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Guy v. City of San Diego

January 8, 2008


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Leo S. Papas U.S. Magistrate Judge


Plaintiff Anthony Guy has moved the Court seeking 1) relief from the case management deadlines for completion of discovery and filing motions and 2) an order compelling production of documents requested from Defendants David Maley, Richard Garcia, and Kevin Friedman (collectively referred to hereafter as the "Individual Defendants") in connection with their depositions. The motion is opposed by Defendant City of San Diego ("the City") and the Individual Defendants. At the request of Plaintiff, a hearing was held on January 3, 2008. Appearances were made by Steven Shewry, Esq. and Chris Saldana, Esq., on behalf of Plaintiff and Andrew Jones, Esq., on behalf of all Defendants. After due consideration of the parties' briefs and counsels' oral arguments, the Court grants in part and denies in part Plaintiff's motion for relief from the case management deadlines, and denies Plaintiff's motion to compel.


By way of his complaint, Plaintiff alleges that in January 2005, he witnessed three unidentified white males battering an unidentified African-American male. Complaint (Doc. 1) As Plaintiff attempted to come to the aid of the individual, Plaintiff was attacked from the rear and his shirt was pulled over his head. Believing his assailant was associated with the three white males, Plaintiff attempted to defend himself until he heard his assailant identify himself as a police officer. Thereafter, Plaintiff was immediately restrained, handcuffed, kicked, beaten, peppersprayed and arrested, resulting in physical and emotional injury. The officers involved in the restraint and arrest were later identified as the Individual Defendants.

Plaintiff alleges the Individual Defendants used excessive and unreasonable force in making an unlawful arrest, in violation of his constitutional rights. See 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff also seeks recompense from the City under a Monell theory of liability, alleging it failed to properly train and supervise the Individual Defendants. Claims of this nature are often referred to as Monell claims, taking their name from the seminal case Monell v. New York Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978), in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that while a municipality cannot be held vicariously liable for the acts of its employees for civil rights violations, § 1983 liability may be imposed on a government or municipal entity that, under the color of some official policy, "causes" an employee to violate another's constitutional rights.


On April 5, 2006, Plaintiff's complaint was removed from Superior Court by the Office of the City Attorney, which represents all Defendants. At that time, Don Shanahan, Esq. was the Deputy City Attorney assigned to the case. In early March 2007, Mr. Shanahan was replaced by Deputy City Attorney Mark Edelman, who has since been replaced by Mr. Jones, who is also with the Office of the City Attorney.

Pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 16(b), on August 10, 2006, a scheduling order was issued setting case management dates including the deadline for completion of discovery (March 16, 2007), the deadline for filing motions (April 13, 2007), a pretrial conference (August 17, 2007), and the trial date (September 17, 2007).*fn1 Case Management Conference Order (Doc. 9) About seven months later, on March 5, 2007, Plaintiff noticed the depositions of the Individual Defendants and requested they each produce certain documents at the deposition. Declaration of Mr. Shewry, Ex. A. The depositions took place later that month, however, the individuals did not produce any documents at their deposition. The individuals testified they were unable to produce the requested documents because they were in the custody of the City, and were not accessible to the Individual Defendants. No documents were ever requested of the City although it appears some were voluntarily produced, presumably pursuant to Defendants' obligations under FED. R. CIV. P. 26 (a)(1). See Stipulated Protective Order B, Ex. A. (Doc. 79)


Plaintiff now seeks relief from the case management deadlines to have the pending motions heard by the Court and to pursue additional discovery. Plaintiff contends he should be afforded relief from the deadlines for completion of discovery and filing motions related to Plaintiff's claim against the City because his counsel was "stonewalled" by the City's prior counsel. Relief from scheduling order dates requires a showing of good cause and leave of the Court. FED. R. CIV. P. 16(b).

A. Plaintiff Is Granted Limited Relief from the Motion Filing Deadline

Plaintiff's allegation of stonewalling and the interests of open discovery warrant good cause to grant Plaintiff relief from the motion filing deadline, solely for purpose of allowing due consideration of the motions currently before the Court. However, as set forth below, Plaintiff fails to show good cause to allow relief from the case management deadlines for any other purpose.

B. Plaintiff Fails to Show Good Cause for Relief from the Discovery Deadline

Plaintiff seeks to reopen discovery in order to serve written discovery requests on the City relating to his Monell claim against that defendant.*fn2 He claims the two prior City attorneys effectively stonewalled Plaintiff by leading Mr. Shewry to believe that all Defendants' documents would be produced on an informal basis. Mr. Shewry claims the prior City attorneys "both agreed that they would at initial disclosures, and later at deposition in response to requests for production, provide information and documents requested." Declaration of Mr. Shewry, para 4. Plaintiff claims ...

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