5. Claimant's Reply Affidavit, sworn to October 8, 2002. In this action,
Claimant alleges that he was denied proper medical treatment while incarcerated
at Wende Correctional Facility. Specifically, he alleges that, despite repeated
complaints, agents of Defendant failed to properly diagnose and treat a foot
ailment with which he suffered from January 31, 2001 to August 8, 2001. For
purposes of this motion, Claimant asserts that, on November 21, 2001, he served
several discovery demands upon Defendant. Although Claimant's initial
submissions indicated that Defendant had failed to respond to his demands, he
now concedes that responses to all of his demands have been provided. According
to Claimant's October 8, 2002 affidavit, what remains is a dispute over the
adequacy of the responses, and whether certain documents requested by Claimant
are, or are not discoverable. Claimant is still requesting the entry of default
judgment due to the length of time it took Defendant to respond to his demands.
Initially, I note that nothing in the record demonstrates that Defendant's
tardiness in responding to Claimant's demands demonstrates a willful and
contumacious attempt to delay Claimant's action from proceeding to trial.
Similarly, Defendant has not failed to comply with a previous order of this
court. Therefore, the entry of default judgment, striking the answer, or any
other such sanction against the Defendant, is not warranted.
Defendant opposes the motion, indicating that it provided appropriate responses
to Claimant's demands.
The matters still in dispute relate to Claimant's request for production of
documents. The Claimant asserts that he has not received adequate responses to
items numbered 2, 5, 9, 11, 12, and 14 of his demand. I will address these
demands in order. It should be noted that many of the demands themselves are
poorly worded and difficult to comprehend. What follows is my interpretation of
what Claimant is actually requesting.
In item 2, Claimant requests the Defendant's policies and procedures relating
to "sick call" and the referral of inmates to medical providers outside of the
Department of Correctional Services. I find that this request reasonably
relates to the claim in this matter and Defendant is directed to respond to this
In item 5, Claimant requests documents relating to grievances filed by other
inmates. As such, Defendant correctly points out that these documents are
irrelevant to Claimant's action. The Defendant's response to this item is,
In item 9, Claimant requests entries in the facility's Special Housing Unit log
book between January 31, 2001 and August 8, 2001. It was not until his October
8, 2002 affidavit that Claimant clarified this request, indicating that he only
seeks entries that relate to him and his request for medical treatment. With
this limitation, I find that this request is proper and direct Defendant to
In item 11, Claimant seeks reports of physicians and nurses. Defendant, though
properly objecting to the broadness of this demand, also responded that such
reports that relate to Claimant can be found in the medical records already
produced. I find that Defendant's response to this item is adequate.
In item 12, Claimant requests "witness statements either oral or in writing."
Defendant responded to this item by indicating that any statements that could be
relevant to this action would be contained in the medical records already
produced. This response too, is adequate.
Finally, in item 14, Claimant requests a copy of the Department of Correctional
Services' Health Services Manual. Defendant correctly objects that this request
is overly broad and irrelevant to Claimant's action. Policies and procedures
relating to "sick call" and the referral of inmates to outside medical care
providers has already been addressed in item 2 above. Claimant has failed to
demonstrate the relevance of any other policy or procedure that might be
contained in this document.
Based upon the foregoing it is:
ORDERED, that Claimant's motion is granted in part and Defendant is
directed to respond, as limited by this decision, to items 2 and 9 of Claimant's
"Request for Production of Documents" served November 21, 2001, within 60 days
of the filing date of this order; and it is further
ORDERED, that all further relief requested by Claimant in his motion to
compel disclosure is denied for the reasons set forth herein.