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Griffith v. Brannick

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

February 28, 2019

JAMES F. GRIFFITH, Plaintiff,
v.
F. BRANNICK, D. HASKINS, YARBAR, DEVINE, E. DRADA, N. LYDAY, PHILLIPS, Defendants.

          DAVID A. ARTHUR INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL

          JOSHUA ROBERT LOWRY INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL

          ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO RECONSIDER ORDER AT DOCKET NO. 104

          MARK J. DINSMORE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Reconsider Order at Docket No. 104. [Dkt. 110.] On January 17, 2019, the Court issued its Order on two motions: 1) Plaintiff's Verified Fourth Motion to Compel Discovery [Dkt. 87] and 2) Plaintiff's Verified Fifth Motion to Compel Discovery [Dkt. 93], granting in part and denying in part Plaintiff's motions. For the reasons set forth below, the Court now DENIES Defendants' Motion to Reconsider.

         I. Background

         In this action, Plaintiff, a prisoner incarcerated at New Castle Correctional Facility, brings excessive use of force claims against correctional officer Defendants that he asserts occurred while he was housed at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility [Dkt. 5 at 1.] Plaintiff alleges that, on June 2, 2016, Defendants dragged him to F cell house and carried him down the stairs out of the view of cameras. [Dkt. 5 at 2.] While Plaintiff was handcuffed, he contends Defendants body slammed, jumped on, and began beating him. [Dkt. 5 at 2.] In relevant part of Plaintiff's Verified Fourth and Fifth Motions to Compel, the Court granted the following discovery requests in its January 17, 2019 Order:

1). Plaintiff's motion to compel with regard to Plaintiff's Request for Documents No. 2 as it pertains to additional pages 8-9 and Appendix I is GRANTED. Defendants shall provide Plaintiff with an unredacted copy of the “Use of Force Continuum Step Definitions” from pages 8 and 9 of the Use of Physical Force Policy and Attachment I, the Adult Facility Use of Force Continuum Scale.
2). Plaintiff's Verified Fourth Motion is GRANTED IN PART as to Plaintiff's Interrogatory No. 11 to the limited extent that the Court directs Defendants to identify what inmate grievances, if any, were filed against them complaining of the use of physical force and detailing the alleged nature of that force between June 2, 2014 and June 2, 2017. Confidential or sensitive security information may be redacted. Contemporaneous with the production of these responses to Plaintiff, Defendants are ordered to provide copies of both the redacted and the unredacted grievance records in an ex-parte filing for in camera review.
3). The Court GRANTS IN PART Plaintiff's Request for Production No. 2 to the limited extent that the Court directs Defendants to produce any use of force reports they participated in creating in response to an inmate grievance or where medical care was provided to an inmate as a result of the interaction between June 2, 2014 and June 2, 2017. Confidential or sensitive security information may be redacted. Contemporaneous with the production of these redacted documents to Plaintiff, Defendants are ordered to provide copies of both the redacted and unredacted use of force reports in an ex-parte filing for in camera review.

[See Dkt. 104.]

         Defendants timely filed their Motion to Reconsider on January 30, 2019, urging the Court to “reconsider and to vacate orders to provide the plaintiff with [1] an unredacted version of the use of force continuum and definitions and [2] grievance and [3] use of force reports.” [Dkt. 110 at 1.] Defendants' motion argued “[r]eleasing the continuum is a serious security breach and providing the grievances and use of force reports is an undue burden.” [Dkt. 110 at 1.]

         II. Legal Standard

         Motions to reconsider serve a limited function, to be used, “where ‘the Court has patently misunderstood a party, or has made a decision outside the adversarial issues presented to the Court by the parties, or has made an error not of reasoning but of apprehension.'” Bank of Waunakee v. Rochester Cheese Sales, Inc., 906 F.2d 1185, 1191 (7th Cir. 1990) (quoting Above the Belt, Inc. v. Mel Bohannan Roofing, Inc., 99 F.R.D. 99, 101 (E.D. Va. 1983)). The parties may not introduce evidence previously available but unused in the prior proceeding or tender new legal theories. See In re Prince, 85 F.3d 314, 324 (7th Cir. 1996); Bally Export Corp. v. Balicar Ltd., 804 F.2d 398, 404 (7th Cir. 1986). A court may grant a motion to reconsider where a movant demonstrates a manifest error of law or fact. In re Prince, 85 F.3d at 324. A motion to reconsider is not an occasion to make new arguments. Granite State Ins. Co. v. Degerlia, 925 F.2d 189, 192 n.7 (7th Cir. 1991).

         This is a difficult standard to meet: “Motions to reconsider are granted for ‘compelling reasons,' such as a change in the law which reveals that an earlier ruling was erroneous, not for addressing arguments that a party should have raised earlier.” Solis v. Current Dev. Corp., 557 F.3d 772, 780 (7th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted). It is accordingly “inappropriate to argue matters that could have been raised in prior motions” or to “rehash previously rejected arguments[.]” United States v. Zabka, No. 1:10-CV-1078, 2013 WL 9564253, at *2 (C.D.Ill. Aug. 19, 2013); accord, e.g.,Caisse Nationale De Credit Agricole v. CBI Indus., Inc., 90 F.3d 1267, 1270 (7th Cir. 1996) (“Again we emphasize, apart from manifest errors of law, reconsideration is not for rehashing previously rejected arguments.”); id. (“[A] motion to reconsider is not the appropriate vehicle to introduce new legal ...


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