United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
ARNOLD SANSONE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Fred Turner seeks leave to conduct discovery and moves this
court to order the production of documents. (Docs. 290, 295).
The government opposes the motions. (Docs. 294, 302).
Turner operated Gulfshore Pain and Wellness Centre, a pill
mill masquerading as a pain management clinic. (Doc. 302, p.
1). In July 2015, a federal grand jury charged Mr. Turner
with conspiracy to bring an alien unlawfully into the United
States, conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled
substances, and one substantive count of distributing and
dispensing controlled substances. (Doc. 1). In October 2016,
the grand jury charged Mr. Turner in a superseding indictment
that extended the time frame on the conspiracy to distribute
and dispense controlled substances and added three
substantive counts of distributing and dispensing controlled
substances. (Doc. 61).
Turner retained Attorneys Alex Stavrou and Patrick Leduc.
(Docs. 24, 47). The case proceeded to a jury trial in July
2017. (Docs. 135-144). The jury returned guilty verdicts on
all nine counts. (Doc. 143). Mr. Turner appealed to the
Eleventh Circuit, which affirmed. (Docs. 296, 297). Mr.
Turner retained Attorney Stephen Crawford after the trial.
(Doc. 206). Mr. Turner anticipates filing a 28 U.S.C. §
2255 motion to vacate. (Docs. 290, ¶ 2; 295, ¶ 2).
proceeding pro se,  Mr. Turner seeks leave to conduct
discovery and moves this court to order the production of
requested documents. (Doc. 290). The government opposes Mr.
Turner's motion. (Doc. 294). After the government
responded, Mr. Turner submitted a second motion specifying in
greater detail the discovery sought. (Doc. 295). The court
directed the government to respond to Mr. Turner's second
motion. (Doc. 298). Before the government's response was
due, Attorney Stavrou, Mr. Turner's trial counsel,
submitted a notice indicating he would mail four CDs
containing Mr. Turner's discovery to Mr. Turner. (Doc.
301). The government opposes Mr. Turner's motion. (Doc.
habeas petitioner, unlike the usual civil litigant in federal
court is not entitled to discovery as a matter of ordinary
course.” Bracy v. Gramley, 520 U.S. 899, 904
(1997); see also Issacs v. Head, 300 F.3d 1232, 1248
(11th Cir. 2002). Rule 6(a) of the Rules Governing 28 U.S.C
§ 2255 provides a party may pursue discovery in a §
2255 proceeding only upon authorization of the court and for
“good cause.” To show good cause under Rule 6(a),
the petitioner must provide the court with “specific
allegation [that] show reason to believe that the petitioner
may, if the facts are fully developed, be able to demonstrate
that he is . . . entitled to relief.” Brady,
520 U.S. at 908-09; see also Reed v. Culliver, 244
Fed.Appx. 304, 306 (11th Cir. 2007). However, “good
cause for discovery cannot arise from mere
speculation.” Arthur v. Allen, 459 F.3d 1310,
1311 (11th Cir. 2006).
begin, Mr. Turner has not moved to vacate, set aside, or
correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Since there
is no pending § 2255 motion, Mr. Turner's discovery
request is premature. Even so, Attorney Stavrou provided
notice to the court that he is sending four CDs of discovery
to Mr. Turner at his place of incarceration. (Doc. 301). The
government stated if the discovery sent by Attorney Stavrou
was all the documents produced by the government to the
defense, Mr. Turner's receipt of those CDs would satisfy
his requests except for the request for unredacted discovery.
(Doc. 302, p. 4).
government states the redactions in the discovery include
“patients' personally identifiable information and
references to unrelated, ongoing investigations.”
(Id. at p. 5). Mr. Turner provides no specific
allegations that the information in the redacted portions of
the discovery will allow him to develop facts to help him
with his yet-to-be-filed § 2255 motion. Rather, Mr.
Turner speculates Ms. Julie Carrier, an employee at
Gulfshore, tampered with the medical charts. (Doc. 295, p.
3). Mere speculation does not warrant the entry of an order
requiring the government to produce discovery, much less the
unredacted versions of redacted patient information and
redacted information for other ongoing criminal
investigations unrelated to this criminal case.
Turner does not establish good cause for issuance of an order
requiring the government to produce discovery for his
to-be-filed § 2255 motion to vacate, set aside, or
correct his sentence. Yet, upon receipt of the four CDs sent
by Attorney Stavrou, Mr. Turner will have received most of
the discovery he requested anyway. He is entitled to no
further discovery. Therefore, Mr. Turner's motions for
leave to take discovery (Docs. 290, 295) are