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Brown v. Philips

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

October 5, 2017

MEE MEE BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
COURTNEY PHILIPS, Director, SHANNON BLACK, Program Director, KYLE MALONE, SOS Team Leader, WILLIAM BECKER, Program Therapist, CINDY DYKEMAN, Program Manager, and LISA LAURELL, Program Social Worker, et. al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge.

         Pro se plaintiff Mee Mee Brown, a patient at the Norfolk Regional Center, brings this action for denial of equal protection by subjecting her to gender discrimination; First Amendment retaliation; and denial of due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.

         On July 19 and 20, 2017, Plaintiff filed motions to compel discovery from Defendants in the form of answers to interrogatories (Filing No. 50) and documents (Filing No. 51). Because the parties thereafter agreed to a Protective Order (Filing No. 55) that seemed to pertain to the documents Plaintiff was requesting, I denied the motions without prejudice to reassertion should Defendants continue to refuse to produce the requested nonprivileged documents. (Filing No. 56.)

         Plaintiff has now filed a Motion for Reconsideration (Filing No. 57) of the court's prior denial (Filing No. 56) of Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery of Documents (Filing No. 51), stating that Plaintiff has discussed the matter by telephone with Defendants' counsel, who still refuses to provide the documents in question. Plaintiff has also filed another Motion to Appoint Counsel (Filing No. 58).

         MOTION TO COMPEL

Parties 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.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1).

         Defendants essentially parrot the language of this rule (Filing No. 51, Ex. 1) in refusing to provide Plaintiff with the following documents:

REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 1: All patient treatment files, including all staffing, and nursing notes beginning October 2015, through October 2016.
REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 2: All written statements, originals, or copies, grievances, witness statements, both formal and informal of both patients, and staff beginning October 2015 thru October 2016.
REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 4: All written statements, originals, or copies identifyable (sic) as reports, or witness statements, social worker notes, and therapist notes involving incidents, conversations or otherwise with all named defendants, and staff employed at the Lincoln Regional Center, with attention paid to: Plaintiffs gender evaluation done by Defendant Shannon Black, and Sanat Roy (Program Psychiatrist) on August 12, 2016. S.O. group incident involving Lisa Laurell on September 20, 2016 witness statement and report(s) of incidents with Gavin Wiseman reported by Teresa Hansen, Defendant Chalice Closen.
REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 5: Any and all rules, hospital polices, regulations, and all other operational procedures concerning both staff and patients employed and/or committed to the Lincoln Regional Center.

(Filing No. 51 at CM/ECF pp. 3-5.)

         Keeping in mind the claims brought by Plaintiff and the language of Fed.R.Civ.P. 26, I conclude that Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration (Filing No. 57) of the court's prior denial (Filing No. 56) of Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery of Documents (Filing ...


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