United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
E. MARTIN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to
Compel [DE 57], filed on July 6, 2016. Plaintiff asks the
Court to compel Defendants to provide certain documents in
response to Plaintiff's discovery requests. On July 15,
2016, Defendants filed a response and moved for a protective
order [DE 65], and on July 23, 2016, Plaintiff filed her
reply [DE 68].
Amended Complaint [DE 29] alleges multiple claims against the
Town of Schererville, the Shererville Police Department chief
and deputy chief, and two police commanders. Relevant here is
Plaintiff's allegation that she was discriminated against
because of her gender during her employment with the Police
Department. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that, in December
2013, her supervisors placed her on administrative leave
after she made a comment about killing herself. Plaintiff
contends that male officers in the Police Department have
made similar comments and were not placed on administrative
leave or declared unfit for duty.
February 4, 2016, Plaintiff served Defendants with her Fourth
Request for Production of Documents. Two of the requests in
her Fourth Request for Production are at issue here.
Plaintiff's Request 44 sought “[a]ll documents
regarding ‘return to work' or psychological
examinations, conducted during or before employment as part
of the application process, for Officers Djukic, Myszak and
Aravanitis.” Plaintiff's Request 49 sought
“[a]ll documents related to administrative leave,
psychological evaluation and fitness for duty examination of
Officer Myszak in January 2016.” Defendants have
refused to turn over the requested psychological evaluations.
Plaintiff now moves the Court to compel production of those
may seek an order to compel discovery when an opposing party
fails to respond to discovery requests or provides evasive or
incomplete responses. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a). A
party objecting to the discovery request bears the burden of
showing why the request is improper. McGrath v. Everest
Nat'l Ins. Co., 625 F.Supp.2d 660, 670 (N.D. Ind.
2008). The Court has broad discretion when deciding discovery
matters. Thermal Design, Inc. v. Am. Soc'y of
Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning Eng'rs,
Inc., 755 F.3d 832, 837 (7th Cir. 2014); Rennie v.
Dalton, 3 F.3d 1100, 1110 (7th Cir. 1993).
claims she was discriminated against on the basis of her
gender, her theory being that Defendants treated her
differently than male officers who had made similar
“jokes” or comments about suicide in the past. To
support her discrimination claim, Plaintiff seeks the
pre-employment psychological evaluations of Djukic, Myszak,
and Aravanitis, who are all men. Plaintiff alleges these
officers also made on-the-job comments about suicide but have
never been placed on administrative leave or declared unfit
for duty based on those comments.
wishes to compare the officers' backgrounds to her own.
Plaintiff's pre-employment background check revealed that
she had tried to kill herself in 1989. As a result,
Plaintiff's supervisors were aware of the prior suicide
attempt at the time they placed her on administrative leave
for making comments about suicide. At least two of these
supervisors have testified that the previous suicide attempt
factored into their decision to place Plaintiff on leave.
of the officers who made suicide-related comments also had a
history of suicide attempts like Plaintiff but was not placed
on administrative leave, Plaintiff will argue that she was
treated differently than the male officers. Put simply,
Plaintiff hopes to use Djukic, Myszak, and Aravanitis to
demonstrate that her supervisors based their decision to
place her on leave on a pretextual rather than a legitimate
reaching the substantive merits of Plaintiff's Motion,
the Court must consider Plaintiff's assertion that
Defendants waived any of the objections before the Court
because Defendants failed to timely produce a privilege log.
Plaintiff's Fourth Request for Production of Documents
was served on February 4, 2016. The Fourth Request for
Production included an interrogatory asking that Defendants
identify any documents not produced in response to the Fourth
Request for Production based on an objection.
responded to the Fourth Request for Production on March 11,
2016. Defendants did not object to the requests at issue
before the Court, and in response to the related
interrogatory they explicitly stated that they were not
withholding any documents based on an objection. But
Defendants did not turn over all the reports Plaintiff asked
for in Requests 44 and 49, namely the psychological reports
for the male officers.
13, 2016, in response to an email from Plaintiff's
counsel's asking about the missing reports,
Defendants' counsel-for the first time-objected to the
requested production on relevance and “medical
confidentiality” grounds. Defendants sent a
supplemental response on June 6, 2016, reiterating their
objection on relevance grounds as to Officer Aravanitis.
Finally, on June 21, 2016, ...