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Osahenrumwen Ojo v. Eldin Medic et al.

October 15, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Landya McCafferty United States Magistrate Judge


Plaintiff Osahenrumwen Ojo has filed "Motion: for Report of Violation of Rules" (doc. no. 30), alleging deficiencies in defendants' responses to plaintiff's discovery requests. Defendants object (doc. no. 31). Ojo has filed several replies to defendants' objection (doc. no. 33, 34, 38 and 39), and defendants have filed a second objection (doc. no. 35). The court has considered all of the relevant documents and, for the reasons discussed herein, denies Ojo's motion (doc. no. 30).


While incarcerated at the Hillsborough County House of Corrections ("HCHC"), Ojo filed a civil rights action against a number of defendants, all employees of the HCHC. After conducting preliminary review, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a) and this court's local rules, the undersigned magistrate judge directed service of a single excessive force claim against two defendants, HCHC officers Justin Goulding and Eldin Medic, and recommended the dismissal of all of the other claims and defendants from this action. See Order (doc. no. 21); Report and Recommendation (doc. no. 20). The district judge adopted my recommendation of dismissal. See Order (doc. no. 25) (approving report and recommendation).

The surviving claim against Goulding and Medic arises out of a February 25, 2011, incident at the HCHC. As alleged in the complaint, the incident began with a physical altercation between Ojo and another inmate. HCHC officers responded, and ultimately restrained Ojo in his cell before transferring him to another unit in the prison. The excessive force claim that remains in this action arises out of Ojo's allegation that, while escorting Ojo to his new unit, Medic and Goulding injured him by repeatedly slamming his head against a door.

Procedural History

On February 2, 2012, defendants filed an assented-to proposed discovery plan (doc. no. 29), which was approved by the court on February 3, 2012. The portions of that plan relevant to the instant motion provided for each party to submit a maximum of twenty-five interrogatories and ten requests for admissions to any other party within thirty days of service of the approved discovery plan. Ojo promptly submitted discovery requests to defendants.*fn1 The defendants have responded to the requests. Ojo objects to defendants' alleged failure to provide certain requested information in their responses.*fn2


I. Requests for Admissions

Ojo claims that defendants have failed to respond fully to Ojo's requests for admission. Rule 36(a)(1) of the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure states that: "[a] party may serve on any other party a written request to admit . . . the truth of any matters within the scope of Rule 26(b)(1) relating to: (A) facts, the application of law to fact, or opinions about either; and (B) the genuineness of any described documents." If a party is dissatisfied with any response to its request for admissions, the requesting party "may move to determine the sufficiency of an answer or objection." Fed. R. Civ. P. 36(a)(6). Where the request is objected to, the court will then either determine that the objection is justified, or order that an answer be served. Id. Where the sufficiency of an answer is contested, if the court finds that the challenged answer fails to comply with Rule 36, "the court may order either that the matter is admitted or that an amended answer be served." Id.

Here, the bulk of the relevant "requests for admission," dated February 16, 2012, contain questions that are more like interrogatories than requests for admissions. In an effort to comply with the spirit of Ojo's requests, however, defendants have attempted to respond to the requests as posed.

To the extent that Ojo did request admissions from defendants, defendants have objected to the form of the requests. Alongside their objections, defendants have also submitted their sworn HCHC incident reports, in which defendants provide their account of the relevant events and circumstances in this case. Ojo has not specified the admissions (or other discovery) that he claims defendants have failed to provide him. For this reason, the motion seeking an order compelling defendants to answer the requests for admission is denied.

II. Discovery and Interrogatories

Ojo propounded interrogatories, as well as "request for admissions," upon individuals and entities that have been dismissed from this action. Ojo has since withdrawn those discovery requests. See Reply to ...

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