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Arnold v. City of Olathe

United States District Court, D. Kansas

January 16, 2020

MARK ARNOLD, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF OLATHE, KANSAS, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          James P. O'Hara U.S. Magistrate Judge

         Defendant Calvin Hayden has filed a motion (ECF No. 97) seeking to compel supplemental discovery responses from the plaintiff, Mark Arnold. Plaintiff opposes the motion to compel, arguing he has provided complete answers to the discovery.[1] For the reasons discussed below, the court grants the motion.

         Background

         Plaintiff, acting as special administrator of the estate of decedent Ciara Howard, has brought 42 U.S.C. § 1983 excessive force claims and state law tort claims for assault/battery and survival/wrongful death against the officer defendants for their involvement in the 2017 shooting death of Ms. Howard. Defendant served interrogatories on October 7, 2019, eight of which are contention interrogatories seeking “with particularity each fact” supporting plaintiff's claims, the source of those facts, and identification of documents supporting those facts.[2] For ease of reference, the court reproduces the eight interrogatories at issue here.[3] In each interrogatory, defendant asked for “(a) the identity of each individual who can testify to those facts” and “(b) those documents or things supporting each material fact.”[4]

         Interrogatory No. 8:

State with particularity each fact known to you and upon which you rely in support of your allegations that Deputy Nate Denton was present at 112 S. Keeler St., Olathe, Johnson County, Kansas on August 23, 2017, entered the residence, entered the laundry room, and shot and killed Ms. Howard.

         Interrogatory No. 9:

State with particularity each material fact known to you and upon which you rely in support of your allegations contained in Count I of your Complaint that Defendant Chaulk and Defendant Denton used excessive force against Ciara Howard in violation of Ms. Howard's constitutional rights.

         Interrogatory No. 10:

State with particularity each fact known to you and upon which you rely in support of your allegations that Defendant Chaulk entered the residence and entered the laundry room where Ms. Howard had barricaded herself.

         Interrogatory No. 11:

State with particularity each fact known to you and upon which you rely in support of your allegations contained in Count IV of your Complaint that Defendants Chaulk and Denton assaulted and battered Ms. Howard.

         Interrogatory No. 12:

State with particularity each fact known to you and upon which you rely in support of your allegations contained in Count V of your Complaint that Defendants Chaulk, Denton, Sparks or Hayden breached a duty of care to Ms. Howard.

         Interrogatory No. 15:

State with particularity each fact known to you and upon which you rely in support of your allegations in Count I, Paragraph 48, that Deputy Denton and Sergeant Chaulk's actions were reckless, wanton and malicious.

         Interrogatory No. 16:

State with particularity each fact known to you and upon which you rely in support of your allegations in Count IV, Paragraph 72, that Deputy Denton and Sergeant Chaulk's actions were wanton, or done with malice or reckless disregard for Ciara Howard's rights.

         Interrogatory No. 17:

State with particularity each fact known to you and upon which you rely in support of your allegations in Paragraph 81, that the actions of Sheriff Hayden, Deputy Denton, Sergeant Sparks and Sergeant Chaulk's actions were “reckless, wanton, malicious and/or cruel” justifying an award of punitive damages.[5]

         Plaintiff served his answers by mail on November 6, 2019.[6] His initial response to the contention interrogatories was one objection, repeated for all eight interrogatories, that the interrogatories are overbroad, unduly burdensome, premature, duplicative of initial disclosures, and invade the work-product doctrine.[7] Plaintiff's objection included language conceding “an interrogatory may reasonably ask for the material or principal facts which support a ...


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