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Stile v. Somerset County

United States District Court, D. Maine

February 16, 2018

JAMES STILE, Plaintiff
v.
SOMERSET COUNTY, et al., Defendants

          DECISION AND ORDER ON PENDING MOTIONS

          John C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge.

         In this action, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants, most of whom are or were corrections officers employed at the Somerset County Jail, used excessive force when removing Plaintiff from his cell during Plaintiff's pretrial detention in the jail. As part of his claim, Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Somerset County is legally responsible for the deprivation of his constitutional rights as the result of the County's failure to train the individual Defendants on the use of force.

         The matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Subpoena (ECF No. 430), Motion for Time to Review Video Evidence (ECF No. 452), Motion to Join M. Jacques (ECF No. 455), and Motion to Reopen Discovery (ECF No. 461).

         Following a review of Plaintiff's motions and the record, the Court denies the motions.

         Background

         The Court's Amended Scheduling Order established February 20, 2014, as the deadline for amendment of the pleadings and joinder of parties. (ECF No. 48.) The Court subsequently permitted Plaintiff to assert additional claims and join certain defendants on or before May 15, 2014, and later authorized the “final” pleading filed by Plaintiff on August 14, 2014. (ECF Nos. 67, 68, 71, 86, 92.) The Court has not extended further the deadline for amendments to the pleadings.

         On February 1, 2016, following its denial of Plaintiff's motion to disqualify defense counsel, the Court established a deadline for the filing of summary judgment motions. (ECF No. 316.) Plaintiff subsequently filed interlocutory appeals from some of the decisions resulting in a stay of the proceedings in this Court. When Plaintiff's appeals were either withdrawn or dismissed, the Court established September 15, 2017, as the deadline for filing summary judgment motions. (ECF No. 427.)

         Before Defendants filed their summary judgment motions, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Subpoena. (ECF No. 430.) After Defendants filed their motions for judgment on the pleadings and for summary judgment (ECF Nos. 431, 434, 438, 440), Plaintiff filed a Motion for Extension of Time (ECF No. 452), Motion to Amend (ECF No. 455), and Motion to Reopen Discovery (ECF No. 461).

         Discussion

         A. Plaintiff's Motion for Subpoena[1]

         According to Plaintiff, while his criminal case was pending, pursuant to a search warrant, law enforcement officials searched his cell and removed items of property that were then placed in a box. Plaintiff contends the box contained documents that are essential to his case, and he requests a subpoena for service upon Somerset County officials for the return of the box and its contents.

         Plaintiff's request for a subpoena is essentially a request to conduct discovery long after the June 15, 2015, discovery deadline passed. Even with respect to a third-party witness, the use of a subpoena to secure documents after the discovery deadline is not ordinarily permitted. Williamson v. Horizon Lines LLC, 248 F.R.D. 79, 83 (D. Me. 2008) (internal quotations and citations omitted). Furthermore, although Plaintiff asserts the documents are necessary to the defense of the summary judgment motions, he provides no facts to support his assertion. Plaintiff, therefore, has offered no reason for the Court to permit Plaintiff to conduct discovery outside the discovery period.[2]

B. Motion for Extension of Time to Examine Video Exhibits[3]

         In support of the motions for summary judgment, Defendants submitted for the Court's consideration the Affidavit of Donna Campbell, a paralegal assisting in the representation of Defendants. (ECF No. 433-26.) In her affidavit, Ms. Campbell explains that she edited the original video evidence produced by the jail because “certain video clips started part-way through one extraction, then switched over at some point to the beginning of another extraction.” (Id. ¶ 3.) Ms. Campbell asserts that her editing was limited to ensuring that any video file that captured only a portion of an extraction was joined together with the video file that captured the rest of that particular extraction. She further states that she did not eliminate footage or alter the videos in any manner, except to join video files that depicted the same extraction. (Id. ¶¶ 8 - 15.) Ms. Campbell organized the videos by extraction date and time. (Id. ¶ 17.)

         Plaintiff asserts that because Ms. Campbell reformatted[4] and rearranged the video evidence, he needs additional time to review the video evidence and compare it with the videos produced in discovery, in order to be able to respond to the summary judgment motions. In addition to requesting additional time to review the videos, Plaintiff evidently objects to the Court's consideration of ...


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