United States District Court, D. Arizona
Honorable Raner C. Collins Senior United States District
before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel
Discovery. (Doc. 55.) Plaintiffs argue that the discovery
provided by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) is
insufficient and that Plaintiffs are unable to identify those
involved in Clinton Dewayne Smith's transfer to a cell
shared with Romeo Giovanni. Plaintiffs claim this is because
they were not given information about (1) the persons
directly involved in the transfer of Smith (a) to the Special
Housing Unit (“SHU”) and (b) to a cell with
Giovanni; or (2) the names of the Associate Warden, Captain,
and Operations Lieutenant. Furthermore, the DOJ has not
provided the addresses and telephone numbers of the
individuals who may have information about Smith's
transfer, nor have they given descriptions of the nature of
the information the individuals may possess.
DOJ, in contrast, claims it has met the discovery
requirements because it has disclosed the names of the
persons on duty in the SHU when Smith was transferred, and
the name of the Operations Lieutenant. The DOJ refuses to
provide the last known address or phone numbers of these
individuals until they are named defendants in an amended
complaint. The DOJ believes this measure is necessary to
protect these individuals' privacy; once named as
defendants, the DOJ intends to contact them to determine
whether they will accept DOJ representation.
Court agrees with the DOJ that the discovery rules do not
require it to provide summaries beyond the statement that the
individuals may have information about Smith's cell
placement. At first glance, it appears that the DOJ's
argument that it will not provide contact information for
these individuals places Plaintiffs in a Catch-22 situation.
It requires Plaintiffs to name individual defendants in an
Amended Complaint before being given the contact information
for Plaintiffs to discern whether these persons should be
named defendants. However, in addition to the names of
individuals, the DOJ has also produced:
(1) [D]aily assignment rosters listing all Bureau of Prisons
(“BOP”) employees working in the SHU at USP
Tucson from May 15, 2016 to July 5, 2016; (2) incident
reports documenting the reasons for Mr. Giovanni's
transfer to the SHU; (3) incident reports documenting the
reasons for Mr. Smith's transfer to the SHU; (4) Mr.
Smith's BP-A0292 record reflecting his time in the SHU;
and (5) documents memorializing the date and time of Mr.
Smith and Mr. Giovanni's placement in the same cell.
(1) the relevant shift times; (2) the complete names of the
five BOP employees on duty in the SHU at the time Mr. Smith
and Mr. Giovanni were placed in the same cell . . .; and (3)
the full name of the Operations Lieutenant on duty at that
(Doc. 58 at 4.) The Court finds that this information
sufficiently narrows the list of individuals who were likely
involved in the transfer and allows an amended pleading that
could meet the pleading standard. See Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 681 (2009) (pleading does not
require detailed allegations but that “the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
was required to provide the names of individuals that played
a role in Smith's cell placement. They have done so.
Despite the DOJ's indication that the Operations
Lieutenant was not involved in the transfer, because of the
implied responsibility for cell placement in the Special Post
Orders (Doc. 55-1 at 5) it has provided that information as
well. Plaintiffs further assert that the DOJ must provide the
names of the Associate Warden and the Captain because
Plaintiffs have made good-faith allegations of their
involvement. The Court presumes that these
“allegations” are those stated in their proposed
Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. 29-1 at 7, ¶ 17; 38,
¶ 160.) However, like the allegations against Warden
Shartle and McClintock, the proposed Second Amended Complaint
makes no allegations that either position (1) had knowledge
of the threats made by Giovanni or (2) was directly
responsible for the celling of Giovanni and Smith together.
Furthermore, unlike the position of Operations Lieutenant,
Plaintiffs have not pointed to any regulation demonstrating
that either the Associate Warden or the Captain play a role
in cell placement. Plaintiffs have not demonstrated they
should be provided this information.
court is well aware that this ruling means that Plaintiff may
wind up naming everyone whose name they have been provided.
The Court supposes that if the DOJ wants to file a motion to
dismiss for those people who may not be involved because it
has refused to provide contact information or a more detailed
description of nature of the information possessed, so be it.
IT IS ORDERED Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel Discovery is
DENIED. (Doc. 55.) Plaintiffs shall have fourteen (14) days
from the date of ...