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Baxter v. Mallory

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

June 18, 2015

TIMOTHY AARON BAXTER, Plaintiff,
v.
OFFICER ARTHUR MALLORY, SERGEANT JOHN MOFFATT, and OFFICER ROBERT MOFFATT, Defendants.

OMNIBUS ORDER ON PENDING MOTIONS

S. THOMAS ANDERSON, District Judge.

On June 16, 2015, the Court conducted a final pretrial conference with the parties. Present at the conference were Plaintiff Timothy Aaron Baxter, who is proceeding pro se, and counsel for Defendants Arthur Mallory, John Moffatt, and Robert Moffatt. A jury trial is set to commence on June 24, 2015. Before the Court are a number of pending motions filed by the parties. The Court's rulings on the parties' motions are set forth below.

I. Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment

On April 17, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (ECF No. 276), seeking judgment as a matter of law only on the issue of Defendant Robert Moffatt's liability. Plaintiff alleges that Moffatt assaulted him in the tomato field. Defendants have responded in opposition and argue that the Motion was filed outside of the scheduling order's deadline for dispositive motions. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b)(3) requires the Court to enter a case management scheduling order and set a deadline for, among other things, the filing of dispositive motions. In this case, the dispositive motion deadline passed on December 26, 2012, and was never extended beyond that date. Plaintiff filed his Rule 56 Motion more than two years later on April 17, 2015. And based on the record before the Court, the issue of Robert Moffatt's liability is contested. Therefore, Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment is DENIED.

II. Motions to Amend Witness Lists and Exhibit List

On October 22, 2014, the Court entered a pretrial order (ECF No. 217). At that time the case was set for trial on October 29, 2014. Subsequent to the entry of the pretrial order, the Court continued the trial and then reset it for June 2015.[1] Since that time the parties have filed a series of motions to amend their witness lists as they appear in the October 2014 pretrial order. The Court's rulings on these motions are as follows:

A. Records Custodian. On October 24, 2014, Defendants filed their first Motion to Amend Witness List (ECF No. 225), requesting to add the custodian of medical records at the Northwest Correctional Complex to their witness list. That Motion is GRANTED.

B. Officer J. Pressley. On February 18, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Supplement his Witness List (ECF No. 261) to add a correctional officer at the Westn Tennessee State Penitentiary identified as J. Pressley. According to Plaintiff, this officer was a witness to Defendant John Moffatt choking the Plaintiff when Plaintiff returned to the prison's sally port. Defendants have not responded to Plaintiff's Motion. Because Officer Pressley appears to have personal knowledge of the assault, Plaintiff's Motion is GRANTED. As Officer Pressley is an employee of the Tennessee Department of Corrections, counsel for Defendants is ordered to make Officer Pressley available as a trial witness.

C. David M. Carter. On June 1, 2015, Plaintiff filed a "report" (ECF No. 286), stating he had attempted to obtain contact information for David M. Carter but had been unsuccessful in locating him. Carter is not currently on the plaintiff's witness list, and the Court construes the report as a motion to add Carter as a trial witness. Plaintiff's request to list Carter as a trial witness is GRANTED. However, Plaintiff's request for the Court to locate Carter is DENIED. Plaintiff will be responsible for ensuring Carter's appearance at trial.

D. Margie Hayes and Shauna Jennings. On May 5, 2015, Defendants filed under seal a second Motion to Amend Witness List (ECF No. 279), seeking to add Margie Hayes and Shauna Jennings as trial witnesses. According to Defendants, these witnesses will testify about the existence of only one video recording from the prison's sally port, which purportedly depicted Defendant John Moffatt choking Plaintiff. While Plaintiff opposes the Motion, Plaintiff admits that a fact dispute exists about the number of video recordings of the sally port. For good cause shown, Defendants' Motion is GRANTED.

E. Ben Lindamood and Joe Lee Williams. In his response in opposition to Defendants' motion to add Hayes and Jennings (ECF No. 281), Plaintiff has moved to add Ben Lindamood and Joe Lee Williams as trial witnesses. Plaintiff states that both are management information systems specialists who perform maintenance on the cameras and data storage systems at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary. Defendants state that they do not oppose Plaintiff's request to add Lindamood and Williams to Plaintiff's witness list, though counsel for Defendants does not believe that these witnesses have any relevant testimony to give. The Court makes no ruling on the admissibility of their testimony. The Court merely finds cause to add Lindamood and Williams to Plaintiff's witness list. Therefore, the Motion is GRANTED. Counsel for Defendants stated at the pretrial conference that they would ensure the appearance of these witnesses at trial.

F. James C. Guin. Finally, on June 12, 2015, Defendants filed a Motion to Supplement their Witness List and their Exhibit List (ECF No. 295). Defendants seek to add James C. Guin as a trial witness. According to Defendants, Guin will offer additional testimony about the video recording equipment in the sally port at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary. Defendants also request to add overhead photos of the sally port to their exhibit list. For good cause shown, Defendants' Motion is GRANTED.

The Court will enter a revised pretrial order to include the names of the witnesses ...


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