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Texas Prisoner Prevails in Federal Court on Motion to Compel

by Edward Lyon

Texas prisoner Shellye Wright filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and Texas Tech (TT) concerning the "referral or failure of referral of a mentally ill prisoner to a proper program." Wright requested production of peer review documents that were refused by the defendants under two Texas statutes as privileged.

The court held that no federal privilege applied to the peer review documents in ADA or § 1983 cases providing they are relevant to the pending case. The court ruled the peer review documents Wright requested were relevant under the ADA cause against TT and the TDCJ and in the § 1983 cause against the two individuals. TT was ordered to produce the requested documents. The court further overruled TT's objections to deposition notice and refused to assessmonetary sanctions against TT for refusing to initially disclose the peer review documents based on TT's good faith belief that nondisclosure was proper based on state-level statutory privilege.

See: Wright v. Texas Department of Criminal Justice, U.S.D.C. (N.D. TX) Case no. 7:13-cv-00116-0-KA (21 March 2014)

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Related legal case

Wright v. Texas Department of Criminal Justice