The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. William McCurine, Jr. U.S. Magistrate Judge United States District Court
Plaintiffs have filed a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (See Complaint, Docket No. 1.) In accordance with this Court's Order (Docket No. 14) defendants submitted to the Court for in camera review the personnel records of defendant Deputy B. Stevens and Sergeant R. Webb. The Court has reviewed the documents in camera and for the reasons set forth below finds none of the documents subject to disclosure.
Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, parties may obtain discovery of material that is (1) "not privileged" and (2) relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action."
F.R.C.P. 26(b)(1). Moreover, "[t]he information sought need not be admissible at the trial if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery ov admissible evidence." Id.
A relevant matter is "any matter that bears on, or that reasonably could lead to other matters that could bear on, any issue that is or may be in the case." Soto v. City of Concord, 162 F.R.D. 603, 617 (N.D. Cal.1995)(quoting Oppenheimer Fund, Inc. v. Sanders, 437 U.S. 340, 351 (1978).) Items typically found in personnel files, such as evaluations and records concerning training, conduct and performance, may be relevant on the issues of credibility, notice to the employer, ratification by the employer, motive of the officers and malicious intent. See Soto v. City of Concord, 162 F.R.D. at 613 (citing Hampton v. City of San Diego, 147 F.R.D. 227, 229 (S.D.Cal. 1993)).
After conducting an in camera review of the documents submitted by defendants, the Court finds none of the documents relevant or likely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Therefore, the defendants shall not be required to produce these documents as they do not involve false arrest or improper detention, excessive force, nor could they reasonably lead to other matters at issue in this case.
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