United States District Court, D. Idaho
OMAR CASTILLON, DUSTY KNIGHT, JUSTIN PETERSON, LEON RUSSELL, CHRISTOPHER JORDAN, JACOB JUDD, MICHAEL FORD-BRIDGES, AND RAYMOND BRYANT, Plaintiffs,
CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA, INC., Defendant.
ORDER RE: PLAINTIFFS' MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE EXHIBITS 21, 22N, AND 23 (Dkt. 191)
CANDY W. DALE, Magistrate Judge.
Plaintiffs bring this civil rights action against Corrections Corporation of America, Inc. (CCA), alleging violations of their Eighth Amendment rights prohibiting the imposition of cruel and unusual punishment, and the corresponding duty of the prison to protect prisoners from violence at the hands of other prisoners. The lawsuit arises out of an inmate gang attack on Plaintiffs that occurred May 5, 2012, at CCA's Idaho Correctional Center (ICC). In response to Defendant CCA's motion for summary judgment, Plaintiffs filed a motion in limine to exclude the Court's consideration Exhibits 21, 22N, and 23, which CCA submitted as attachments to CCA's Statement of Facts in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment. The motion presents a discovery dispute. Consequently, the Court will consider the motion in limine separately from the dispositive and other related motions.
Resolution of this matter cannot be understood without reference to an earlier case, Kelly v. Wengler, No. 1:11-cv-185-S-EJL, which began on April 27, 2011. The ACLU filed a class action complaint against CCA seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, and alleging systemic prisoner violence at ICC resulting from alleged inadequate staffing and housing policies and procedures implemented by CCA. On June 13, 2011, the Kelly matter was referred to the Honorable David O. Carter for the purpose of conducting a settlement conference and presiding over the settlement process. On September 15, 2011, Judge Carter conducted a settlement conference, which resulted in a settlement of the pending complaint. One central component of the settlement reached was a monitoring agreement and, in the event of non-compliance, a dispute resolution provision allowing the parties to submit unresolved disputes to Judge Carter, who retained the authority to enforce the terms of the Settlement Agreement.
After several proposals, on September 27, 2013, the parties filed a stipulation requesting that Edward "Tad" Leach be considered and appointed as the Independent Monitor to monitor CCA's compliance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement. On October 10, 2013, Judge Carter approved the stipulation, and Leach was appointed and tasked with monitoring CCA's compliance with the staffing requirements set forth in the Settlement Agreement. Leach was to propose a plan for regularly monitoring staffing at ICC, which would include regular reports to the Court, to be filed under seal. On October 29, 2013, Judge Carter issued an order, filed under seal (and remaining under seal), approving the submitted monitoring plan and establishing a procedure for the filing of monitoring reports. Initially, the monitor's reports were to be filed under seal, with a timetable thereafter for requesting redactions. After submission, the Court would either approve the proposed redactions and unseal the redacted report, or unseal the report without redactions. Leach began his work, filing his first report dated December 16, 2013. Monthly reports occurred thereafter.
The present dispute involves two of Leach's reports (Exhibits 21 and 23) and a third document the parties refer to as the assault rate comparison chart illustrating the rates of assault between 2008 and 2012 at ICC and at the Idaho State Correctional Institution (ISCI) (Exhibit 22N). The Court will first discuss Leach's reports.
Exhibit 21 is Leach's June 30, 2014, report to Judge Carter, summarizing Leach's findings during seventy on-site inspections conducted between November 15, 2013, and June 29, 2014, during which Leach "found no violations of the staffing requirements" set forth in the Settlement Agreement. (Dkt. 168-15.) Exhibit 23 is Leach's report dated April 15, 2014 (Revised May 9, 2014), which is a comprehensive violence report examining data and comparing the rates of certain types of assaults between inmates at the three largest prisons in Idaho (ICC, ISCI, and the Idaho Maximum Security Institution (IMSI)) from 2007 through 2013. (Dkt. 169-14.) Leach's June 30, 2014 summary report and April 15, 2014 (revised May 9, 2014) comprehensive violence report were submitted to Judge Carter under seal on July 22, 2014. Redacted copies were available only to the parties under the terms of the Settlement Agreement. Judge Carter did not approve dissemination of either document, public or otherwise, until September 13, 2014. On September 15, 2014, CCA produced a copy of the redacted summary report and redacted comprehensive violence report to Plaintiffs in this case.
The third document challenged by Plaintiffs' motion in limine is Exhibit 22N (Dkt. 170-12), a collection of color-coded tables or charts summarizing and comparing assault rates at ICC and IDOC's facility, ISCI. CCA obtained the underlying data from IDOC, in response to a Rule 45 subpoena which was served upon IDOC and Plaintiffs' counsel on March 24, 2014. IDOC was required to produce the documents on or before April 8, 2014. According to the record here, Plaintiffs did not file an objection to the subpoena. CCA disclosed the data IDOC produced pursuant to the Rule 45 subpoena in its April 25, 2014 supplemental disclosures. CCA then undertook the task of summarizing the data and creating Exhibit 22N, which was not finalized until August 12, 2014.
CCA supplemented its disclosures and produced Exhibit 22N to Plaintiffs on August 26, 2014. Also on August 26, 2014, CCA identified it would be using Leach's reports. CCA had disclosed previously on April 18, 2014, that Leach was an individual with discoverable information. CCA filed its motion for summary judgment on September 15, 2014. After requesting and receiving an extension, Plaintiffs responded to CCA's motion on October 17, 2014.
Plaintiffs filed their complaint against CCA in this matter on November 9, 2012. (Dkt. 1.) The Court's scheduling order, as amended on April 7, 2014, and July 1, 2014, required the parties to complete discovery by April 25, 2014, (Dkt. 139), and file dispositive motions on or before September 15, 2014, (Dkt. 150).
Based upon the discovery cut-off date, Plaintiffs complain the three exhibits at issue were disclosed untimely, in violation of Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a) and (e), and therefore seek to exclude the documents from consideration upon summary judgment as a sanction under Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(c). Plaintiffs argue also that Fed.R.Evid. 403 provides a basis for exclusion, because the "late disclosure clearly prejudices the Plaintiffs given that CCA's motion for summary judgment" relies upon them. Plaintiffs contend their ability to respond to the motion for summary judgment and to depose Plaintiffs' expert was hampered by CCA's failure to timely disclose the exhibits.
Plaintiffs complain CCA's late disclosures have created "irreversible prejudice, " because Plaintiffs were unable to question several individuals about the statistics in the exhibits during depositions. Plaintiffs contend "at least 7 depositions... would need to be retaken. Two experts would need to issue new reports. The cost... of such an effort would be at least $75, 000." However, Plaintiffs indicate that the data summarized in the assault rate chart (Exhibit 22N) "is nothing new." Reply at 7 (Dkt. 206.) Yet, Plaintiffs argue they "cannot rewrite their response to CCA's motion for summary judgment, " which motion relied upon the conclusions reached by Leach in his summary reports, and the late disclosure "hampered their summary judgment response." Id. at 7, 8.
CCA contends the motion in limine should be denied, because the Leach exhibits were timely disclosed as soon as they became available, and the summary chart, prepared pursuant to Fed.R.Evid. 1006, ...