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Baker v. Ephion

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

July 17, 2017

SEDE BAKER
v.
SERGEANT TYRANISSUIN EPHION

          ORDER

          RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Stay Discovery (R. Doc. 71) filed on June 5, 2017. The Motion is opposed. (R. Doc. 73). Defendant has filed a Reply. (R. Doc. 78).

         Also before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Sur-Opposition to Stay Discovery (R. Doc. 76) filed on June 25, 2017.

         I. Background

         On December 14, 2015, Sede Baker (“Plaintiff”) initiated this action, alleging that while incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary (“LSP”) a prison guard identified as “Sergeant Ephia” violated Plaintiff's civil rights by allowing another inmate into his cell who attacked and injured him. (R. Doc. 1).

         The Court allowed Plaintiff to conduct limited third-party discovery to obtain the last known address of the named defendant (R. Doc. 16) and, having learned that the named defendant was not located in the Louisiana Department of Corrections (“DOC”) records, to conduct limited third-party discovery to obtain the identity of the correct defendant (R. Doc. 28).

         On July 22, 2016, the Court allowed Plaintiff to file an Amended Complaint for Damages (R. Doc. 35) naming Sergeant Tyranissuin Ephion (“Defendant”) as the correct defendant. (R. Doc. 36). Plaintiff then served a subpoena on the DOC to obtain Defendant's last known address. (R. Doc. 42). Defendant was served on November 14, 2016. (R. Doc. 48).

         Defendant, proceeding pro se at the time, answered the allegations in the Amended Complaint. (R. Doc. 51; see R. Doc. 55).

         On April 6, 2017, the Court issued an order allowing counsel to enroll for Defendant. (R. Doc. 60). Defendant then filed an Amended Answer and Affirmative Defenses. (R. Doc. 68).

         On May 5, 2017, the Court issued a Scheduling Order providing, among other things, that the deadline to complete all discovery is November 30, 2017; the deadline to file dispositive motions is December 29, 2017; and that trial will commence on July 16, 2018. (R. Doc. 65).

         On May 25, 2017, Defendant moved for summary judgment on the basis that Plaintiff failed to exhaust all available administrative remedies prior to filing the suit as required by 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). (R. Doc. 70). Plaintiff has opposed the motion. (R. Doc. 72). There is no dispute between the parties that on March 29, 2015, LSP received an Administrative Remedy Procedure (“ARP”), assigned ARP No. LSP-2015-0807, from the Plaintiff regarding this lawsuit as it pertains “to an alleged breach of security.” (R. Doc. 70-2 at 1; R. Doc. 72-1 at 1). Defendant's motion for summary judgment is pending before the district judge.

         On June 5, 2017, Defendant filed her motion to stay discovery. (R. Doc. 71).

         II. Law and Analysis

         Rule 26(c) allows the Court to issue a protective order after a showing of good cause “to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1). Rule 26(c)'s “good cause” requirement indicates that the party seeking a protective order has the burden “to show the necessity of its issuance, which contemplates a particular and specific demonstration of fact as distinguished from stereotyped and conclusory statements.” In re Terra Int'l, Inc., 134 F.3d 302, 306 (5th Cir. 1998) (quoting United States v. Garrett, 571 F.2d 1323, 1326 n. 3 (5th Cir. 1978)). “A trial court has broad discretion and inherent power to stay discovery until preliminary questions that may dispose of the case are determined.” Petrus v. Bowen, 833 F.2d 581, ...


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