IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF FRANKLIN COUNTY, OH


ROBERT A. NEINAST
Plaintiff,
v.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE
COLUMBUS METROPOLITAN
LIBRARY, et. al
Defendants.
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Case No. 04CVH-06-6341

Judge Miller







DEFENDANTS' RESPONSES AND OBJECTIONS TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST SET OF INTERROGATORIES AND REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS



Pursuant to Rules 33 and 34 of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, Defendants Board of Trustees of the Columbus Metropolitan Library (the "Library") and Patrick Losinski hereby respond to Plaintiff Robert A. Neinast's First Set of Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents as follows.

GENERAL OBJECTIONS

1. Defendants object to Plaintiff's "Instructions" and "Definitions" to the extent they purport to impose discovery obligations that differ from or exceed the discovery obligations imposed by the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure.

2. Defendants object to the Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents to the extent that they seek information protected by the attorney-client privilege, the work-product privilege, or any other privilege, protection, or immunity applicable under the governing law.

3. Defendants object to the Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents to the extent that they are overly broad, unduly burdensome, oppressive, and/or seek information that is not relevant to the issues in this lawsuit or reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

4. Defendants object to the Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents to the extent that the Library and its co-defendants have already answered interrogatories and requests which were identical or substantially similar in Robert A. Neinast v. Board of Trustees of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, et al., United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Case No. C2-01-443.

5. These General Objections are made, to the extent applicable, in response to each of the Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents as if the objections were fully set forth therein.

6. Defendants respond to each of the Interrogatores and Requests for Production of Documents based upon information and documentation available as of the date hereof and reserve the right to supplement and amend their responses.


INTERROGATORY NO. 1:

Please identify any persons by name, address, and Library position who answered or assisted in answering these Interrogatories.

RESPONSE:

Patrick Losinski
Executive Director
Columbus Metropolitan Library
96 South Grant Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43215


INTERROGATORY NO. 2:

Does the Library have an insurance policy covering the Library against the negligent, wanton, or willful acts of its employees that might result in an injury tort action against the Library? If so, please attach details on the extent of the coverage.

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

Without waiving this objection, Defendants respond that Plaintiff posed this same Interrogatory in Robert A. Neinast v. Board of Trustees of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, United States District Court for the Southern District of of Ohio Case No. C2-01-443, and that the Library and its co-defendants in that action answered fully on September 6, 2001, in their Responses to Plaintiff's Second Set of Interrogatories (specifically, in Response No. 7).


INTERROGATORY NO. 3:

Does the Library have a contract with any cleaning service or other company in which that service agrees to defend, indemnify, or insure against any portion of injury lawsuits filed against the Library? If so, please identify that service and attach relevant portions of that contract.

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is unduly burdensome and not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.


INTERROGATORY NO. 4:

Please state whether any of the Libraryís insurance policies require, at any time required, or is being (or has been) interpreted to require, that the Library enforce a barefoot policy as part of coverage. If so, please append a copy of the relevant portion of these insurance policies to your Answers.

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is vague, unduly burdensome and not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

Without waiving this objection, Defendants respond that Plaintiff posed this same Interrogatory in Robert A. Neinast v. Board of Trustees of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, United States District Court for the Southern District of of Ohio Case No. C2-01-443, and that the Library and its co-defendants in that action answered fully on September 6, 2001, in their Responses to Plaintiff's First Set of Interrogatories (specifically, in Response No. 2).


INTERROGATORY NO. 5:

Please provide details about any lawsuits by patrons against the Library in the past five (5) years. Only include lawsuits in which the patron was injured on Library premises. Please include the court, the case title, the case number, the type of injury, the type of footwear the patron was wearing (if known), and whether the patron recovered or not.

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is unduly burdensome and not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.


INTERROGATORY NO. 6:

Do you contend that any relevant Health Department requires shoes in public buildings? If so, which Health Department? Please include a copy of any Health Department regulation.

