United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Fred Watson's
Motion to Compel (ECF No. 54), Plaintiff Fred Watson's
Motion for Protective Order or, In the Alternative, Motion to
Compel (ECF No. 56), Defendant City of Ferguson,
Missouri's Motion to Bifurcate Claims and to Stay
Discovery and Trial (ECF No. 65), Defendant Eddie Boyd's
Motion to Join In and Adopt Defendant City of Ferguson's
Motion to Bifurcate Claims and to Stay Discovery and Trial
(ECF No. 71), Plaintiffs Motion to Quash Subpoena (ECF No.
81), Plaintiffs Motion to Compel Discovery of Previously
Taken Depositions (ECF No. 87), and Plaintiffs Motion to Deem
Admitted Plaintiffs Request for Admissions Directed to
Defendant City of Ferguson (ECF No. 89).
August 1, 2012, Plaintiff Fred Watson ("Watson")
was sitting in his car after a basketball game at Forestwood
Park. Watson alleges that Defendant Eddie Boyd
("Boyd"), an on-duty Ferguson Police Department
("FPD") officer, aggressively accosted Watson.
Watson claims that when he asked Boyd for the grounds for
this harassment, Boyd retaliated against him by writing nine
frivolous tickets against Watson, including a False
Declaration/False Reports and Failure to Comply ticket.
Watson asserts that Boyd acted pursuant to a FPD custom of
unconstitutional policing to generate revenue for the City of
Ferguson. Watson filed this lawsuit alleging a variety of
claims under 42 U.S.C. §1983, including unlawful search
and seizure, unlawful retaliation in violation of the First
Amendment, and malicious prosecution against Boyd, as well as
a Monell claim against the City of Ferguson, based
upon his arrest and the citations issued by Boyd on August 1,
Discovery from Defendant Boyd
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs motions to
compel discovery. See Fed. R Civ. P. 37 (a)(1)
("On notice to other parties and all affected persons, a
party may move for an order compelling disclosure or
discovery."). Likewise, Rule 26 governs the scope of
discovery in federal matters:
Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of
discovery is as follows: 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. Information within
this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to
Internal Affairs and Personnel Files
plaintiff alleging police misconduct and a municipal policy
condoning such alleged misconduct is generally entitled to
discovery of the internal affairs investigations conducted
regarding the incident complained." D.B. v. St.
Charles Cty., No. 4:12-CV-654-JAR, 2013 WL 4042215, at
*2 (E.D. Mo. Aug. 8, 2013) (citing Rohrbough v.
Hall, No. 4:07-cv-00996-ERW (Doc. No. 43) (E.D. Mo.
Sept. 18, 2008)). Courts, however, have held that broad
requests for all internal affairs documents for several years
are overly broad and not reasonably calculated to lead to
discoverable, admissible evidence. D.B. v. St. Charles
Cty., No. 4:12-CV-654-JAR, 2013 WL 4042215, at *2 (E.D.
Mo. Aug. 8, 2013); Rohrbough v. Hall, No.
4:O7-cv-00996-ERW (Doc. No. 43) (E.D. Mo. Sept. 18, 2008).
asserts Boyd should produce his entire Ferguson, St. Ann, and
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department ("SLMPD")
personnel files in his possession, allowing for the redaction
of his medical or financial information. (ECF No. 55 at 9).
Watson claims that the personnel files are relevant to his
case to "establish a pattern of misconduct similar to
what is alleged in Plaintiff [sic] complaint; the files will
allow Plaintiff to determine whether Boyd provided truthful
testimony about his departure from the St. Louis and St. Ann
police departments; and they are highly relevant to
Plaintiffs claims that City of Ferguson failed to screen,
supervise, and discipline Officer Boyd." (ECF No. 55 at
9). Watson claims "Defendant Boyd's counsel is
already in possession of all of his personnel records
minimizing any burden created by production." (ECF No.
55 at 9). Watson asserts that the Boyd has failed to
produce certain personnel documents, requiring this Motion to
compel. (ECF No. 55 at 10).
Court hereby orders Boyd to produce his personnel files,
redacted for medical, financial, or other sensitive
information, to the extent that they are in Boyd's
possession. Boyd shall produce a privilege/confidentiality
log for any documents not produced. If Boyd has previously
produced all of his personnel documents, then he shall so
state to Watson.
Deposition Transcript from a Former Federal Lawsuit
Watson seeks the deposition transcript of then-head of SLMPD
Internal Affairs, John Hayden, from C.I.D. v. Boyd,
4:08cv788 (Mo. E.D.) Watson asserts C.I.D. v. Boyd
"involved an allegation that Defendant Boyd assaulted a
juvenile and falsified the police report in an attempt to
charge the juvenile he assaulted with a crime." (ECF No.
55 at 11). According to a court filing, Hayden testified in
his deposition he "recommended that [the SLMPD Internal
Affairs complaint] against Boyd be sustained in that Boyd
issued a false report and Boyd violated the department's
policy for abuse of prisoners." C.I.D. v. Boyd,
4:O8cv788 (ECF No. 79-2, at 5, ¶ 12). Watson alleges
that Hayden's deposition is "highly relevant to
Boyd's habit of filing malicious charges." (ECF No.
55 at 12). Watson argues Hayden's deposition testimony is
"in no way burdensome to produce, as Boyd's former
counsel still maintains it in his possession." (ECF No.
55 at 13). Boyd contends that the allegations in the
instant lawsuit are unrelated to the allegations in
C.I.D. v. Boyd and, therefore, Watson's Motion
to Compel should be denied.
case, Watson alleges Boyd "unlawfully arrested and
initiated charges against Mr. Watson without probable cause
and in retaliation for Mr. Watson engaging in protected First
Amendment conduct." (ECF No. 35, ¶l). The Court has
already ordered Boyd and the City of Ferguson to produce
Boyd's internal affairs records. Presumably, these
records would include the recommendation of Hayden. The Court
holds that ordering the production of the entire deposition
transcript is cumulative and overbroad. The Court denies the
Motion to Compel Boyd to produce the deposition testimony of
John Hayden from C.I.D. v. Boyd, 4:08cv788.
Discovery from City of Ferguson