United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
H.L. PEREZ-MONTES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is a Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 38) for abuse of
discovery filed by Defendants Victor E. Jones, Jr.
(“Jones”), Patrick Davis (“Davis”),
and Dean Dove (“Dove”) (collectively referred to
as “Defendants”). Plaintiff Ron Johnson
(“Johnson”) opposes the motion. (Doc. 41).
Defendants replied (Doc. 42). Because Johnson failed to
comply with the Court's discovery order, Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 38) should be GRANTED.
proceeding in forma pauperis, filed a civil rights
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on September 19, 2017.
(Doc. 1). Johnson named Defendants in their official and
individual capacities. (Doc. 1). Johnson alleges excessive
force, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false
imprisonment, battery, and assault. (Doc. 1).
alleges Jones, as Sheriff and Chief Law Enforcement Officer
for Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office
(“NPSO”), was responsible for the policies,
practices, customs, procedures, deliberate indifference, and
negligence of Davis and Dove. (Doc. 1). Johnson alleges Jones
is responsible for the hiring, training, supervision,
discipline, and control of deputy personnel under his
command. (Doc. 1). Johnson alleges Davis was acting under
color of state law a Lieutenant in the course and scope of
his employment with the NPSO. (Doc. 1). Johnson alleges Dove,
was acting under color of state law as Warden, Natchitoches
Parish Detention Center (“NPDC”). (Doc. 1).
was an inmate at the NPDC on August 10, 2017. (Doc. 1). He
was moved to the booking area of the NPDC awaiting transfer
to Rapides Parish. (Doc. 1). Johnson claims he was assaulted
by Davis, who physically attacked him from the booking area
to the Sally Port area, at which time he began to choke
Johnson. (Doc. 1). According to Johnson, Davis had to be
pulled away from him. (Doc. 1).
claims Jones failed to properly train, supervise, and
discipline his employees, including Davis and Dove. (Doc. 1).
Johnson claims Defendants acted with deliberate indifference
to his rights and physical and mental well-being. (Doc. 1).
Johnson further alleges Defendants sanctioned de facto
polices, practices, and/or customs that violated his civil
and constitutional rights under the Fourth, Fifth, and
Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
(Doc. 1). Johnson maintains Jones developed, implemented,
enforced, encouraged, and sanctioned de facto policies,
practices, and/or customs of battering and assaulting
individuals without legal justification and using excessive
force. (Doc. 1).
asserts three counts: (1) “42 U.S.C. § 1983 and
the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments”; (2)
“a Monell claim”; and (3)
“Negligence, La. Civ. Code art. 2315, Assault and
Battery.” (Doc. 1). Johnson seeks monetary damages,
pre-judgment interest, costs and expenses, and reasonable
attorney's fees. (Doc. 1).
answered, asserting various affirmative defenses, including
failure to state a claim for relief, qualified immunity, and
prescription. (Doc. 9). On February 7, 2018, Defendants filed
a Motion to Compel and for Attorney Fees, asserting that
Johnson failed to respond to their discovery requests from
October 12, 2017. (Doc. 19). On February 28, 2018, Johnson
opposed the Motion to Compel, asserting that he was not
obligated to respond to the discovery requests which were
served before a Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(f) discovery conference.
(Doc. 24). Johnson also asserted the requests were premature
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(d)(1). (Doc. 24). A motion hearing was
held on May 15, 2018, at which time Defendants withdrew their
Motion for Attorney Fees and alleged that Johnson's
responses provided on May 15, 2018, were still evasive and
incomplete. (Doc. 36).
Memorandum Order on May 31, 2018, the undersigned granted
Defendants' Motion to Compel. (Doc. 36). The undersigned
found that Johnson's responses to the discovery requests
were evasive and incomplete, and that Defendants'
discovery requests were no longer premature under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(d)(1). (Doc. 36). The undersigned further
ordered Johnson to supplement his answers to Interrogatories,
produce documents responsive to the Requests for Production,
and complete, sign, and return to the Defendants'
attorney the authorizations served with the discovery
requests within 21 days of service of the Order. (Doc. 36).
3, 2018, Defendants filed this Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 38),
seeking dismissal of Johnson's claims and cause of
action, with prejudice, for abuse of discovery. (Doc. 38-1).
Defendants allege they are prejudiced in their ability to
prepare their defense and fully to explore the claims against
them. (Doc. 38-1). Defendants allege Johnson intentionally
failed to provide basic discovery information despite this
Court's Order. (Doc. 38-1). At the time of filing,
Defendants allege no responses have been forthcoming. (Doc.
24, 2018, Johnson, through his attorney, responded and
supplemented his discovery responses “to the best of
his abilities.” (Doc. 41). Johnson's attorney asserts
Johnson is not currently in possession of any of the
requested medical records or bills for treatment for the
alleged injuries. (Doc. 41). He further asserts Johnson has
provided the relevant names and contact information for
Defendants to request records, and of potential witnesses.
(Doc. 41). Counsel admits he has not forwarded signed
authorizations as Johnson is
“incapacitated.” (Doc. 41). Mr. Hayes argues this
should not prevent Defendants from seeking the requested
records through other means. (Doc. 41).
counsel asserts Defendants cannot allege prejudice as they
themselves took over six months to respond to Johnson's
discovery requests.Counsel asserts he has not willfully
disobeyed this Court's discovery order and has
supplemented the responses to the best of his current
abilities. (Doc. 41). He requests the Court deem
Johnson's responses sufficient, and that less drastic