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is vague, unduly burdensome, not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, and calls for Defendants to speculate regarding the actions and policies of unaffiliated nonparties.


INTERROGATORY NO. 7:

Do you contend that bare feet on a patron are in any way disruptive of the Library environment, or represent a danger to any other patrons?

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.


INTERROGATORY NO. 8:

Has the library issued instructions to personnel (including guards) on how to deal with barefoot patrons, either verbally or in writing? If verbally, describe those instructions; if in writing, please attach a copy of those instructions. Include the approximate date on which the instructions were issued.

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

Subject to and without waiving this objection, Defendants respond that the Library has issued the Eviction Procedure, which describes, inter alia, the Library's policy regarding barefoot patrons. The Library and its co-defendants in Robert A. Neinast v. Board of Trustees of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, United States District Court for the Southern District of of Ohio Case No. C2-01-443, produced this document on August 8, 2001, in response to Plaintiff's First Set of Interrogatories.


INTERROGATORY NO. 9:

Please attach to your Answers current copies of the Libraryís Patron Regulation, Eviction Procedure, Harassment Policy, and Policy pertaining to the provision of library services to individuals that are not inhabitants of Franklin County. If any of these policies have changed in any material way since January, 2000, please also attach the previous relevant policy.

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

Subject to and without waiving this objection, Defendants respond that Plaintiff already possesses current copies of the Library's Patron Regulations, Eviction Procedure, Harassment Policy, and Policy pertaining to the provision of library services to individuals that are not inhabitants of Franklin County. The Library and its co-defendants produced these documents on August 8, 2001, in response to Plaintiff's First Set of Interrogatories in Robert A. Neinast v. Board of Trustees of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, United States District Court for the Southern District of of Ohio Case No. C2-01-443.


INTERROGATORY NO. 10:

Does the Library have a rule to prevent children from sitting or crawling on the floor. Please provide a simple yes or no answer.

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence and purports to limit the Defendants' ability to answer to answer in a way that differs from the scope provided by Rule 33 of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure.


INTERROGATORY NO. 11:

Were any studies conducted in the course of instituting the barefoot policy? If so, please detail those studies. Append copies of the study or studies to these Answers.

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

Subject to and without waiving this objection, Defendants respond that Plaintiff posed this same Interrogatory in Robert A. Neinast v. Board of Trustees of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, United States District Court for the Southern District of of Ohio Case No. C2-01-443, and that the Library and its co-defendants in that action answered fully on September 6, 2001, in their Responses to Plaintiff's Second Set of Interrogatories (specifically, in Response No. 10).


INTERROGATORY NO. 12:

Is it a fact that the shoe rule was instituted at a meeting between retired Executive Director Larry D. Black and Security Manager Forrest Sorensen, and that no recorded minutes of that meeting exist? If the shoe rule was instituted at some other meeting, please describe that meeting, including attendees and their titles. Has the shoe rule ever been formally adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Library? If so, please attach the relevant portions of the minutes of that meeting.

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

Without waiving this objection, Defendants respond that Plaintiff posed this same Interrogatory in Robert A. Neinast v. Board of Trustees of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, United States District Court for the Southern District of of Ohio Case No. C2-01-443, and that the Library and its co-defendants in that action answered fully on September 6, 2001, in their Responses to Plaintiff's Second Set of Interrogatories (specifically, in Response No. 11).


INTERROGATORY NO. 13:

Has the shoe rule been discussed, or any action taken regarding the shoe rule, at any meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Library? If so, please attach the relevant portions of the minutes of those meetings to your Answers.

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

Subject to and without waiving this objection, Defendants answer that the Board of Trustees approved the Eviction Procedure. It authorized Mr. Black to promulgate rules for the regulation of the Library.


INTERROGATORY NO. 14:

Is it a fact that, when retired Executive Director Larry D. Black wrote to the Franklin County Prosecutorís office on January 30, 2001, requesting an opinion of the constitutionality of the Libraryís shoe rule, he wrote: "Would you please draft a response for our Board President's signature which includes the legal reasons that CML can give for requiring its customers to dress appropriately for a public place?" Please attach a copy of the letter to your Answers.

