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Becker v. City of Evansville

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Evansville Division

April 29, 2014

JAMIE BECKER, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF EVANSVILLE, UNKNOWN EVANSVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFICERS, and ZACHARY ELFREICH, individually and as an Officer of the Evansville Police Department, Defendants.

ENTRY ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL PRODUCTION

WILLIAM G. HUSSMANN, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Magistrate Judge on Plaintiff Jamie Becker's Motion to Compel Production (Filing No. 38), the parties' Consents to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction (Filing No. 8; Filing No. 9), and Judge Pratt's Order of Reference (Filing No. 11). Becker filed his motion and brief on February 20, 2014 (Filing No. 38; Filing No. 39), and the Defendants responded on March 26, 2014 (Filing No. 48). Becker declined to file a reply brief. The Magistrate Judge, having considered the motion, the parties' filings, and relevant law, and being duly advised, hereby GRANTS the motion.

I. Background

In this lawsuit against the City of Evansville and Evansville Police Department Officer Mark Elfreich, Plaintiff Jamie Becker claims that the Defendants caused him permanent injuries and violated his constitutional rights when they allowed a police dog to attack him when they arrested him on March 22, 2011. ( See Filing No. 1-1.) The Defendants moved for summary judgment on October 30, 2013, asserting the defense of qualified immunity as to claims against Officer Elfreich. ( See Filing No. 27 at ECF pp. 20-22.) Two weeks later, Becker moved the Court to grant him leave to respond until after the close of discovery. (Filing No. 30.) Hearing no objection, the Court reset the close of discovery for March 1, 2014, and ordered Becker to respond by March 22. (Filing No. 35.)

On March 11, 2014, the Defendants also moved for judgment on the pleadings. (Filing No. 44.) The Court partially granted that motion on April 22, leaving the following claims unresolved:

• Count I (battery) against the City and Officer Elfreich in his individual capacity;
• Counts II (negligence) and III (negligent supervision) against the City; and
• Count IV (violation of Fourth Amendment rights under 42 U.S.C. §1983) against Officer Elfreich in his individual capacity.

(Filing No. 56 at ECF p. 15.)

Becker's Motion to Compel asks the Court to order the Defendants to produce a variety of documents and records relating to the EPD's training programs and policies, complaints citizens have raised against the EPD and its officers, and the conduct and discipline of Officer Elfreich and the canine used in Becker's arrest. ( See Filing No. 38; Filing No. 39.)

II. Legal Standard

A party to litigation is entitled to discover from his adversary "any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). A party who resists a discovery request bears the burden of demonstrating that the materials requested should not be discoverable. See, e.g., Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(5)(A), 26(c)(1).

III. Discussion

The Defendants ask the Court to stay Becker's requests on grounds that complying with them would be unduly burdensome in light of their motions for judgment on the pleadings and summary judgment. ( See Filing No. 48 at ECF pp. 1-2.) The Defendants do not object to any of Becker's requests as seeking privileged or otherwise undiscoverable evidence. Because the requests strike the Magistrate Judge as seeking relevant evidence, and because the Defendants have not asserted privilege or irrelevance, the Magistrate declines to find any ...


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