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Archer v. City of Winter Haven

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division

September 1, 2017

DARRELL ARCHER, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF WINTER HAVEN, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          AMANDA ARNOLD SANSONE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Compel Better Responses to Request to Produce (Doc. 69), Defendants' Motion to Compel Better Answers to Interrogatories (Doc. 70), and Plaintiff's responses in opposition thereto (Docs. 75, 76).

         I. BACKGROUND

         On March 7, 2017, pro se Plaintiff Darrell Archer filed his First Amended Complaint against Defendants City of Winter Haven, Winter Haven Police Department, Wal-Mart Stores East, LP, Sgt. Dan Gaskin, Sgt. Ken Nicols, Sgt. Brad Webster, Edward Camp, Charles Caraway, and Kristine Wood. (Doc. 32). Plaintiff alleges that on November 26, 2015, he purchased a television at a Walmart store and, as he was leaving the store, an unidentified Walmart employee requested to see a receipt for the purchase of the television. (Id. at p. 3). Plaintiff refused to produce the receipt. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges that he was subsequently prevented from leaving the store for 10 to 15 minutes, threatened with theft and trespass charges, and then asked to leave the store without his property. (Id. at pp. 3-4).

         Plaintiff brings the following causes of action against Defendants: (1) “Violations of Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments[;]” (2) “Deprivation of Civil Rights Pursuant to 42 USC 1983[;]” (3) “Violation of 18 USC 241, 242[;] Conspiracy Against Rights and 42 USC 1985(3)[;]” (4) “Florida State Law Negligence[;]” and (5) “Wrongful Imprisonment in Violation of Florida 787.02 False Imprisonment[.]” (Doc. 32).

         On June 5, 2017, Defendants City of Winter Haven, Sgt. Dan Gaskin, and Sgt. Ken Nichols served Plaintiff with their First Request for Production and Interrogatories (Docs. 69-B, 70-B), and Plaintiff responded (Docs. 69-C, 70-C). On July 12, 2017, Defendants filed the instant motions to compel arguing that a number of Plaintiff's discovery responses were inadequate. (Docs. 69, 70). On August 2, 2017, Plaintiff filed responses in opposition to Defendants' motions. (Doc. 75, 76). Accordingly, this matter is ripe for review.

         II. ANALYSIS

         Motions to compel discovery are committed to the sound discretion of the trial court. See Commercial Union Ins. Co. v. Westrope, 730 F.2d 729, 731 (11th Cir. 1984). Rule 26(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs the scope of discovery. That rule provides, in relevant part, that

[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant information, the parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). Relying on this definition of the scope of proper discovery, the Court will address the discovery requests and responses at issue.

         Here, Defendants seek to compel better responses to Interrogatory Nos. 3, 5, 6, 10, 13, and 17, as well as Request for Production Nos. 10, 11, 12, 31, 32, and 34.[1] Essentially, there are five categories of discovery requests at issue: (1) discovery related to Plaintiff's mental and physical health; (2) discovery related to Plaintiff's prior and subsequent arrests or detentions; (3) discovery related to other lawsuits involving Plaintiff; (4) requests for personal information; and (5) requests for damages calculation information. The Court will address each category of discovery requests in turn.

         A.Plaintiff's Mental and Physical Health

         As to Defendants' discovery requests seeking Plaintiff's medical records and history, the following requests and responses are at issue:

Request for Production No. 10: Any and all medical reports, opinions, or other written memoranda from doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners and health care providers reflecting any and all care, treatment, or evaluation provided to [Plaintiff] for the last ten years.
Response:Objection, not relevant.
Request for Production No. 11: Any and all hospital records reflecting any and all care, treatment, or evaluation provided to [Plaintiff] for the last ten years, including outpatient records and emergency room records.
Response:Objection, not relevant.
Request for Production No. 12 : Any and all reports, opinions, or other written memoranda from any and all psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric social workers, psychiatric nurses and mental health counselors reflecting any and all care, treatment, and ...

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