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Reints v. City of Rapid City

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Western Division

August 5, 2019

JOHN REINTS, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA; JASON GREEN, individually; BRAD SOLON, individually; JOEL LANDEEN, individually; WADE NYBERG, individually; ANDY CHLEBECK, individually, Defendants.

          ORDER

          JEFFREY L. VIKEN CHIEF JUDGE.

         Pending before the court is defendants' motion for a protective order. (Docket 106). Defendants seek a protective order pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. 26(c) to “prevent[] the Plaintiff, John Reints . . . from conducting any further discovery until such time as the Court makes a ruling on the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, related to the statute of limitations and qualified immunity.” Id. at p. 1. Defendants claim “[a] protective order is warranted on the grounds that the Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity and further to protect the Defendants from the undue burden and expense of the Plaintiff's broad-reaching discovery.” Id.

         In support of their motion for a protective order, defendants include the five discovery requests made by Mr. Reints. (Dockets 108-1 through 108-5). Each of plaintiff's discovery requests include interrogatories pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(b), requests for production of documents pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(b) and requests for admissions pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. 36(a).[1] See, i.e., Docket 108-1 at pp. 1-2.

         Plaintiff John Reints filed an affidavit in response to defendants' motion for a protective order and his own motion for additional time in light of surgery. (Docket 109). With his submission, Mr. Reints filed ten exhibits. (Dockets 109-1 through 109-10). Mr. Reints subsequently filed a “partial reply brief, ” four affidavits and a “supplemental reply brief” in response to defendant's motion.[2] (Dockets 112, 114, 115, 121 and 122). Attached to plaintiff's fourth affidavit were 29 exhibits totaling 114 pages. (Dockets 122-1 through 122-29). In between plaintiff's multiple filings, defendants filed a reply brief in support of their motion for a protective order. (Docket 116).

         On the same day as plaintiff's last filing, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, an affidavit with 19 exhibits totaling 339 pages, a statement of undisputed material facts and a legal memorandum. (Dockets 123, 126, 126-1 through 126-19, 127 and 128). Defendants' motion for summary judgment will be separately addressed later in this order.

         On December 8, 2014, the court addressed the issues of qualified immunity and statute of limitations raised in defendants' answers to plaintiff's amended complaint. (Docket 63). By that order, the court stayed all discovery “except as may be necessary to properly present the dispositive immunity and statute of limitations defenses for resolution by appropriate motion under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and D.S.D. Civ. LR 56.1.” Id. at p. 3. After consideration of the parties' proposals regarding a limited discovery schedule (Dockets 67-69), the court entered a scheduling order. (Docket 70). The order established deadlines for the exchange of prediscovery disclosures pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(1), disclosure of experts and the submission of dispositive motions. Id. at pp. 2-4. The order permitted each party to serve “[a] maximum of twenty-five (25) interrogatories[]” and “a maximum of ten (10) depositions for each party, excluding depositions of experts.” Id. ¶¶ 4 and 6.

         The court subsequently granted continuances of the deadlines but maintained the other provisions of the scheduling order. See Dockets 73, 76, 80, 82 and 87. By the order of November 9, 2016, the court required that “[d]efendants' motion addressing dispositive immunity and statute of limitations defenses for resolution by appropriate motion under Rule 56 . . . and D.S.D. Civ. LR 56.1, together with a supporting brief, shall be filed and served on or before April 21, 2017.” (Docket 87 at p. 2) (bold omitted).

         Before the expiration of the April 2017 deadline, the court granted another extension of all deadlines but maintained the other provisions of the original scheduling order. (Docket 89). Four additional extensions were granted over the course of the next 18 months. (Dockets 91, 96, 98 & 100). On April 10, 2019, the court granted the parties an eleventh extension of the deadlines since the February 2015 order. (Docket 105). The purpose of the order was to grant the parties' request to extend the discovery period by six weeks. Id. at p. 1. Defendants were served with Mr. Reints' discovery related to Defendant Jason Green on January 28, 2019. (Docket 108-1 at p. 19). Mr. Green was asked to provide responses to 96 requests for admission, seven interrogatories and one request for production of documents. (Docket 108 at pp. 5-19). Defendants assert Mr. Green timely “provided answers and responses to the discovery, subject to any No. of objections related to the statute of limitations.” (Docket 107 at p. 10).

         Concerning the other individuals, defendants assert the discovery to:

Andy Chlebeck is 43 pages long and contains 81 numbered paragraphs. Id. at p. 11 (referencing Docket 108-2);
Brad Solon is 48 pages long and contains 72 numbered paragraphs. Id. (referencing Docket 108-3);
Joel Landeen is 70 pages long and contains 45 numbered paragraphs. Id. (referencing Docket 108-4); and
Wade Nyberg is 24 pages long and contains 22 numbered paragraphs. Id. (referencing Docket 108-5).

         Mr. Chlebeck's discovery requests were served on March 13, 2015. (Docket 108-2 at p. 16). He was asked to provide responses to 67 requests for admissions, 12 interrogatories and two requests for production of documents. Id. at pp. 5-16. Mr. Solon's discovery requests were served on April 12, 2019. (Docket 108-3 at p. 18). He was asked to provide responses to 64 requests for admissions, four interrogatories and three requests for production of documents. Id. at pp. 5-18. Mr. Landeen's discovery requests were served on April 13, 2015. (Docket 108-4 at p. 15). He was asked to provide responses to 45 requests for admission and four interrogatories. Id. at pp. 5-15. Mr. ...


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