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Dickerson v. City of St. Louis

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

October 18, 2019

KENNETH DICKERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF ST. LOUIS, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          RONNIE L. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court of Plaintiff Kenneth Dickerson's Motion to Compel Defendants to Respond to Plaintiffs Requests for Production. (ECF No. 53) Defendants City of St. Louis, Vernon Betts, Jeffrey Carson, Charlene Deeken, Kimberly Gardner, Dale Glass, and James Moss (collectively referred to as "Defendants") filed a memorandum in opposition. (ECF No. 55) Plaintiff did not file a reply memorandum, and the time to do so has since passed.

         BACKGROUND

         On February 13, 2019, Plaintiff sent Defendants a set of Requests for Production of Documents. On March 15, 2019, Defendants sent their responses and objections. The parties met and conferred on April 19, 2019, after which Defendants produced certain documents.

         On August 20, 2019, Plaintiff conducted a corporate representative deposition of St. Louis Sheriffs Deputy Whitney Windom, who works in the records office for the Sheriffs Department. Plaintiff asserts Windom stated during her deposition that she maintains a folder of memoranda concerning nolle prosequi cases of individuals the Sheriffs Office believed to be illegally detained (referred to as "Nolle Pros Folder"). Additionally, Windom disclosed that a committee, known as the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee or the Criminal Justice Counsel Committee ("CJCC"), has been meeting to discuss the issue of illegally detained individuals in the City of St. Louis.

         Following Windom's deposition, Plaintiff sent an email requesting production of the Nolle Pros Folder and records from the CJCC meetings. Plaintiff argues both items are responsive to the first Requests for Production of Documents. Defendants object and argue both are irrelevant to Plaintiffs claims.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Rule 37 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 be discoverable.

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

         DISCUSSION

         Plaintiffs First Request for Production of Documents included, inter alia, the following requests:

REQUEST NO. 1:
Please produce all documents and recordings that Defendants possess regarding or relating to the ...

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