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McDougald v. Eaches

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

March 2, 2018

JERONE MCDOUGALD, Plaintiff,
v.
JEREMY EACHES, et al., Defendants.

          DLOTT, J.

          ORDER

          Karen L. Litkovitz United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff, an inmate at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility ("SOCF") proceeding pro se, brings this prisoner civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his constitutional rights by defendants. This matter is before the Court on plaintiffs motion to compel (Doc. 19) and plaintiffs subsequent motions for a status update on his motion to compel (Docs. 22, 29) and motion to produce video recordings (Doc. 35), defendants' response in opposition (Doc. 20), and plaintiffs reply memoranda (Docs. 21, 22).

         I. Discovery Background

         Plaintiff filed his motion to compel discovery on November 2, 2017. (Doc. 19). In the motion to compel, plaintiff asks the Court to compel defendants to produce the following: (1) medical protocol B-51 health guidelines for inmates; (2) a medical examination report for May 2, 2016; and (3) DVR camera footage for the K-2 cell 33 showing he was escorted to the J-2 cell 35 and showing when the nurse arrived from 9:50 AM to 10:50 AM. (Id.). Plaintiff certifies that he has attempted to confer with counsel for defendants, Assistant Attorney General George Horvath, as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a), in a letter dated October 19, 2017. (Id. at 2).

         On November 20, 2017, defendants filed a response in opposition, asserting that an order compelling discovery was not warranted at that time. (Doc. 20 at 1). Defendants represented that they provided plaintiff with the data and documents that he requested. (Id. at 2). With regard to the requested video footage, defendants represented that plaintiff could not watch the video footage under special watch conditions for security reasons. (Id. at 1). Defendants indicated that they would provide the Court with a status update regarding plaintiffs ability to view the footage. (Id. at 2). In reply, plaintiff admitted that he reviewed the video footage on December 1, 2017. (Doc. 22 at 1). Plaintiff asserted that he was still in need of a ruling on his motion to compel because the camera footage did not show the whole use of force incident in the K-2 housing unit. (Id.). Plaintiff asserted that the camera footage did not show "[t]he use of force C/O Combs claim [sic] he used on me once I arrived in J-2 as stated in his use of force incident report." (Id.). The Court then ordered defendants to respond to plaintiffs reply memorandum within twenty days. (Doc. 24).

         On December 21, 2017, defendants submitted a status report averring that they complied with plaintiffs discovery requests. (Doc. 27). Defendants stated that plaintiff had reviewed the use of force video footage. (Id. at 1). Defendants also attached an incident report completed by Correction Officer Combs and explained that the incident report did not mention any use of force occurring in the J-2 block, in contrast to plaintiffs assertion in his reply memorandum. (Id. at 2) (citing Doc. 27-1). Defendants also attached a medical report of the incident from May 2, 2016. (Id.). Defendants also maintained that plaintiffs complaint made no mention of a use of force in the J-2 unit and no video footage of this alleged incident exists because no use of force was reported in that area. (Id.).

         On December 22, 2017, plaintiff filed his "motion status update and supplemental motion to compel." (Doc. 29). Plaintiff admits that he reviewed the video footage on December 1, 2017, but contends:

the color of the camera footage was distorted it was black and white and not the usually [sic] color of other camera footages I view even one I viewed in a 2015 incident, so This camera footage was manipulated in a way where it was made Black and white in color so that a clear view of defendants malicious actions want [sic] be clearly captured.

(Id.).

         On December 28, 2017, defendants submitted a second status report in response to plaintiffs motion for a status update. (Doc. 34). Defendants maintain that although the video footage was in black and white, there is no basis for plaintiffs assertion that the video was manipulated in any manner. (Id. at 1). Defendants reassert many arguments from their December 21, 2017 status report, including that any alleged use of force in the J-2 segregation unit was not mentioned in plaintiffs complaint and no video footage of it exists because there is no record of use of force occurring in the J-2 segregation unit. (Id. at 2-4). Defendants further represent that they provided plaintiff with a comprehensive response to his first and second request for production of documents on October 31, 2017, which included health examination guidelines, use offeree reports, incident reports, medical exam reports, photographs of plaintiff following the OC spray incident, and grievance with disposition documents. (Id. at 3).

         Defendants state that they sent plaintiff these discovery responses again. (Id.).

         On January 10, 2018, plaintiff filed a motion for an order compelling defendants to produce the video footage. (Doc. 35). Plaintiff asks the Court to compel defendants to produce "(1) the entire moving footage with no skippage [sic], (2) to insure that none of the evidence is skipped, deleted, tampered." (Id.).

         II. ...


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