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Patel v. United States

November 22, 2006

KAMAL K. PATEL REG. #56496-080 PLAINTIFF
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ET AL. DEFENDANTS



ORDER

On September 29, 2006, the Court issued an Order ruling on several discovery disputes and directing Defendants to file Supplemental Responses to Plaintiff's Interrogatories, Request for Production, and Request for Admissions. See docket entry #127. Defendants timely filed their Supplemental Responses on October 27, 2006. See docket entries #134 and #135. Plaintiff has filed three Motions arguing that Defendants' Supplemental Responses are inadequate.*fn1 See docket entries #137, #138, and #139. Additionally, Plaintiff has filed: (1) a Motion to Compel Defendants to Supplement Their Response to His Second Set of Interrogatories and Request for Production; and (2) a Motion for Extension of Time to File His Response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. See docket entries #142 and #143 (emphasis added). Each Motion will be discussed separately.

I. Plaintiff's Motion and Supplemental Motion to Require Defendants to Correct their Supplemental Responses to Plaintiff's Interrogatories and Request for Production

A. Interrogatories 1, 5, 6, 13, and 15 and Request for Production #11

The Court concludes that Defendants' October 27, 2006 Supplemental Responses to these discovery requests comply with the instructions set forth in the Court's September 29, 2006 Order, and that Plaintiff's arguments for correction have no merit. See docket entries #127, #134, #137, and #138.

B. Interrogatory 7

In Interrogatory 7, Plaintiff asked Defendants to list all the legal actions they were referring to when they stated, in the 2001 Transfer Request Form, that Plaintiff was "a prime consumer of staff time and is involved in numerous legal actions." See docket entry #90, Ex. 1. The Court found Defendants' initial response to this interrogatory to be "evasive and inappropriate" because it asserted that Plaintiff was in a better position to know what legal actions he had commenced. See docket entries #105, Ex. 3 and #127. Accordingly, the Court ordered Defendants to supplement their Response by specifying what specific legal actions they were referring to in their June 1, 2001 Transfer Request Form. Id.

In their October 27, 2006 Supplemental Response, Defendants list, pursuant to a PACER search, ten legal actions Plaintiff "was involved in . . . during the 2000-2001 time frame." See docket entry #134. Defendants' Supplemental Response does not comply with of the Court's September 29, 2006 Order. The Court required Defendants to identify the specific lawsuits they were actually aware of and were referring to when they prepared the 2001 Transfer Request Form. Defense counsel cannot obtain this information merely by performing a search on PACER. Instead, defense counsel must correct the Supplemental Response to Interrogatory 7 by: (1) talking to the drafters of the 2001 Transfer Request Form; (2) determining what "legal actions" they were actually aware of and referring to when they wrote the 2001 Transfer Request Form; and (3) providing Plaintiff with a list of those specific legal actions.

C. Request for Production 13

In the September 29, 2006 Order, the Court ruled that:

Defendants' response to this request for production is unresponsive and evasive because it does not specify which documents in Plaintiff's central file Defendants relied upon when preparing the 2001 Transfer Request Form. Thus, Defendants must identify and provide Plaintiff with copies of all documents in Plaintiff's central file that they relied upon as the basis for preparing the 2001 Transfer Request Form.

See docket entry #127 at 8 (emphasis in the original).

In their October 27, 2006 Supplemental Response, Defendants state: . . . defendants are unaware of any e-mails or other documents related to Plaintiff's 2001 transfer, which are not located in his central file. The only other possible source would be the numerous request for legal materials and requests for access to the law library provided earlier. As previously noted, Plaintiff did not have a recorded history of insolence towards staff regarding access to the law library.

See docket entry #134 at 7 (emphasis added).

Defendants' Supplemental Response does not comply with the Court's September 29, 2006 Order, which required them to "identify" all documents "in his central file that they relied upon as a basis for preparing the 2001 Transfer Request Form." See docket entry #127 at 8. As with Interrogatory 7, the relevant materials are the specific documents the drafters were actually aware of and were referring to when they prepared the 2001 Transfer Request Form. Thus, defense counsel must correct the Supplemental Response to Request for Production 13 by: (1) talking with the drafters of the 2001 Transfer Request Form; (2) determining what specific documents they were actually aware of and relied upon when ...


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