairs process to investigate and resolve complaints of police misconduct. See generally Groark I, 989 F.Supp.2d at 384-86. The IA process must (1) provide for a " meaningful and objective investigation of citizen complaints of police misconduct" ; (2) monitor and track police misconduct, and (3) correct officer misconduct. Id. at 384. The Attorney General requires that certain critical performance standards be implemented and followed to meet these requirements. Amongst the standards that must be met are detailed recordkeeping requirements. If followed, the requirements will document that a thorough and impartial investigation was done. Id.

         Amongst other issues, plaintiff is taking direct aim at Atlantic City's IA process and its alleged custom of exonerating and failing to adequately monitor its rogue police officers. Plaintiff's second amended complaint alleges:

62. Defendant Atlantic City permitted, encouraged, tolerated, and knowingly acquiesced to an official pattern, practice, and/or custom of its police officers . . . of violating the constitutional rights of the public at large, including the Plaintiff. In particular, the City of Atlantic City had actual knowledge that defendant had a propensity to deprive the citizens of Atlantic City, New Jersey of their constitutional rights and failed to take proper action to protect the citizens of Atlantic City, New Jersey from defendant.
65. Defendant Atlantic City is directly liable for the Plaintiff's damages due to the following policies, practices, or customs . . .;
a. [A]llowing police officers . . . to employ excessive force while effectuating arrests . . . ;
b. [A]llowing police officers . . . to use excessive force and/or unreasonable force without fear of discipline . . . ;
c. [A]llowing police officers ... to falsely arrest and charge civilians without probable cause as a tool to conceal their own illegal and unreasonable conduct . . . ;
d. [A]llowing police officers ... to file false police reports, fabricate evidence, destroy evidence, and make false statements . . . ;
e. [F]ailing to protect the Citizens of Atlantic City from the unconstitutional actions of police officers ... by exonerating rogue police officers, by refusing to investigate civilian complaints, and by convincing civilians not to file formal complaints with the Internal Affairs Unit . . . ;
f. [R]efusing to adequately respond to and investigate complaints regarding officer misconduct by the citizenry . . . ;
66. Defendant Atlantic City is directly liable for Plaintiff's damages due to the following policies or customs of inadequate training, supervision, discipline, screening, or hiring, which were in effect at the time of this incident and which were the underlying cause of the Plaintiff's injuries:
a. [Failing] to adequately train and supervise police officers . . . regarding proper arrest procedures and techniques; use of force; probable cause determinations; criminal investigations; and internal affairs procedures . . . ;
b. [Failing] to adequately monitor and evaluate the performance of its officers ... and [their] compliance with the laws and policies, practices and customs with respect to probable cause determinations, internal affairs procedures, the use of physical force; arrest procedures, . . . ;
c. [Failing] to properly discipline its officers ... with respect to violations of the law of the State of New Jersey, the Constitution of the United States, and its own policies on use of force, probable cause determinations, internal affairs procedures, preservation of evidence, and arrest procedures creating a pattern, policy, practice, custom or atmosphere where such illegal and unconstitutional behavior is tolerated, condoned, and accepted by the Atlantic City Police Department in deliberate indifference to and reckless disregard of the public at large, including the Plaintiffs;
e. Atlantic City and the Atlantic City Police Department knew that " a code of silence" existed between and among their officers and with security personnel employed by Atlantic City casinos . . . whereby officers would not report misconduct of other officers to their superiors and failed to take steps necessary to break the " code of silence" [.]

         Plaintiff alleges that because Atlantic City's IA process is a sham it has a custom of not adequately monitoring and tracing the performance of individual officers. Further, that because of the inadequate IA process Atlantic City has a custom of tolerating and acquiescing in its police officers' unconstitutional conduct which violates citizens' rights. If proven, plaintiff's arguments are supported in the case law. " [T]olerance of unconstitutional conduct is tantamount to encouragement of such conduct[.]" Foley v. City of Lowell, Mass., 948 F.2d 10, 14-15 (1st Cir. 1991) (citation omitted). Further, " if a city fails to either punish officers or change procedures after particularly egregious police conduct, this subsequent acceptance of the dangerous behavior by the policymaker tends to prove a preexisting policy." Skibo v. City of New York, 109 F.R.D. 58, 65 (E.D.N.Y. 1985).

         Although it should be obvious, in order to prove her Monell allegations it is essential that plaintiff be permitted to review Atlantic City's IA files. Scouler v. Craig, 116 F.R.D. 494, 496 (D.N.J. 1987) (" [T]here can be no question of the relevancy of [the IA files] to the allegations of the complaint" particularly where the complaint alleges inadequate supervision and training under § 1983.). Indeed, the IA files are vital to plaintiff's Monell allegations. Groark I, 989 F.Supp.2d at 393. As the Court noted in Groark I, " the requested IA files are fair game for discovery because they are directly relevant to plaintiff's claim that Atlantic City's IA process is a sham and that Atlantic City failed to properly train its officers." Id. at 394. This explains the unremarkable fact that production of IA files is routinely ordered in § 1983 cases.

