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Ivey v. MSOP

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

July 30, 2019

Christopher Ivey, Plaintiff,
v.
MSOP, Daniel Williams, Michael Glavan, Steven Sayovitz, William Gullickson, Scott Giannini, Tara Halverson, Kevin Dreher, and Matthew Dahl, Defendants.

          Christopher Ivey, (pro se Plaintiff)

          Brandon L. Boese, Assistant Attorney General, (for Defendants)

          ORDER

          Tony N. Leung United States Magistrate Judge

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery (ECF No. 93), Plaintiff's Motion to Deny Confidential Designation (ECF No. 97), and Defendants' Motion for Protective Order (ECF No. 121). For the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant in part and deny in part the motion to compel, deny without prejudice the motion to deny confidential designation, and grant in part and deny in part the motion for protective order.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On January 5, 2012, Plaintiff Christopher Ivey filed an 18-count complaint against the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (“MSOP”) and several staff members, alleging they violated his civil rights following an incident in his room in November 2011. (Compl., ECF No. 1). Multiple rounds of motion practice have reduced the complaint to the following: excessive force claims against Defendants Daniel Williams, Michael Glavan, William Gullickson, Scott Giannini, Tara Halverson, and Matthew Dahl; a battery claim against Glavan; and Fourth Amendment claims against Defendants Kevin Dreher, Dahl, and Gullickson. Defendants answered the complaint on March 5, 2019.

         While one of the motions-to-dismiss was pending, Ivey served written discovery on Defendants, including requests for the production of documents. (ECF No. 103-1, pp. 5-17). Among other things, Ivey sought documents related to the use of handcuffs at MSOP, the use of certain techniques to detain or subdue MSOP patients, and video footage related to the incident in question. (Id., pp. 10-17). Defendants objected to Ivey's requests on a number of grounds, including that certain documents Ivey sought were classified as non-public security data under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (“MGDPA”). (Id., pp. 169-192).

         On April 17, 2019, Defendants produced over 500 pages of documents in response to Ivey's discovery requests. (Id., p. 197). Defendants also provided Ivey a proposed protective order, which they contended would provide Ivey reasonable access to video footage. (Id., pp. 203-04). Defendants continued to withhold documents that they contended contained non-public security data, including documents that “outline in a play-by-play fashion MSOP's strategies and tactics in addressing clients who are out of behavioral control.” (ECF No. 102, p. 2).

         On May 2, 2019, Ivey filed a motion to compel production of documents responsive to certain requests and to prohibit Defendants from designating certain material as confidential once a protective order was issued. (ECF Nos. 93, 97). Ivey took issue with Defendants' decision to withhold documents on the grounds that the MGDPA prohibited their disclosure, Defendants' argument that security concerns prohibited them turning certain documents over, Defendants' failure to provide a privilege log, and Defendants' use of boilerplate objections. (ECF No. 93).

         Shortly after Ivey filed his motion, he sent a letter to Defendants' counsel. (ECF No. 103-1, pp. 224-29). He indicated that he had reviewed Defendants' document production and that disagreements remained regarding the following topics: (1) a description of certain information redacted from Defendants' discovery responses; (2) a description of training courses related to handcuffing procedures; (3) a description of training that Defendants received regarding the use of handcuffs; (4) personal responses to interrogatories from each Defendant; and (5) a copy of an unpublished case that Defendants cited to him in a letter. (Id., pp. 228-29). Ivey also provided additional information regarding his own responses to Defendants' discovery requests. (Id. at 224-25).

         The parties then spoke by telephone on May 10, 2019. (ECF No. 100, p. 7). In that conversation, the parties appeared to resolve several issues related to this motion. Shortly after that telephone call, Defendants responded to Ivey's motions. Defendants contend the following issues remain in dispute: (1) whether they should be required to produce documents containing security information; (2) whether they should be required to produce documents containing private data on individuals other than Ivey; (3) whether Defendants are providing Ivey reasonable access to the videos; and (4) whether any video of the incidents should be designated as confidential. Defendants argued that Ivey's motion regarding the confidential designation of certain materials was premature, as the Court had not yet issued a protective order and because neither party had designated materials as confidential.

         Defendants then filed a motion for a protective order. (ECF No. 121). Defendants contend a protective order is necessary because this action implicates documents protected from public disclosure under state law. Defendants further contend the protective order should prohibit the disclosure of confidential security data.

         II. ANALYSIS

         The Court begins with Ivey's motion-to-compel. As Defendants note, Ivey did not meet and confer with them before filing either of his motions. Local Rule 7.1 requires a meet-and-confer occur before or immediately after the moving party files his motion. In this case, the parties conferred shortly after Ivey filed the motions and, according to Defendants, were able to substantially narrow the issues before the Court. Based on Defendants' ...


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