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Prado v. Thomas

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

February 22, 2018

DEPUTY JEFFREY THOMAS, et al., Defendants.

          District Judge Walter H. Rice


          Sharon L. Ovington United States Magistrate Judge

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff brings this action alleging Defendants violated her constitutional rights to equal protection and due process; conspired to violate her rights; and failed to train and supervise employees.

         This case is presently before the Court upon Plaintiff's Motion to Compel (Doc. #47), Defendants' Response in Opposition (Doc. #48), and Plaintiff's Reply (Doc. #49).

         II. Background

         Plaintiff is a legal permanent resident of the United States. (Doc. #25, PageID #25). Her original language is Spanish, her second is Arabic, and her third is English. Id. at 119. Plaintiff “has a strong and apparent Spanish accent[.]” Id. The present case stems from two series of events. The first involves Plaintiff's arrest.

         Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that on August 9, 2015, Defendant Jeffrey Thomas pulled her over; improperly administered field sobriety tests; refused to explain the test instructions; and with Defendant Sean Joseph Kessel, arrested her on suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. (Doc. #25, PageID #s 118-20). Upon arrival at the jail, Plaintiff was not initially booked because her husband was coming to pick her up. Id. at 121.

         While she waited, Defendant Donna Fallis instructed Plaintiff to perform a urine test. Id. She complied. Id. However, when Plaintiff refused to sign the unsealed, unlabeled urine vial, Defendant Thomas threw it in the trash and told Defendant Fallis to book Plaintiff. Id. “Plaintiff was ordered to disrobe and was ordered to take a cold shower and given a towel used for cleaning the floor, … Plaintiff was then placed in jail clothing, ….” Id. at 121-22. Her name (and photograph) was listed online as an inmate of the Greene County Jail. Id. at 122. When Plaintiff's husband arrived, she was released. Id.

         Later that day, Defendant Thomas informed Plaintiff's husband that his supervisor, Defendant Jimmy Combs, told him that it was wrong to throw Plaintiff's urine test away and as a result, Defendant Thomas removed the test from the trash and planned to submit it for analysis. Id. According to Plaintiff, “Defendant Combs was ordered by Defendant Major Kirk Keller or a subordinate at his direction to have Thomas fish the Plaintiff's urine sample from the trash and submit it for analysis ….” Id. at 126.

         On August 10, 2015, Plaintiff was charged in Fairborn Municipal Court with “OVI drug impairment.” Id. at 123. As part of discovery in the criminal case, Plaintiff requested all cruiser videos, and initially, Defendant Thomas only produced a six-minute video of him transporting Plaintiff to the jail. Id. However, after further motions were filed, Defendant Thomas produced “the nearly complete arrest video on a format that cannot be accessed and on a DVD that did not include date and time ….” Id. On October 1, 2015, Defendant Thomas received the results of Plaintiff's urine test- Plaintiff had no drugs or alcohol in her system. Id. Plaintiff learned of these results on October 10, 2015, and her charge was dismissed on October 11, 2015. Id.

         The second series of events involves Plaintiff's employment as a caseworker at the Greene County, Ohio, Children's Services Board. Id. at 125. After she was terminated from that position on March 11, 2015, Plaintiff filed a complaint for employment discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Id. Plaintiff specifically named Beth Keller, the wife of Defendant Major Kirk Keller. Id. Defendant Keller is the supervisor of the Greene County, Ohio Jail and road patrol. Id.

         These two series of events collided on September 9, 2015 at a mediation conference regarding Plaintiff's EEOC claim. Id. at 126. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Huddleson, the Greene County Administrator, “refused to offer any resolution to the EEOC complaint and prosed [sic: probably “proposed”] to provide documents to the mediator and counsel which contained Plaintiff's arrest record and inmate photograph, … [He] attempted to use these documents to intimidate Plaintiff in her complaint for employment discrimination, … [He] was supplied these documents by the Greene County, Ohio Sheriff's Office from Jail records under Defendant Major Kirk Keller's control ….” Id.

         III. Standard of Review

         Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the scope of discovery is “traditionally quite broad.” Lewis v. ACB Bus. Servs, Inc.,135 F.3d 389, 402 (6th Cir. 1998) (citing Mellon v. Cooper-Jarrett, Inc., 424 F.2d 499, 501 ...

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