United States District Court, D. Arizona
S, WILLETT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Court has reviewed Defendants Contreras and Burke’s
“Motion for Reconsideration of a Non-Dispositive
Pretrial Order (DKT. 103)” (Doc. 111). For the reasons
discussed herein, the Motion for Reconsideration is denied in
part and granted in part.
alleges that he was assaulted by Defendant Burke while
Defendant Burke was employed as a Correctional Officer II at
the Arizona Department of Corrections (“ADC”).
(Doc. 60 at 3). On January 14, 2016, the Court granted in
part and denied in part Plaintiff’s “Motion to
Compel Production of Documents” (Doc. 76). The Court
ordered Defendants to produce “any and all disciplinary
history” pertaining to Defendant Burke by February 16,
2016. (Doc. 84 at 4). On February 8, 2016, Plaintiff filed a
“Motion to Compel Re: defendants Disciplinary history
on Defendant Burke . . .” (Doc.90). Plaintiff attached
to his Motion a transmittal cover sheet from defense counsel,
dated February 3, 2016, that states “Enclosed please
find Defendant Burke’s Disciplinary History.”
(Id. at 4). Enclosed with the cover sheet is a one
page notice of dismissal dated July 22, 2014 from ADC to
Defendant Burke. (Id. at 5). The notice of dismissal
does not state the reasons for Defendant Burke’s
dismissal. Defendants did not enclose any additional
disciplinary history or information regarding Defendant Burke
with the February 3, 2016 transmittal letter.
their Response to Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel (Doc.
97), Defendants argued that the February 3, 2016 transmittal
complied with the Court’s January 14, 2016 Order (Doc.
84). The Court concluded otherwise. In its April 4, 2016
Order granting Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel, the Court
explained that because Defendant Burke’s termination
from ADC has not been in dispute,
the Order that Defendants produce “any and all
disciplinary history” pertaining to Defendant Burke
intended to encompass all documents ancillary to any official
disciplinary action taken against Defendant Burke. Such
documents would include those that indicate the reasons for
taking disciplinary action against Defendant Burke or relate
to investigations of Defendant Burke’s conduct. The
Court therefore orders that by April 18, 2016, Defendants
shall produce all grievances and Information Reports (IRs)
pertaining to Defendant Burke. By April 18, 2016, Defendants
also shall produce any and all other documents that
Defendants do not classify as a “grievance” or
“Information Report, ” but indicate any of the
following: (i) the reasons for Defendant Burke’s
dismissal from ADC; (ii) conduct that Defendant Burke engaged
in that constitutes grounds for disciplinary action or
dismissal; or (iii) allegations/statements from any
individual that Defendant Burke engaged in misconduct while
employed by ADC.
(Doc. 103 at 3).
April 18, 2016, Defendants filed a Notice (Doc. 108)
indicating that they partially complied with the
Court’s Order (Doc. 103) by producing three
Administrative Inquiries, an Administrative Investigation
document, and a Memorandum from Warden Credio to Defendant
Burke. On April 25, 2016, Defendants filed a Motion for
Reconsideration seeking “reconsideration or
clarification as to other reports and documents that may
involve Defendant Burke but are unrelated to the
Plaintiff’s instant claims.” (Doc. 111 at 10).
Specifically, Defendants object to (i) the production of
“documents unrelated to Plaintiff regarding conduct
that Defendant Burke engaged in that constitutes grounds for
disciplinary action or dismissal where no disciplinary action
was taken” and (ii) the production of “documents
unrelated to Plaintiff regarding allegations/statements from
any individual that Defendant Burke engaged in misconduct
while employed by the ADC.” (Id. at 10).
Review of Motions for Reconsideration
for reconsideration should be granted only in rare
circumstances. See Carroll v. Nakatani, 342 F.3d
934, 945 (9th Cir. 2003). “Reconsideration
is appropriate if the district court (1) is presented with
newly discovered evidence, (2) committed clear error or the
initial decision was manifestly unjust, or (3) if there is an
intervening change in controlling law.” School
Dist. No. 1J, Multonomah County v. AC and S, Inc., 5
F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993); see also LRCiv
7.2(g)(1) (“The Court will ordinarily deny a motion for
reconsideration of an Order absent a showing of manifest
error or a showing of new facts or legal authority that could
not have been brought to its attention earlier with
reasonable diligence.”); Harsco Corp. v.
Zlotmicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir. 1985). Such
motions should not be used for the purpose of asking a court
“to rethink what the court had already thought through
- rightly or wrongly.” Defenders of Wildlife v.
Browner, 909 F.Supp 1342, 1351 (D. Ariz. 1995) (quoting
Above the Belt, Inc. v. Mel Bohannon Roofing, Inc.,
99 F.R.D. 99, 101 (E.D. Va 1983)).
Discovery in Eighth Amendment Excessive Force Claims
core issue in a case accusing prison officials of using
excessive physical force in violation of the Eighth Amendment
is “whether force was used in a good-faith effort to
maintain or restore discipline, or maliciously and
sadistically to cause harm.” Hudson v. McMillian et
al., 503 U.S. 1, 7 (1992). There is no constitutional
violation if force is applied in a good faith effort to
restore discipline and order and not “maliciously and
sadistically for the very purpose of causing harm.”
Whitley v. Albers, 475 U.S. 312, 320-21 (1986);
Clement v. Gomez, 298 F.3d 898, 903 (9th Cir. 2002)
(stating that under the Eighth Amendment, courts look for
malicious and sadistic force, not merely objectively
unreasonable force). “This standard necessarily
involves a more culpable mental state than that required for
excessive force claims arising under the Fourth
Amendment’s unreasonable seizures restriction.”
Clement, 298 F.3d at 903 (citing Graham v.
Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 398 (1989)).
alleging violations of § 1983 require especially
generous discovery.” Cox v. McClellan, 174
F.R.D. 32, 34 (W.D.N.Y. 1997); see also Burke v. New York
City Police Dept., 115 F.R.D. 220, 225 (S.D.N.Y. 1987)
(“the overriding policy is one of disclosure of
relevant information in the interest of promoting the search
for the truth in a federal question case”). Courts have
permitted civil rights litigants to discover prior complaints
against defendant officers regardless of whether the
complaints were substantiated or unsubstantiated. See,
e.g., Cox. 174 F.R.D. at 35 (“[T]he fact
that a prior complaint was determined to be unfounded does
not bar its discovery.”); Unger v. Cohen, 125
F.R.D. 67, 70 (S.D.N.Y. 1989) (“Civilian complaints
that were abandoned or conciliated may not be admissible at
trial, but that does not make them undiscoverable. The names
of complainants and the circumstances of the recorded
complaints, among other things, may ...