United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Nathaniel M. Gorton, United States District Judge
case involves claims brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by
an inmate, pro se litigant Tajuan Holloman
(“plaintiff”) against 26 defendants. Pending
before the Court is 1) plaintiff's motion for a subpoena
duces tecum to be served on Fiona DiGiandomenico, a
personnel officer for the Department of Corrections
(“DOC”) and 2) a motion to strike that motion
brought by a group of 20 of the defendants
seeks to issue a subpoena duces tecum to discover
the proper substitute party for defendants Harold Clarke and
James Bender during their absences from positions held with
the DOC during all times relevant to his claims. For the
following reasons, plaintiff's motion for a subpoena
duces tecum will be denied and defendants' motion to
strike will be allowed.
Holloman is an inmate currently incarcerated at the
Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Shirley,
Massachusetts (“MCI-Shirley”). Holloman's
claims arise from events that occurred while he was a
pretrial detainee at the Correctional Institution in Concord,
Massachusetts, and, later, while detained at MCI-Shirley.
June, 2014, Holloman filed a complaint in this Court against
26 defendants. All defendants are sued in their official and
individual capacities. They are state employees and prison
officials allegedly involved in 1) the transfer of plaintiff
from the Nashua Street Jail in Boston, Massachusetts, to
MCI-Concord and/or 2) his treatment as a pretrial detainee.
In January, 2016, this Court entered a Memorandum and Order,
dismissing Holloman's claims against Nick Palodian,
Thomas Tocci and f/n/u Wendover relating to interference with
legal mail and denial of access to the courts because
Holloman failed to show good cause why the claims should not
be dismissed. In September, 2016, this Court dismissed
plaintiff's claims against Bruce Gelb, Amy Owens and
Jeffrey Daigneault for failure to state a claim on which
relief can be granted but preserved his claims for excessive
force against Aaron Gill and for failure to intervene against
Lieutenant Ferrarra and Frank Maine. In February, 2017, this
Court dismissed all claims against defendant David Deakin.
July, 2016, plaintiff filed a motion for a subpeona duces
tecum on Fiona DiGiandomenico, a personnel officer for
the DOC. The following month, 20 of the defendants filed a
joint motion to strike that motion. These motions are the
subjects of this memorandum.
Plaintiff's Motion for a Subpoena Duces Tecum and
Defendant's Motion to Strike
Subpoena Duces Tecum
subpoena duces tecum issued to a non-party, pursuant
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 45, is subject to the “relevance”
requirement of Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). EEOC v. Tex.
Roadhouse, Inc., 303 F.R.D. 1, 2 (D. Mass. 2014).
Accordingly, courts must “balance the burden of
proposed discovery against the likely benefit”.
Gill v. Gulfstream Park Racing Ass'n, Inc., 399
F.3d 991, 400 (1st Cir. 2005). Factors include
plaintiff's need for the information and “the
availability of other means of obtaining it”. Tex.
Roadhouse, 303 F.R.D. at 2.
Substitution of Parties
Civ. P. 25(d) provides for the automatic substitution of
parties sued in their official capacities when they no longer
hold their positions. See, e.g., Visiting Nurse
Ass'n Gregoria Auffant, Inc. v. Thompson, 447 F.3d
68, 71 n.2 (1st Cir. 2006) (substituting the former Secretary
of Health and Human Services, Tommy G. Thompson, for the
then-current Secretary, Michael O. Leavitt, pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 25(d)). Such substitution occurs with or without
an order from the Court. Fed.R.Civ.P. 25(d).