United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
B. SMITH, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
case comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Compel Better Rule 26 Disclosures and Better Responses to
Discovery (Doc. 31). When Plaintiff did not respond to the
motion, the Court entered an order giving him 7 additional
days (Doc. 34). Plaintiff filed his response on February 9,
2018 (Doc. 36). In the response, Plaintiff's counsel
reported that she had provided supplemental responses to the
motion to compel and the discovery obligations were satisfied
(Doc. 36). The Court directed Defendant to advise it whether
Plaintiff's production mooted the motion to compel (Doc.
37), and on February 9, 2018, Defendant filed his response
(Doc. 39). Defendant maintains that although
“Plaintiff's supplemental production resolved some
issues presented in the Motion to Compel, other deficiencies
remain” (Doc. 39).
was shot by a police officer on May 30, 2012. He subsequently
filed suit alleging that the officer who shot him, Defendant
Olivier Babadjide, violated 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 1988 by
using excessive force (Doc. 1 at 4-5). Plaintiff also claims
that Defendant violated Section 1983's malicious
prosecution provision due to the fact that he
“arrested, instituted and maintained by said arrest,
the prosecution of Plaintiff in an attempt to shield and
cover himself from civil liability for falsely arresting
Plaintiff, using excessive force in said arrest, thus causing
Plaintiff to be paralyzed.” (Doc. 1 at 5).
previously pursued these causes of action against the City of
Cocoa Beach and Officer Ronald Betts in a case that was
dismissed on February 15, 2017 (No. 6:16-cv-01977-JA-TBS,
Docs. 2, 49) (the “First Case”). After the Court
closed the First Case, Plaintiff filed a motion for
permission to file his third amended complaint (First Case,
Doc. 50). That motion was denied and Plaintiff filed a
verified motion to reopen the case and to file a third
amended complaint (First Case, Doc. 52). Plaintiff asked the
court to reopen the case on the grounds that he failed to
respond to the motion to dismiss because of his
attorney's workload and the attorney's staff's
mistake in calendaring the response date (Id.). On
April 7, 2017, I entered a report recommending that the
motion be denied (First Case, Doc. 54). Plaintiff filed this
case less than a week later (No. 6:17-cv-658, Doc. 1). The
Court subsequently adopted the report and recommendation and
denied Plaintiff's motion to reopen the First Case (First
Case, Doc. 55).
general matter, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1)
allows parties to obtain discovery regarding any
non-privileged matter that is relevant to a party's claim
or defense. “The discovery process is designed to fully
inform the parties of the relevant facts involved in their
case.” U.S. v. Pepper's Steel & Alloys,
Inc., 132 F.R.D. 695, 698 (S.D. Fla. 1990) (citing
Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, 501 (1947)).
“The overall purpose of discovery under the Federal
Rules is to require the disclosure of all relevant
information so that the ultimate resolution of disputed
issues in any civil action may be based on a full and
accurate understanding of the true facts, and therefore
embody a fair and just result.” Oliver v. City of
Orlando, No. 6:06-cv-1671-Orl-31DAB, 2007 WL 3232227, at
* 1 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 31, 2007) (citing United States v.
Proctor & Gamble Co., 356 U.S. 677, 682 (1958)).
Discovery is intended to operate with minimal judicial
supervision unless a dispute arises and one of the parties
files a motion requiring judicial intervention. S.L.
Sakansky & Assoc., Inc. v. Allied Am. Adjusting Co. of
Florida, LLC, No. 3:05-cv-708-J-32MCR, 2007 WL 2010860,
at *1 (M.D. Fla. Jul. 6, 2007).
requires parties to make initial disclosures which include a
computation of each category of their damages and, unless
privileged, make available for inspection and copying, the
materials on which the computation is based. Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(a)(1)(A)(iii). This requirement pertains to both economic
and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of
enjoyment of life, and embarrassment. See Johnson v. R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2:12-cv-618-FtM-29SPC, 2013 WL
1899737, at *1 (M.D. Fla. May 7, 2013) (“This Court has
generally required disclosure of Rule 26 information for
non-economic compensatory and punitive damages ... Other
courts in this district have also recently addressed Rule
26(a)(1)(C)'s damages disclosure requirements.
LeBlanc v. Unifund CCR Partners, G.P., the court
found that the plaintiff should be able to estimate damages
in good faith and articulate the methods of calculations of
his actual damages sought, which included ‘pain,
suffering, worry, fear, and embarrassment.'” No.
8:06-CV-1216-T-TBM, 2007 WL 2446900, * 1 (M.D. Fla. Aug.23,
2007). Plaintiff initially pled a claim for excessive force
(Doc. 1, ¶¶ 17-25), however the Court dismissed
that claim with prejudice (Doc. 32 at 3). Plaintiff's
malicious prosecution claim was dismissed without prejudice
and he was given leave to amend (Doc. 32 at 3-4).
amended complaint does not plead a separate cause for
malicious prosecution. Instead, it alleges Section 1983
violations and incorporates the malicious prosecution
arguments into the facts section of the pleading (Doc. 38 at
¶¶ 11-13, 16, 19). Plaintiff requests damages in
excess of $75, 000 and implies that some portion of that is
to recover the cost of retaining an attorney to “clear
the malicious prosecution” issue (Id. at
¶ 24). Plaintiff has failed to satisfy his duty to
explain this damages calculation to Defendant. Therefore, the
motion is granted to the extent it seeks a damage calculation
for Plaintiff's malicious prosecution claim.
also alleges that Plaintiff's supplemental responses to
interrogatories No. 12 and 14 are insufficient (Doc. 39 at
2-4). Defendant acknowledges that Plaintiff's response to
interrogatory 12 is “potentially responsive” but
“fails to identify the dates on which Officer Betts
took those actions” (Doc. 39 at 3). The motion to
compel is granted in-so-far as Plaintiff is
directed to specify the dates that correspond to the actions
detailed in his response to the interrogatory.
maintains that Interrogatory 14 does not clearly attach any
wrongdoing to Officer Betts and that any allegation against
him must be made explicit (Doc. 39 at 4). Interrogatory 14
For each piece of evidence identified in response to
Interrogatory No. 13 above, identify the specific person(s)
who you contend destroyed the evidence and describe ...