United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Katherine Menendez United States Magistrate Judge
matter comes before the Court on two motions filed by
plaintiff Tony Robinson: A Motion to Exclude Expert Report
and a Motion for Temporary Stay. (ECF Nos. 192, 202.)
Defendants Dr. Dannewitz and Dr. Saini oppose both of Mr.
Robinson's motions. After careful consideration, the
Court determines that Mr. Robinson's Motion to Exclude
Expert Report should be DENIED, and Mr. Robinson's Motion
for Temporary Stay should be GRANTED.
Motion to Exclude Expert Report
Motion to Exclude Expert Report, Mr. Robinson asks this court
to excuse him from producing a written expert report as
required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2)(B).
Instead, he asks the Court to deem the fact that he has
disclosed that Dr. Jeffery Seybold, M.D. as his expert
witness to be sufficient to meet those procedural
obligations. Mr. Robinson does not cite any cases to support
this contention, but instead seems to argue that if his
disclosure meets the requirements for a state law, Minn.
Stat. § 145.682, then it should also satisfy Rule 26
requirements. The Court disagrees.
well settled that federal procedural law is applied in
federal court, not state procedural law. E.g.,
Gasperini v. Ctr. for Humanities, Inc., 518 U.S.
415, 427 (1996). And Rule 26 requires far more in the
production of an expert report than Minn. Stat. §
145.682. Therefore, it is clear that the affidavit provided
by Mr. Robinson, which may satisfy state law requirements,
does not meet the requirements of Rule 26. Moreover, the
Court observes that Rule 26 serves important goals, including
enabling the defendants to adequately defend against Mr.
Robinson's claims and to prepare their own experts for
trial. See, e.g., United States v. Procter &
Gamble Co., 356 U.S. 677, 682-3 (1958) (Modern
instruments of discovery…make a trial less a game of
blind man's b[l]uff and more a fair contest with the
basic issues and facts disclosed to the fullest practicable
extent.”). Mr. Robinson's motion to be excused from
providing a written expert report must be denied.
Motion for Temporary Stay
Robinson is currently incarcerated and has been in
administrative detention since November 5, 2019. (ECF No. 202
at ¶ 4.) He originally requested a temporary stay of 30
days. However, after learning that he was to stay in
administrative detention until transfer to a new facility, he
has requested an open-ended stay, to be lifted upon his
transfer. (ECF No. 206 at ¶ 9.) Both Dr. Dannewitz and
Dr. Saini oppose the stay.
have broad inherent power to issue stays. Landis v. N.
Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936); Sierra Club v.
U.S. Army Corps of Eng'rs, 446 F.3d 808, 816 (8th
Cir. 2006). Relevant factors to consider include “the
conservation of judicial resources, maintaining control of
the court's docket, providing for the just determination
of cases, as well as the potential for duplicative efforts
and wasted resources of the parties and hardship to the party
opposing the stay.” Tovar v. Essentia Health,
342 F.Supp.3d 947, 956-7 (D. Minn. 2018). As the party
requesting the stay, Mr. Robinson bears the burden of
establishing the need for one. Id.
Court finds that Mr. Robinson has carried his burden here.
While in administrative detention, Mr. Robinson's access
to resources he needs to pursue his case pro se is made more
difficult. Additionally, neither defendant opposing the stay
have adequately demonstrated that they will suffer hardship
if a brief stay is granted.
Mr. Robinson has not demonstrated the need for an indefinite
stay. Instead, the Court finds that a moderate stay of 30
days is warranted here. This will give Mr. Robinson extra
time to work on his case despite the challenges of his
locked-down status, without unduly delaying the proceedings.
The Court is mindful that entering a stay requires balancing
factors of prejudice. While the Court finds that balance is
currently in Mr. Robinson's favor, the longer the delay
in the proceedings, the more that balance will inevitably
shift in favor of the defendants. Indeed, if Mr. Robinson has
not been transferred after 30 days, the Court will have
serious concerns about his practical ability to continue to
prosecute his case from prison, and will be unlikely to grant
an additional delay.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
Robinson's Motion to Exclude Expert Report, ECF No. 192,
is DENIED. Mr. Robinson's expert report pursuant to FRCP
26(a)(2)(B) is due fourteen (14) days after the stay in this
case is lifted.
Robinson's Motion for Temporary Stay, ECF No. 202, is
GRANTED. This case is stayed for ...