United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
M. VIRDEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on pro se Plaintiff's
Motion [Doc. #17] to Consider Response of E-Mail Received
from Defendants' Counsel Concerning Plaintiffs'
Filing of Requests for Production of Documents and Things
Prior to Court's Ruling on a Motion of Defendants'
Counsel. The Court acknowledges its duty to liberally
construe the motions of a pro se Plaintiff, and, as
such, will construe the instant motion as a motion to conduct
qualified immunity-related discovery. The Court, having
considered the motion and corresponding briefing, finds that
the motion is not well taken and should be DENIED.
Frankie Wayne Hill, filed his pro se Complaint on
January 22, 2018, alleging claims under Title VII and 42
U.S.C. § 1981. On February 13, 2008, the Defendants
filed, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6),
their Motion to Dismiss Premised on Qualified Immunity.
February 14, 2018, the Court entered an Order, sua
sponte, staying “all discovery, pending the
court's ruling on the [immunity] motion, including any
appeal.” On March 8, 2018, the Plaintiff filed a
Notice of Service of Request for Production of Documents
to Defendants. Doc. #13. In response to this filing, the
Defendants emailed Plaintiff and requested that the Plaintiff
withdraw these requests, as they violated the Court's
Order. The Plaintiff responded alleging that the propounded
discovery was immunity-related and necessary to support his
Motion to Dismiss Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Premised
on Qualified Immunity. The Plaintiff then filed the instant
Court's Order, staying discovery, read, in pertinent
part, as follows:
Local Uniform Civil Rule 16(b)(3)(B) provides that
“[f]iling a motion asserting…an immunity defense
… stays the attorney conference and disclosure
requirements and all discovery, pending the court's
ruling on the motion, including any appeal. Whether to permit
discovery on issues related to the motion… [is a
decision] committed to the discretion of the court.” L.
U. Civ. R. 16(b)(3)(B). Accordingly, a stay of certain
proceedings is appropriate. Should the parties desire to
undertake immunity-related discovery, they should contact the
court for scheduling of same.
above referenced stay Order halted all discovery except
discovery related to the immunity motion. However, even then,
the Order provides that should a party desire to conduct
immunity-related discovery, the party must first seek leave
allowing a party to proceed with immunity-related discovery,
after such request, this Court must first find “that
the plaintiff's pleadings assert facts which, if true,
would overcome the defense of qualified immunity.”
Wicks v. Miss. State Emp't Servs., 41 F.3d 991,
994-95 (5th Cir. 1995). Even then, the Court must be sure
that the discovery is neither avoidable nor overly broad.
Discovery is neither avoidable nor overly broad if:
(1) the immunity claim turns at least partially on a question
of fact; (2) the district court is unable to rule on the
immunity defense without further clarification of the facts;
and (3) the discovery order is narrowly tailored to uncover
only those facts needed to rule on the immunity claim.
Luna v. Valdez, No. 3:15-cv-3520-D-BN, 2017 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 154718, at *12 (N.D. Tex. Sep. 21, 2017).
Mr. Hill has baldly alleged that the propounded discovery is
related to the immunity motion,  he has failed to seek leave
of the Court, or otherwise demonstrate, specifically, in the
motion or the pleadings, that the discovery requests are
necessary to resolve the immunity issue. See Wicks,
41 F.3d 991, 994-95. As such, the Plaintiff's discovery