United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
R. CHERRY UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to
Compel Further Responses and Further Discovery [DE 51], filed
by Plaintiff Kevin Miller on September 12, 2016. Defendants
filed a response on September 26, 2016, and Plaintiff filed a
reply on October 4, 2016.
April 4, 2016, the Court issued an Opinion and Order on
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, denying the motion as to
Plaintiff's § 1983 Fourteenth Amendment claims and
recognizing his allegations of denial of due process:
Plaintiff argues that he has alleged that he was denied
procedural due process because FSSA is only allowing him to
submit twelve months of medical evidence in support of his
Medicaid claim whereas he argues that the Indiana Medicaid
policy manual states that he is allowed from the onset of his
conditions to apply. He also alleges that the ALJ denied him
due process by restarting the audio recording of the hearing.
And, he argues violations of due process rights at his
hearing when the ALJ remanded his case at the hearing but he
then received a written Notice of Hearing Decision dismissing
his appeal for procedural reasons.
(ECF 36, p. 7).
Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b) provides:
Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of
discovery is as follows: Parties 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
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b).
Rule of Civil Procedure 37 provides that a “party may
move for an order compelling disclosure or discovery.”
instant motion, Plaintiff asks the Court to compel further
discovery responses and/or admissions from Defendants.
initial matter, the Court finds that all of Plaintiff's
discovery requests regarding Plaintiff's food stamps
(formerly identified as food stamps and now identified as
SNAP benefits) is not relevant to the issues in this case
because those benefits are outside the scope of
Plaintiff's remaining claims.
Court also notes Defendants' representation that many of
Plaintiff's requests in the instant motion are for
documents that Defendants have already provided through
discovery. Plaintiff requested his entire file for numerous
years. Defendants represent that they have produced all
documents for the requested time period that FSSA had in its
possession and that Defendants could find after making a good
faith effort to collect the documents. Defendants represent
that this effort included many hours of research and
coordination with different sections of FSSA. Defendants have
produced over 700 pages of documents.
argues in the Motion to Compel that FSSA has not met its
obligation to request medical records from physicians.
However, this is a new legal claim that was not raised in his
Complaint. Plaintiff may not amend his Complaint through
discovery requests. Therefore, any discovery requests related
to FSSA not requesting medical records from physicians is
denied on the basis that the requests are not relevant. The
Court denies the Motion to Compel as to requests made on this
also argues in his motion that he is disabled and cannot
physically and/or financially afford to produce medical
evidence to FSSA at every Medicaid and foodstamp
redetermination or hearing for denials. Again, to the extent
that Plaintiff is asserting a new legal claim regarding his
burden of producing documents for administrative hearings,
this is a new legal argument not raised in the Complaint.
Therefore, discovery related to these assertions is not
relevant. The Court denies the Motion to Compel as to
requests made on this basis.
the Court considers each of Plaintiff's arguments
organized by capital letter in his Brief in Support. The
Court notes that ...