United States District Court, D. New Mexico
ORDER ON MOTIONS
Fashing, United States Magistrate Judge
MATTER comes before the Court on plaintiff Andrew
Apodaca's Request for the Admission of Documents (Doc.
83),  his Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
(Doc. 87), and his Request for Trial or Pretrial Hearing or
Conference (Doc. 91). Having reviewed the motions and being
fully advised, the Court finds that Mr. Apodaca's request
for admission of documents is well taken and will be GRANTED,
Mr. Apodaca's motion for summary judgment will be
construed as part of his response to the Martinez
report, and his request for a trial and pretrial conference
is premature, and will be DENIED.
Request for Admission of Documents (Doc. 83)
Apodaca filed his complaint for civil rights violations on
January 21, 2015. Doc. 1. On November 17, 2015, the Court
ordered defendants German Franco, Michelle Boyer, and Vincent
Vigil to file a Martinez report. Doc. 44. Under
Martinez v. Aaron, 570 F.2d 317, 319- 20 (10th Cir.
1978), the Court may order defendants to investigate the
incident or incidents underlying plaintiff's lawsuit and
submit a report of their investigation in order to develop a
factual or legal basis for determining whether plaintiff has
a meritorious claim. See Gee v. Estes, 829 F.2d
1005, 1007 (10th Cir. 1987). A Martinez Report may
be used in a variety of contexts, including motions for
summary judgment or a sua sponte entry of summary
judgment. When a Martinez Report is used for summary
judgment purposes, the pro se plaintiff must be
afforded an opportunity to present conflicting evidence to
controvert the facts set out in the report. Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1109 (10th Cir. 1991).
accordance with the Court's order for a Martinez
Report, the Court required Mr. Apodaca to file his response
on or before February 19, 2016. Doc. 44. Mr. Apodaca did not
file a response by February 19, 2016. Apparently, Mr. Apodaca
was having difficulty mailing documents to the Court because
he could no longer afford to pay for postage. See
Docs. 50, 59, 60, 63, 68, 74. Despite these difficulties, Mr.
Apodaca filed his response to the Martinez Report on
March 31, 2016. Doc. 69. In his motion for the admission of
documents-filed five months after his deadline to respond to
the Martinez Report-Mr. Apodaca explains that the
documents he is sending are in response to the
Martinez Report and are evidence that supports his
allegations. Doc. 83 at 1. He asks that they be admitted in
support of his claims. Id. at 2. Mr. Apodaca must be
afforded an opportunity to present conflicting evidence.
Acknowledging the problems he claims to have had in mailing
documents to the Court, I will grant his motion and accept
the documents for consideration.
his motion for the admission of documents, Mr. Apodaca
submits a motion for the production of documents from
defendant pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34.
Doc. 83 at 3-6. Discovery matters are within the district
court's broad discretion. Abdulhaseeb v.
Calbone, 600 F.3d 1301, 1310 (10th Cir. 2010). The
purpose of a Martinez report in a pro se prisoner
case is to “develop a record sufficient to ascertain
whether there are any factual or legal bases for the
prisoner's claims.” Hall, 935 F.2d at
1109. The practice of ordering a Martinez report
allows the assembly of a record “necessary for the
orderly consideration of the issues.”
Martinez, 570 F.2d at 319. At this point, discovery
is unnecessary because defendants have provided a record
sufficient to ascertain whether there is any factual or legal
basis for Mr. Apodaca's claims. The Court denies Mr.
Apodaca's request for discovery.
Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 87)
August 24, 2016, Mr. Apodaca submitted a motion for partial
summary judgment (Doc. 87), a brief in support of his motion
(Doc. 88), a declaration in support of his motion (Doc. 89),
and a statement of undisputed facts (Doc. 90). Although Mr.
Apodaca previously filed a response to the Martinez
Report (Doc. 69), a review of his motion for summary judgment
reveals that it is, in essence, an additional response to the
Martinez Report, rather than a separate motion.
Given Mr. Apodaca's pro se status, the Court will
construe Mr. Apodaca's motion for summary judgment as an
additional response to the Martinez Report and
consider its contents in the context of defendants'
motion for summary judgment.
Request for Trial or Pretrial Hearing or Conference (Doc.
Apodaca contends that he has gathered “every [ounce] of
evidence” and requests that this matter be set for
trial. Doc. 91. The request is premature because the
defendants have moved to dismiss Mr. Apodaca's claims,
and they assert that they are entitled to summary judgment as
a matter of law. Doc. 54 at 47-59. If defendants succeed on
either motion, a trial will be unnecessary. “The very
purpose of a summary judgment action is to determine whether
trial is necessary.” White v. York Int'l
Corp., 45 F.3d 357, 360 (10th Cir. 1995). If the Court
determines that Mr. Apodaca has failed to state a claim for
which relief can be granted, see Fed. R. Civ. P.
12(b)(6), or the defendants demonstrate that there is no
genuine issue of fact and that they are entitled to judgment
as a matter of law, Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a), a trial will not be
necessary. If, on the other hand, the motions are denied, the
Court will set this matter for trial. Accordingly, Mr.
Apodaca's motion for a trial or pretrial conference or
hearing is denied.
THEREFORE ORDERED that Mr. Apodaca's Request for the
Admission of Documents (Doc. 83) is GRANTED;
FURTHER ORDERED that Mr. Apodaca's request for discovery
FURTHER ORDERED that Mr. Apodaca's Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment (Doc. 87) is construed as a part of his
response to the Martinez Report and will be
considered in that context; and
FURTHER ORDERED that Mr. Apodaca's Request for Trial or
Pretrial Hearing ...