United States District Court, D. New Jersey
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
DOUGLAS E. ARPERT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on a motion filed by pro
se Plaintiff Kevin Planker (“Planker”) to
Compel Defendants to Produce Certain Documents. ECF No. 108.
Defendants Dave Hoffman and Jim Barnes oppose the Motion. ECF
No. 109. Upon reviewing the papers submitted by the Parties
and having declined to hold oral argument pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b), for the reasons set forth below
Plaintiff's Motion is DENIED.
the Court writes only for the parties, it recites only those
facts and the procedural history necessary to its
disposition. Plaintiff, a prisoner at New Jersey State
Prison, filed his Complaint on July 22, 2013, naming twelve
defendants and alleging myriad claims relating to his
confinement. ECF No. 1. Upon screening the Complaint pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), U.S. District Judge
Michael A. Shipp dismissed with prejudice a number of
Plaintiff's claims and dismissed without prejudice claims
against four supervisor defendants, as well as claims
asserting denial of access to the courts, denial of religious
exercise, denial of medical care, denial of an adequate
religious diet, and miscellaneous claims regarding his
conditions of confinement. See Judge Shipp's
Order, dated January 20, 2015, at ECF No. 4. Pursuant to that
Order, only the claims against Defendants Barnes and Hoffman
March 2018, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Produce Documents and
Amend the Complaint. ECF No. 88. Plaintiff contended
Defendants failed to provide complete medical records in
discovery. ECF No. 95 at p.4. More specifically, Plaintiff
contended that medical records provided in discovery did not
include documents by which Plaintiff had registered medical
complaints to the prison medical authorities. Id. In
denying that Motion, this Court concluded that the Motion to
Produce was untimely, having been filed well after a
discovery period that ultimately spanned 504 days had
expired. Id. at pp.4-5.
December 2018, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Compel and
Continue. ECF No. 102. There, Plaintiff sought to compel
Defendants to provide Plaintiff with a copy of the transcript
of Plaintiff's June 2017 deposition. Id. at p.2.
This Court terminated that Motion as moot on the basis of a
letter dated January 3, 2019 from Defendants stating that a
copy of the transcript had been sent to Plaintiff by mail.
ECF. Nos. 103, 104.
latest Motion to Compel, Plaintiff seeks “defense
and/or the Department of Corrections to be compelled to
provide the full remedy/grievance/inquiry record filed by
[Plaintiff], for the Court to have all clarifying documents
and information provided, and for the Clerk to enter the
attached original physical evidence into the record.”
ECF No. 108. Defendants oppose the Motion. ECF No. 110.
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1), “[p]arties may obtain
discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant
to any party's claim or defense” and “the
court may order discovery of any matter relevant to the
subject matter involved in the action.” See also
Pearson v. Miller, 211 F.3d 57, 65 (3d Cir. 2000). At
the same time, the Federal Rules provide that the Court
“must limit the frequency or extent of discovery
otherwise allowed” if it concludes that:
(i) the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or
duplicative, or can be obtained from some other source that
is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive;
(ii) the party seeking discovery has had ample opportunity to
obtain the information by discovery in the action; or
(iii) the burden or expense of the proposed discovery
outweighs its likely benefit, considering the needs of the
case, the amount in controversy, the parties' resources,
the importance of the issues at stake in the action, and the
importance of the discovery in resolving the issues.
“the Court has a responsibility to protect privacy and
confidentiality interests” and “has authority to
fashion a set of limitations that allow as much relevant
material to be discovered as possible...while preventing
unnecessary intrusions into legitimate interests that may be
harmed by the discovery of material sought.”
Schmulovich v. 1161 Rt. 9 LLC, Civ. No. 07-597, 2007
WL 2362598, at *1 (D.N.J. August 15, 2007); see also
Pearson, 211 F.3d at 65.
pursuant to Rule 37(a), a party may file a motion to compel
discovery where his or her adversary fails to adequately
respond to a discovery request; nevertheless, it is
ultimately within the discretion of the Court to grant a
motion to compel disclosure for good cause shown.