         Atlantic City's IA process must be " real" and the investigation " meaningful and objective." Id. at 386. The mere existence of a grievance procedure does not protect a citizen's constitutional rights. Id. at 394. Plaintiff's review of Atlantic City's IA files will reveal whether in fact the IA process is a sham. The requested files are also directly relevant to Atlantic City's defense that its IA procedures are adequate. Id. at 394. Only by looking at the content of the IA files can plaintiff learn whether Atlantic City's investigations were " real," " meaningful," and " objective." Id.[18] Further, plaintiff must review Atlantic City's IA files to be able to compare the facts in this case to other cases. This is necessitated by applicable precedent. According to numerous cases, in order to make out a Monell claim, plaintiff " must show why . . . prior incidents deserved discipline and how the misconduct in those situations was similar to the present one. Merman v. City of Camden, 824 F.Supp.2d 581, 591 (D.N.J. 2010) (citation omitted); Franks v. Cape May County, C.A. No. 07-6005 (JHR/JS), 2010 WL 3614193, at *12 (D.N.J. Sept. 8, 2010) (" [A] plaintiff must show why . . . prior incidents deserved discipline and how the misconduct in those case is similar to that involved in the present action" ; Katzenmoyer v. Camden Police Department, C.A. No. 08-1995 (RBK/JS), 2012 WL 6691746, at *12 (D.N.J. Dec. 21, 2012). Further, as the Court noted in Reid v. Cumberland County, 34 F.Supp.3d 396, 403 (D.N.J. 2013), " a plaintiff must show why those prior incidents deserved discipline and how the misconduct in those situations was similar to the present one." Plaintiff cannot satisfy her burden of proving a Monell claim without looking at the content of Atlantic City's IA files. Production of the files is critical to plaintiff's case.

         2. Whether 721 IA Files Should be Produced?[19]

         Having established that Atlantic City's IA files are relevant and discoverable, the question then becomes how many IA files should be produced. The Court concludes that plaintiff has made a convincing case for why she is entitled to at least 721 files. Taking notice of the Court's decision in Groark II that it would not direct Atlantic City to produce all of its IA files, plaintiff retained Dr. Jon M. Shane to produce a report to help identify " patterns and practices with respect to Internal Affairs investigations in the [ACPD]" (Dec. 12, 2012 Tr. 40:4-8), and how many IA files Dr. Shane needed in order to review a " representative sample." [20] Id. 9:2 to 10:19. Shane teaches a graduate level statistical course at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Shane was formerly employed as a longtime member of the Newark Police Department where he reached the rank of Captain when he retired in 2005. Shane professes to have detailed knowledge regarding local, state and national norms regarding Internal Affairs policies. Dec. 12, 2014 Tr. 39:2-23. Without getting into the nuances of Dr. Shane's reports and testimony, Dr. Shane ultimately concluded he needed to review 721 files to do his analysis.[21] Shane also set forth a procedure to assure that the 721 files are randomly selected.[22]

         Shane proposes to perform two general types of analysis on Atlantic City's IA files: a process or a qualitative analyses and a multiple regression statistical analysis. As to the former, Shane will examine the IA files to evaluate Atlantic City's compliance with the applicable New Jersey Attorney General Guidelines for conducting IA investigations. The statistical analyses will test plaintiff's hypotheses and determine if certain conduct and actions were predictable. In general, Shane is " trying to capture . . . the overall picture of how [Atlantic City's] Internal Affairs investigations play themselves out." Id. 92:17-19. This will include an analysis of whether Atlantic City's IA process conforms to state and national norms. Id. 104:20-23.

         Having studied Dr. Shane's reports and hearing his live testimony, the Court finds his testimony sufficient to justify plaintiff's discovery request. Further, plaintiff's request is not out of line with IA productions in other cases. Torres v. Kuzniasz, 936 F.Supp. 1201, 1214 (D.N.J. 1996) (ordering production of 1,200 files); Foley v. Boag, C.A. No. 05-3727 (SRC) 2006 WL 6830911, at *3 (D.N.J. May 31, 2006) (requiring production of all internal affairs records and complaints against all police officers in the defendant municipality for ten (10) years); see also Weller v. Am. Home Assur. Co., C.A. No. 05-0090, 2007 WL 1097883, at *4-5 (N.D.W.Va. 2007) (overruling objection despite claim that responding to discovery would be a " Herculean task" that would take " at least hundreds of man hours." ). Accordingly, the Court grants plaintiff's discovery request asking Atlantic City to produce 721 randomly selected IA files.

         3. Atlantic City's Arguments

         Atlantic City makes four general arguments why it should not have to produce any more IA files. First, Atlantic City argues that plaintiff must make a " preliminary showing" of Monell liability before she receives more IA files. In the alternative, it argues plaintiff's Monell claim should be bifurcated.[23] In other words, Atlantic City wants to stop IA discovery in its tracks until after a hearing or motion regarding whether an adequate " preliminary showing" has been made, or until after a jury verdict. Second, Atlantic City argues it is burdensome to produce more IA files. Third, Atlantic City argues no more than the 32 files produced in Groark should ...


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