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Stile v. Somerset County

United States District Court, D. Maine

September 4, 2018

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

         ORDER ON MOTION FOR JUDICIAL INTERVENTION AND FOR EXTENSION OF TIME AND ON MOTION TO ACCEPT PARTIAL RESPONSES AND TO ALLOW THE RECORD TO REMAIN OPEN, AND MOTION FOR COURT TO OBTAIN BATE STAMPED MATERIALS FROM DEFENDANT[]S THAT PLAINTIFF CITED IN HIS RESPONSES TO DISPOSITIVE PLEADINGS

          JOHN A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         The Court denies a Plaintiff's demand that he be allowed to respond fully to long-pending dispositive motions only when the Bureau of Prisons releases certain evidence to him that depicts what happened to him. The Plaintiff is a competent witness of his own lived experience and it is not necessary to obtain documentation from other sources in order to respond to factual allegations about his own experience.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The procedural history of these motions began simply enough, but quickly became complicated due to James Stile's unorthodox filings. To begin, on July 17, 2018, James Stile filed identical motions for judicial intervention in his lawsuits against Somerset and Cumberland Counties. Mot. for Judicial Intervention (ECF No. 242) (No. 2:14-cv-00406-JAW); (ECF No. 568) (No. 1:13-cv-00248-JAW) (Pl.'s Mot.). On August 1, 2018, the Cumberland County Defendants filed their response. Obj. to Pl.'s Mot. for Judicial Intervention (Document No. 242) (ECF No. 244) (Cumberland Resp.).

         On July 30, 2018, only in the Somerset County case, Mr. Stile filed a motion to accept partial response and to allow the record to remain open. Mot. to Accept Partial Resp. to Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J. and Allow Record to Remain Open Without Ruling on Dispositive Mot. Until Remaining Resp. and Supplemental Listing of Missing Bate Stamped Exs. are Filed with Court (ECF No. 573) (Pl.'s Second Mot.). From August 1 through August 7, 2018, all Somerset County Defendants filed responses to Mr. Stile's motions. On August 1, 2018, the Somerset County Defendants (except Somerset County, Sheriff Barry DeLong, Jail Administrator David Allen, Corrections Officer Mayhew, Corrections Officer Welch, Corrections Officer Jacques, and Deputy Sheriff Kline) filed an objection to Mr. Stile's motion for judicial intervention and to accept partial response. Defs.' Obj. to Pl.'s Mot. for Judicial Intervention (Document No. 568) and Mot. to Accept Partial Resp. (Document No. 573) (ECF No. 579) (Somerset I Resp.). On August 2, 2018, Somerset County and former Somerset County Sheriff Barry DeLong filed an objection to Mr. Stile's motion for judicial intervention. Defs.' Somerset County and Former Somerset County Sheriff Barry DeLong's Obj. to Pl.'s Mot. for Judicial Intervention (ECF No. 580) (Somerset II Resp.). On August 3, 2018, Corrections Officers Plourd and Jacques filed a consolidated response to the motion for judicial intervention and to Mr. Stile's motion to accept partial response. Opp'n by Defs. Keith Plourd and Jeffrey Jacques to Pl.'s Mot. for Judicial Intervention and Mot. to Accept Partial Resp. (ECF No. 581) (No. 1:13-cv-00248-JAW) (Somerset III Resp.). On August 7, 2018, Defendant David Allen, the Somerset County Jail Administrator, filed a response to Mr. Stile's motions for judicial intervention and to accept partial response. Def. David Allen's Objs. to Pl.'s Mot. for Judicial Intervention (ECF No. 568) and Mot. to Accept Partial Resp. (ECF No. 573) (ECF No. 584) (Allen Resp.).

         On August 6, 2018, Mr. Stile filed a reply in both cases, which he titled “Notice of Case Status.” Pl.'s Reply (ECF No. 245) (No. 2:14-cv-00406-JAW); (ECF No. 582) (No. 1:13-cv-00248-JAW) (Pl.'s Reply). On August 27, 2018, Mr. Stile filed an affidavit in support of his motion for judicial intervention in both the Somerset and Cumberland County cases, attaching exhibits. Aff. Attachs. 1-15 (ECF No. 246) (2:14-cv-00406-JAW); (ECF No. 590) (No. 1:13-cv-00248-JAW).

         On August 31, 2018, Mr. Stile filed yet another motion, essentially demanding the same relief he demanded in the other motions. Pl.'s Mot. for Court to Obtain Bate Stamped Materials from Defs. that Pl. Cited in his Resps. to Dispositive Pleadings (ECF No. 247) (2:14-cv-00406-JAW); (ECF No. 593) (No. 1:13-cv-00248-JAW) (Pl.'s Bate Stamp Mot.).[1]

         II. THE PARTIES' POSITIONS

         A. James Stile's Motions

         1. The July 17, 2018 Motion for Judicial Intervention and Extension

         In James Stile's July 17, 2018 motion for judicial intervention, he describes his ongoing difficulty gaining access to necessary information so that he may respond to the pending dispositive motions in his cases against Somerset and Cumberland Counties. Pl.'s Mot. at 1-2. Surprisingly, Mr. Stile places blame for his troubles with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) squarely on the Court. Id. at 2. Mr. Stile makes several demands to the Court. First, stating that the dispositive motion by Defendants Keith Plourd and Jeffrey Jacques omitted “most of the referenced Exhibits that are referred to by Bates Stamp number” and he “insists this Court not rule on the Defendants['] dispositive motion without having access to said Exhibits as there would be a serious prejudice to the Plaintiff if this were done.” Id.

         Next, he complains that the Court failed to schedule a telephone conference to discuss this issue and he says the Court denied his request for such. Id. Mr. Stile says that he has been left “with no understanding of how the Court will be able to make a fair and unbiased ruling on this dispositive motion, if the Court does not have access to the Exhibits and the Plaintiff is unable to even quote the Bates Stamp numbers.” Id.

         Mr. Stile writes that he has asked the Court “to at least communicate with the BOP Allenwood facility legal department to explain the need of Plaintiff to have access to these discs in order to do his legal work responsibilities in responding to the dispositive motions.” Id. He blames the Court for rejecting “the Plaintiff's requests for assistance”, and he says the Court “has refused to intervene.” Id.

         Mr. Stile criticizes the Court for repeatedly imposing “deadlines of which the Plaintiff could not possibly meet even if he was an attorney with modern day resources such as computer and internet and copier and printer.” Id. He notes that the BOP transferred him from F.C.I. Fort Dix to F.C.I. Elkton and that from November 2017 to January 2018, he did not have his legal files and, when received, they were “in complete disarray.” Id. at 3. It took him, he says, thirty days “to sort out and assess the losses which Plaintiff communication to this Court the need for replacement of a number of pleadings that BOP lost on the Plaintiff.” Id. Mr. Stile acknowledges that the Clerk of Court “replaced a number of those pleadings”, but he reiterates that he did not have the “necessary legal files” until the end of February, 2018. Id.

         Mr. Stile continues to complain that he did not have access to the CD/DVDs “that are necessary to respond to the dispositive motions” and even so, the “Court continues to set deadlines for the Plaintiff that cannot be met.” Id. As of July 10, 2018, Mr. Stile says he received only ten of the seventy-five discs. Id. Mr. Stile “insists that the Court communicate with the [BOP] on facilitating access to the remaining discs in a more expedit[i]ous ...


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