United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
KENDALL L. HUFFMAN, JR., Plaintiff,
MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CHARLES A. SHAW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on plaintiff's second motion
for an extension of time to respond to the Court's show
cause order and plaintiff's motion for a telephonic
status conference. For the following reasons, the Court will
deny both motions and order plaintiff to appear for
deposition no later than Monday, August 21, 2017.
13, 2015, plaintiff, a former prisoner at Eastern Reception
Diagnostic & Correctional Center (“ERDCC”),
filed this prisoner civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Plaintiff alleges that while he was incarcerated
at ERDCC, defendants were deliberately indifferent to his
medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
suffers from caudal regression syndrome, spinal bifida,
scoliosis, sciatica, and severe back pain, and has been
confined to a wheelchair for the duration of his life.
Plaintiff alleges defendants refused to change or assist him
in changing his diapers and colostomy bag, and refused to
assist him in performing other necessary maintenance
procedures. Plaintiff alleges defendants routinely refused or
delayed plaintiff's access to medical supplies necessary
to care for his condition, which led to infections. He states
that he was not provided with a handicap-accessible cell,
could not reach the sink, and frequently fell attempting to
perform simple tasks such as brushing his teeth or cleaning
his body or clothes after a diaper or colostomy bag leak.
Finally, plaintiff alleges that while he was located in the
St. Louis Community Release Center, he suffered excessive
force and violence. Specifically, he alleges on February 13,
2015, he was awoken for a head count, forcefully placed in
his wheelchair, handcuffed, and pepper sprayed by defendants
Debose and Nieves. After administering the pepper spray,
plaintiff alleges the St. Louis Community Release Center
officers began kicking and laughing at plaintiff as he lay
defenseless on the floor of the facility. He was then sent to
St. Louis University Hospital. (Am. Compl. ¶¶
Procedural History of Case
August 19, 2015, the Court appointed counsel for plaintiff.
Counsel filed an amended complaint, and the Court issued its
case management order on January 8, 2016. The Court has
granted three motions to amend the case management order. The
current case management order sets May 26, 2017 as the
deadline for completing discovery; June 30, 2017 as the
deadline for filing dispositive motions; and a trial date of
September 18, 2017.
24, 2017, defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case for
failure of plaintiff to appear at his deposition. Defendants
had scheduled plaintiff's deposition for March 22, 2017.
That day, plaintiff's attorneys requested to move the
deposition from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. to allow plaintiff
to attend a job interview. The deposition was later
rescheduled again, this time to start at 2:00 p.m. Plaintiff
never appeared. Plaintiff told his attorney that he was
unable to attend because of a “family emergency.”
rescheduled plaintiff's deposition for 10:00 a.m. on May
22, 2017. Prior to the time of the deposition, however,
plaintiff's attorneys advised defendants that they had
been unable to make contact with plaintiff, and cancelled the
of these failures of plaintiff to appear for his scheduled
depositions, defendants moved to dismiss the case as a
sanction under Federal Rule 37(d)(3). Plaintiff did not
respond to this motion to dismiss.
addition to failing to appear for his deposition, the parties
failed to mediate the case. On June 16, 2017, defendants
filed a motion to vacate the Order referring the case to
mediation, stating that mediation would not be useful
considering they had been unable to depose plaintiff and had
a pending motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute. Again,
plaintiff did not respond to defendants' motion.
29, 2017, the Court issued an order to show cause. The Court
ordered plaintiff to respond by July 7, 2017 as to why the
case should not be dismissed as a sanction for his failure to
appear at deposition.
6, 2017, plaintiff's counsel sought an extension of
thirty days to respond to the order to show cause. Counsel
stated that he had been attempting to communicate with
plaintiff regarding defendants' motion ...