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Askew v. Ford

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Helena Division

November 9, 2017

BRANDON ASKEW, ADC #128557 PLAINTIFF
v.
RODNEY FORD, ET AL. DEFENDANTS

          Ka Tina R. Hodge Ark. Bar No. 2003100 Assistant Attorney General Arkansas Attorney General's Office Attorneys for the Defendants

          Gene McKissic & Associates

          PROTECTIVE ORDER

          HONORABLE JUDGE J. THOMAS RAY CHIEF MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         The parties stipulate and the Court orders:

         1. Plaintiff, Brandon Askew, is an inmate incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of Correction. The Defendants are either former or current employees of the ADC.

         2. Plaintiff and Defendants are currently conducting discovery in the above case. Plaintiff, by and through his counsel[1], has requested information and documents from Defendants. For example, Plaintiff has requested the staffing protocols and other policies for the Arkansas Department of Correction related to security measures that may not be accessible to inmates due to safety and security concerns. Plaintiff has also sought records of several other inmates, and the responses to Plaintiff's pending discovery may include confidential and sensitive information from several additional inmates. These examples are not exhaustive.

         3. It has long been the policy/practice of the Arkansas Department of Correction to prohibit inmates from gaining access to records, documents, information, and files that reveal confidential and private information concerning Arkansas Department of Correction employees, both current and former.

         4. It has long been the policy/practice of the Arkansas Department of Correction to prohibit inmates from gaining access to records, documents, information, and files concerning other inmates.

         5. Defendants believe that if requested information and documents are released and/or provided to an inmate, it would be not only prohibited contraband but would also be a threat to security and the good order of the institution 6. The parties anticipate that plaintiff may requests additional discovery including the depositions of witnesses/parties. Plaintiffs counsel may question Defendants regarding confidential matters, which defendants believe that if released to an inmate would also be a threat to security and the good order of the institution.

         7. In order to resolve any confidentiality issues during the completion of discovery, Defendants have requested and Plaintiff, through legal counsel, has agreed to enter into this protective order as follows:

• “Counsel” is defined as counsel of record of the parties, and future counsel of record, their respective support staff including secretaries, para-professional assistants, and other assistants to whom it is necessary to disclose protected information for the purpose of this action.
• “Qualified Individuals” are counsel of record, experts and other employees of such counsel who would be actively engaged in assisting counsel in connection with this action, court personnel, witnesses at trial or deposition, and the jury.
• “Confidential or Protected information or documents” includes information or documents concerning other inmates; plaintiffs institutional file; ADC staff investigations, disciplinary actions concerning inmates and/or ADC security officers; ADC staffing records; ADC rules, regulations, policies, and guidelines that are not accessible to inmates; confidential ADC policies, rules, regulations, and guidelines; personnel matters, including social security numbers, contact information, medical information, disciplinary records, salary/pay records, private personal information, such as but not limited to identification of family members; personnel and employment files, institutional records related to the care, custody, confinement or discipline of individual presently or previously committed to the custody of the Arkansas Department of Correction or any other correctional facility, security camera footage, security logs, medical and financial records. Protected information or documents also includes transcripts of the defendants and information or documents deemed protected information or documents by the parties.
• The parties agree that protected information or documents will be held in confidence by counsel for plaintiff and will not be used for any purpose other than preparing and presenting the plaintiffs case to the United States District Court or to any court on appeal. Any protected information or documents shall remain in the custody of plaintiffs counsel and ...

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