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Civil Rights Depositions of Eleven Officials will go forward - Protective Order Denied, New York Cit

New York City Police Misconduct - New York Civil Rights Lawsuits

Civil Rights and New York Police Lawsuits sometimes involve a systemic problems of police misconduct or overarching problems with policing generally. Often referred to as a Pattern and Practice, or Monell, claims, these lawsuits can involve the taking of sworn testimony from high ranking officials. Here, the Plaintiff is suing New York City as part of a Civil Rights case. The Plaintiff wished to depose a number of individuals pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 30(b) as opposed to noticing these individuals pursuant to FRCP 30(a). The Defendants objected stating that, inter alia, the amount of discovery was disproportionate to the Plaintiff's claims.

This case concerns a protective order. The Plaintiff sought and the Defendants objected to the Plaintiff's request for the examination under oath of eleven mid to high ranking individuals.

"Defendants seek the protective order on the grounds that 1) plaintiff is required to seek these depositions pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6), rather than noticing depositions pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(a); 2) that the depositions plaintiff seeks are insufficiently relevant; and 3) that the requests for the depositions are disproportionately burdensome to defendants relative to plaintiff's claims and the needs of the case." Pp. 1

For certain claims and personal injury lawsuits, wide ranging discovery is allowed. Civil Rights and Police Misconduct lawsuits are no different. Here "Plaintiff has adequately explained the information he expects each noticed deponent to provide and its relevance to the Monell claims." Pp. 2. Defendants contest the taking of the depositions without much more of a reason than mentioned above. Plaintiff needs this information and, as one can imagine, the way the information is obtained is through the deposition testimony of these individuals.

The Court finds that the depositions are not burdensome and that such request for depositions does not controvert Federal Rule 30. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(6), Advisory Comm. Notes (1970 Amendment) ("This procedure supplements the existing practice….The new procedure should be viewed as an added facility for discovery….") The City's claim.

Bellamy v. NYC, 12-CV-1025, NYLJ 1202750259593, at 1 (EDNY, Decided February 18, 2016)

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