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Paul Wayne Merritt v. Secretary

January 18, 2012

PAUL WAYNE MERRITT, PETITIONER,
v.
SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



ORDER

Before the Court is Respondent's, Secretary, Department of Corrections, Motion to Stay of [sic] Discovery and for Protective Order ("motion") (Dkt. 23). Petitioner has not filed a response to the motion.

In his motion, Respondent asserts that he has received three requests for production of documents and a request for admissions from Petitioner. Respondent moves the Court for a protective order and stay of discovery.

"A habeas petitioner . . . is not entitled to discovery as a matter of ordinary course." Bracy v. Gramley, 520 U.S. 899, 904 (1997). However, Rule 6(a) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases provides, "[a] judge may, for good cause, authorize a party to conduct discovery under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and may limit the extent of discovery." "Good cause is demonstrated where specific allegations . . . show reason to believe that the petitioner may, if the facts are fully developed, be able to demonstrate that he . . . is entitled to relief." Arthur v. Allen, 459 F.3d 1310, 1310-1311 (11th Cir. 2006) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). A petitioner cannot show good cause for discovery unless the underlying facts, if proven, constitute a constitutional violation. Hubanks v. Frank, 392 F.3d 926, 933 (7th Cir. 2004).

Petitioner has not moved the Court for leave to conduct discovery. At this time, therefore, he has not demonstrated good cause to conduct discovery.

ACCORDINGLY, the Court ORDERS that Respondent's motion (Dkt. 23) is GRANTED. Respondent, Secretary, Department of Corrections, is relieved of the obligation to respond to any of the discovery requests propounded by Petitioner in this action prior to the date of this Order, and all discovery is stayed until Petitioner demonstrates good cause to conduct discovery.

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