United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
C. DICKMEYER INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL
BENJAMIN C. ELLIS INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO COMPEL
R. SWEENEY II JUDGE
Robert Peacher filed a motion to compel regarding four
categories of discovery. First, Mr. Peacher alleged that the
defendants J. Ernest and Michael Conyers (“state
defendants”) had failed to provide him discovery in
compliance with the Court's February 11, 2019, Order
Regarding Certain Pending Motions (dkt. 125). (“First
Request”) Dkt. 140 at 1-2. Second, Mr. Peacher argues
that defendants Michelle LaFlower and Dr. Paul Talbot
(“medical defendants”) filed deficient responses
to Preacher's second set of interrogatories.
(“Second Request”) Dkt. 140 at 2. Third, Mr.
Peacher requests that the Court compel the state defendants
to provide him with the last known address for four former
staff members. (“Third Request”) Dkt. 140 at 2-4.
Fourth, Mr. Peacher requests that the Court compel the
medical defendants to provide him with the last known address
for four former staff members. (“Fourth Request”)
Dkt. 140 at 4-6.
of the Court's May 14, 2019, Order Granting in Part and
Denying in Part Medical Defendants' Motion for Protective
Order, dkt. 147, Mr. Peacher's Third and Fourth Requests
are denied as moot. The Court has already
addressed Mr. Peacher's concerns about his ability to
request discovery from nonparties.
Mr. Peacher's First Request, the state defendants have
represented that they experienced delays in receiving and
processing the relevant documents for Mr. Peacher's
request, but have mailed them to Mr. Peacher as of April 12,
2019. Mr. Peacher filed a reply on April 17, 2019, asserting
that he had not yet received the documents. However, Mr.
Peacher has not filed a supplemental reply stating that he
did not receive the documents, and over a month has elapsed
since the state defendants have mailed the documents to Mr.
Peacher. Accordingly, Mr. Peacher's First Request is
denied without prejudice.
Mr. Peacher's Second Request, Mr. Peacher request that
the Court compel Ms. LaFlower to supplement her response to
Interrogatory No. 4 and compel Dr. Talbot to supplement his
response to Interrogatories No. 3 and 4. Dkt. 140 at 2.
Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) provides that
[p]arties 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 be discoverable.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). The scope of discovery is broad,
but each request must be relevant to a party's claim or
defense and be proportional to the needs of the case. Each of
Mr. Peacher's requests is discussed below:
• Interrogatory No. 4 to Ms.
LaFlower: Interrogatory No. 4 requests that Ms.
LaFlower “list how many complaints she has received or
been notified regarding Defendant Talbot not providing proper
medical care. Please state, in general, what the complaints
were and what she did in regard to those complaints.”
Dkt. 140-1 at 2. Ms. LaFlower objected to the interrogatory
as overbroad and unclear. Mr. Peacher argues that he did not
provide a timeframe because he wanted to know about any
complaints Ms. LaFlower received regarding Dr. Talbot not
providing proper medical care. Dkt. 98 at 1. He asserts this
information is relevant as to what her normal practice was
with handling complaints similar to his own complaints and
relevant to how Dr. Talbot failed to provide medical care.
Id. at 2. Ms. LaFlower argues that Mr. Peacher has
admitted that his interrogatory was overbroad and that he has
fail to show the relevance where he seeks propensity-type
evidence, which is specifically prohibited under the Federal
Rules of Evidence. Dkt. 110 at 3.
claims in this case are that Dr. Talbot and Michelle LaFlower
were deliberately indifferent to his need to be provided with
an electric shaver. See dkt. 95. A complete list of
all complaints Ms. LaFlower received regarding Dr. Talbot not
providing proper medical care is not necessary to show
whether Dr. Talbot and Ms. LaFlower were specifically
deliberate to Mr. Peacher's need for an electric shaver.
This is because for Mr. Peacher to prevail on an Eighth
Amendment deliberate indifference medical claim, he must
demonstrate two elements: (1) he suffered from an objectively
serious medical condition; and (2) the defendant knew about
the plaintiff's condition and the substantial risk of
harm it posed, but disregarded that risk. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994); Pittman ex rel.
Hamilton v. County of Madison, Ill., 746 F.3d 766, 775
(7th Cir. 2014). Evidence regarding how Ms. LaFlower handled
complaints from other inmates regarding medical care from Dr.
Talbot would not be relevant to how Ms. LaFlower handled the
specific complaint about electric shavers for Mr. Peacher.
Mr. Peacher's request as to Interrogatory No. 4 to Ms.
LaFlower is denied.
Interrogatory Nos. 3 and 4 to Dr.
Talbot: Interrogatory No. 3 requests that Dr.
Talbot “list how many complaints he has received for
not providing proper medical care.” Dkt. 140-1 at 3.
Dr. Talbot objected to the interrogatory as overbroad,
unclear, and calling for confidential medical information
regarding other inmates. Interrogatory No. 4 requests that
Dr. Talbot “state whether or not you have been the
defendant in a case regarding failure to provide medical
care. If so, please provide the case names and cause
numbers.” Dkt. 140-1 at 3. Dr. ...