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Farr v. Davis

United States District Court, D. Kansas

August 8, 2017

JOAN E. FARR, pro se, Plaintiff,
v.
DARYL DAVIS, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER ON MOTION TO COMPEL AND MOTION FOR HEARING

          KENNETH G. GALE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         NOW BEFORE THE COURT is the Motion to Compel filed by pro se Plaintiff Joan Farr (hereinafter “Plaintiff”). (Doc. 94.) Also pending is Plaintiff's “Motion for Hearing on Motion to Compel and Motion for Leave to Join Additional Parties as Defendants.” (Doc. 104.) For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motions are DENIED.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed the present lawsuit, pro se, individually and on behalf of residents of the Huckleberry Estates addition to Derby, Kansas. (See Doc. 1.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated her First Amendment rights and converted her private property. (Id.) She also brings a claim for “intentional emotional distress/tort of outrage.” (Id.) Among her factual allegations is that Defendants influenced the police to harass her.

         Defendants previously moved to dismiss Plaintiffs' claims, arguing that she failed to sufficiently plead a federal cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 because she did not adequately allege that Defendants were acting under color of state law. (See Doc. 13.) The District Court denied Defendants' motion, holding that

Plaintiff has pleaded a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as underlying facts that could potentially support such a claim. Plaintiff's complaint states that defendant Davis called the sheriff's office and urged officers to arrest plaintiff's son at plaintiff's house. Then, approximately eight officers surrounded plaintiff's house, drew their guns, and began banging on her doors and yelling for her son to come out. This allegedly continued for almost an hour, with one of the officers shouting “If he doesn't come out, we're coming in!” Lastly, the complaint states, “[T]he sheriff's officers finally left, since they had no legal authorization to enter plaintiff's home.” Taken together, and when the pro se plaintiff's complaint is construed liberally, plaintiff has alleged facts that could allow a reasonable jury to infer that defendants conspired together to successfully exert influence over the police, and therefore should be treated as state actors under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

(Doc. 20, at 5-6.)

         Plaintiff initially filed a motion to amend last fall, seeking leave to add violations of 18 U.S.C. § 242. That federal statute states:

[w]hoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. . . shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(Doc. 27, at 1.) Soon thereafter, Plaintiff requested and received a stay of 120 days in this case because of persisting health issues and impending surgery. (Docs. 31; see also, Doc. 32, text order granting stay.) Plaintiff's then-pending motion to amend was denied without prejudice as a result of the stay. (Doc. 34, text entry.)

         Following the expiration of the stay, Plaintiff re-filed her motion to amend. (Doc. 36.) Defendants objected to the requested amendment, arguing that 18 U.S.C. 242 “authorizes criminal prosecution for various acts; it does not authorize a private right of action.” (Doc. 37, at 1.) The undersigned Magistrate Judge issued its Report & Recommendation to the District Court that Plaintiff's renewed motion to amend be denied as futile. (Doc. 38.) Plaintiff objected to this Court's recommendation (Doc. 49), but the District Court ultimately adopted, in full, the recommendation and denied Plaintiff's requested amendment (Doc. 62).

         DISCUSSION

         A. Motion to Compel (Doc. 94).

         Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b) states that

[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at state in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant information, the parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.

         As such, the requested information must be nonprivileged, relevant, and proportional to the needs of the case to be discoverable. Within this framework, the ...


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