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

Subject to and without waiving this objection, Defendants state that Mr. Black's letter speaks for itself. The Library and its co-defendants in Robert A. Neinast v. Board of Trustees of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, United States District Court for the Southern District of of Ohio Case No. C2-01-443 provided this document to Plaintiff on September 6, 2001, in their Responses to Plaintiff's Second Set of Interrogatories (specifically, in Response No. 13). Plaintiff cited this document in and attached it to his Motion for Summary Judgment, filed on September 17, 2001.


INTERROGATORY NO. 15:

Is it a fact that retired Executive Director Larry D. Black stated in his sworn affidavit of August 2, 2001, filed in Plaintiff Neinastís previous lawsuit, that:

"4. In performing this function, pursuant to the description of my position in the Board of Trustee's Library Organization Policy, I approved and promulgated the Library's Eviction Procedure, including a provision requiring patrons to wear shoes. A true and accurate copy of the Eviction Procedure is attached hereto as Exhibit 2."

Please attach a copy of the affidavit to your Answers.

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

Subject to and without waiving this objection, Defendants respond that the document speaks for itself. The Library and its co-defendants in Robert A. Neinast v. Board of Trustees of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, United States District Court for the Southern District of of Ohio Case No. C2-01-443, provided this document to Plaintiff on August 2, 2004, as Exhibit A to their Motion for Summary Judgment.


INTERROGATORY NO. 16:

Is it possible that a patron, in reaching up for a book on a higher shelf, could have a book drop down upon their head? If so, is it your contention that proper operation and management of the Library would include making a rule that all patrons wear hard hats?

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is overbroad, vague, and not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.


INTERROGATORY NO. 17:

Is it possible for a patron wearing high-heeled shoes to catch one of the heels in the carpeting, to twist their ankle due to the height of the heel and some minor defect in the floor of the Library, or to otherwise injure themselves while in the Library? If so, is it your contention that proper operation and management of the Library would include making a rule that banned high heels?

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is overbroad, vague, and not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.


INTERROGATORY NO. 18:

In the January, 2004 issue of Columbus Monthly, Executive Director Patrick Losinksi was quoted as saying, in response to reports of blood, feces, vomit, semen, and broken glass in the Library, "You can imagine with that many people some abnormal things do happen. I donít characterize us as unique. An airport facility, museum or courthouse would probably experience the same thing." Is that an accurate quote? If not, please supply an accurate quote.

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.


INTERROGATORY NO. 19:

Is it your contention that the conditions in the Library regarding barefoot use are different than the conditions in any of the following public or governmental buildings: grocery stores, hardware stores, home improvement stores, general merchandise stores, office supply stores, bookstores, sporting goods stores, movie theaters, post offices, courthouses, museums, airports, restaurants, health department buildings, and the Ohio Statehouse? If so, please detail the differences that justify a shoe rule as part of the proper operation and management of the Library.

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.


INTERROGATORY NO. 20:

Please supply an address at which retired Executive Director Larry D. Black may be subpoenaed.

RESPONSE:

Objection. This Interrogatory is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.



  Respectfully submitted,
/s/   Johnathan E. Sullivan
Philomena M. Dane (0044064)
Johnathan E. Sullivan (0072371)
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey L.L.P.
1300 Huntington Center
41 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 365-2700

Attorney for Defendants Board of Trustees
of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and
Patrick Losinski


CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

The undersigned hereby certifies that a copy of the foregoing Defendants' Responses and Objections to Plaintiff's First Set of Interrogatories was served, by regular U.S. mail, postage prepaid, upon Robert A. Neinast, Plaintiff, 8617 Ashford Lane, Pickerington, Ohio 43147, this 26th day of August, 2004.


  /s/   Johnathan E. Sullivan