United States District Court, N.D. Indiana
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Danny Thomas, Jason Hufnagle, Nicole Hufnagle, Abigail
McLatcher, and Steuben County Sheriff Tim R. Troyer, seek
dismissal of the Plaintiff's claims in accordance with
37(b)(2) and 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as
a sanction for the Plaintiff's repeated failure to comply
with Court-ordered discovery deadlines, failure to comply
with Court Orders, and failure to prosecute the
Plaintiff's claim for more than six months.
August 7, 2017, the Plaintiff, Julian Dove, filed his
Complaint [ECF No. 1] and Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis
[ECF No. 2] against the Defendants Quality Correctional Care
and Steuben County Sheriff Tim R. Troyer, alleging denial of
adequate medical care during his time as a prisoner at the
Steuben County Jail. The Plaintiff alleged that the
Defendants actions violated his federally protected right to
be free from cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth
and/or Fourteenth Amendments and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The
Plaintiff also asserted state law tort claims. On September
18, 2017, the Court granted the Plaintiff's request to
proceed without the prepayment of cost and fees [ECF No. 5].
November 17, 2017 and November 21, 201, Defendants Troyer and
Quality Correctional Care answered the Complaint [ECF Nos.
14, 17]. On January 10, 2018, the Court conducted a Rule 16
Preliminary Pretrial Conference [ECF No. 18]. The Court set
the discovery deadline as September 28, 2018 [ECF No. 21].
on April 4, 2018, the Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint
which included additional Defendants Jason Hufnagle, Nicole
Hufnagle, Abigail McLatcher, and Danny Thomas [ECF No. 26].
These Defendants, in addition to Troyer, filed an answer to
the Plaintiff's Amended Complaint on April 10, 2018 [ECF
January 22, 2018, Defendants served their First Set of
Interrogatories to Plaintiff and First Request of Production
of Documents and Records to Plaintiff. (Defs. Suppl. Mot. to
Compel Disc. ¶ 4, ECF No. 38). On May 4, 2018, the
Plaintiff served Plaintiff's Responses to Defendants
First Set of Interrogatories and Responses to Defendants'
first Request for Production of Documents. (Id.
¶5.) The Plaintiff did not sign either response.
(Id.) On May 9, 2018, Defendant served a Notice of
Deposition upon Plaintiff's counsel to hold the
deposition of the Plaintiff on May 31, 2018. (Id.
¶7.) On May 31, 2018, counsel for the Defendants
appeared for the deposition, but the Plaintiff did not
appear. (Id.¶ 8.)
7, 2018, Defendants Jason and Nicole Hufnagle, Abigail
McLatcher, Danny Thomas, and Tim Troyer filed a Supplemental
Motion to Compel Discovery [ECF No. 38]. The Defendants
stated that the failure of the Plaintiff to “properly
and fully” respond to the Interrogatories and Request
for Production of Documents and to appear for his deposition
rendered them unable to investigate the Plaintiff's
claims and prepare their defense.
12, 2018, the Court granted the Plaintiff's counsel's
Motion to Withdraw as Attorney [ECF No. 42]. On June 26,
2018, the Court unsuccessfully attempted to contact the
Plaintiff for the scheduled telephonic Status Conference on
the issue of his attorney representation. [ECF No. 44]. The
Plaintiff did not appear and the Court assumed that the
Plaintiff intended to proceed pro se.
19, 2018, the Court ordered the Plaintiff to serve on
Defendants, on or before August 3, 2018, his response to
Defendants' written discovery requests and to appear for
a deposition on a date within thirty days [ECF No. 46]. The
Court warned the Plaintiff in its Order that failure to
“serve his responses by the deadline, to appear for his
deposition, or to otherwise comply with the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure or Court Orders may lead to this case being
dismissed with prejudice under either Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 37 or 41.” (Order Granting Defs Mot. to
Compel Disc.at 2.) As of the date of this Order, the
Plaintiff has not yet responded to the Defendants'
written discovery requests.
24, 2018, the Defendants served an Amended Notice of
Deposition on the Plaintiff to appear for a deposition on
August 7, 2018. (Defs. Mot. for Sanction and Mot. to Dismiss,
Ex. 1.) The Plaintiff did not appear for his deposition on
August 9, 2018, the Defendants filed a Motion for Sanctions
and to Dismiss [ECF No. 47] arguing that the Plaintiff has
not prosecuted his claim in the past six months, citing the
Plaintiff's continued failure to comply with discovery,
the Orders of the Court, and failure to contact counsel for
the Defendants upon the withdrawal of his attorney. As of the
date of this Order, the Plaintiff has not responded to the
Defendants Thomas, J. Hufnagle, N. Hufnagle, ...