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Clinton v. Desantis

September 12, 2008

THOMAS CLINTON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DESANTIS, ET AL.,*FN1 DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Craig M. Kellison United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff, a former state prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the court are the following motions:

Doc. 100 Plaintiff's motion to compel;

Doc. 101 Plaintiff's motion to compel re: request for production of documents, set no. nine;

Doc. 103 Plaintiff's motion to compel re: request for production of documents, set nos. one through six;

Doc. 106 Plaintiff's motion to compel re: request for production of documents, set no. eleven;

Doc. 107 Plaintiff's motion to compel re: request for production of documents, set no. ten;

Doc. 108 Plaintiff's motion to compel re: request for production of documents, set no. eight;

Doc. 109 Plaintiff's motion to compel re: request for production of documents, set no. seven;

Doc. 117 Addendum to plaintiff's motion to compel re: request for production of documents, set no. thirteen;

Doc. 118 Plaintiff's motion to compel re: request for production of documents, set no. thirteen;

Doc. 138 Plaintiff's motion for issuance of a subpoena;

Doc. 139 Plaintiff's motion for an order directing defendants to verify their responses to discovery requests;

Doc. 142 Plaintiff's motion for an order acknowledging the authenticity and admissibility of evidence;

Doc. 146 Plaintiff's motion for an order acknowledging the authenticity and admissibility of evidence;

Doc. 147 Plaintiff's motion for an order acknowledging the authenticity and admissibility of evidence;

Doc. 148 Plaintiff's motion for an order acknowledging the authenticity and admissibility of evidence;

Doc. 149 Plaintiff's motion for an order acknowledging the authenticity and admissibility of evidence;

Doc. 150 Plaintiff's motion for an order acknowledging the authenticity and admissibility of evidence;

Doc. 151 Plaintiff's motion for an order acknowledging the authenticity and admissibility of evidence;

Doc. 156 Plaintiff's motion to compel re: request for production of documents, set no. fourteen;

Doc. 166 Defendants' motion to exclude testimony or compel plaintiff's attendance at deposition;

Doc. 170 Plaintiff's motion to compel re: special interrogatories, set no. one; Doc. 172 Plaintiff's motion for "court order number: one";

Doc. 173 Plaintiff's motion for "court order number: two"; and Doc. 182 Defendants' motion to modify the scheduling order.

I. PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS

The court outlined the general factual allegations in findings and recommendations issued on May 8, 2007, as follows:

At all times relevant to the events described in this complaint, plaintiff was an inmate at California Correctional Center (CCC) in Susanville, California. Plaintiff alleges that he was sexually assaulted by another inmate on November 24, 2004. He states that he reported the assault. After the assault, plaintiff was removed from CCC and placed in administrative segregation for his own protection. Plaintiff states that a confidential memorandum containing details of the assault was released into the general prison population, further endangering his safety and further necessitating housing in administrative segregation. Plaintiff was later transferred to the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo.

Plaintiff alleges that he was denied medical care after the alleged assault and alleges that he was retaliated against for reporting the assault. He claims that correctional staff should have allowed him to continue to receive two-for-one credits even after being removed from his prison job. He claims that the denial of these credits resulted in him being incarcerated nine months longer than he otherwise would have been.

In their various oppositions to plaintiff's motions, defendants provide the following summary of the specific factual allegations against each remaining defendant:*fn2

. . .Cooper denied Clinton access to his personal property, including his legal materials. In addition, Cooper refused to comply with a doctor's orders to give plaintiff an extra blanket chrono and failed to comply with doctor's orders to give him his tennis shoe to help keep his feet warm.

Desantis released into the general population a confidential memorandum that showed Clinton had accused another inmate of rape, thereby endangering his safety. In addition, Desantis failed to inform medical personnel that Clinton had been raped and needed a "rape kit" performed.

Marshall allowed retaliation against Clinton by correctional officers to continue after he was told by Clinton's mother that this was occurring.

Riley failed to summon medical care for Clinton some time after the rape, and falsified unspecified documents to cover up for officers who publicized the rape.

Plaintiff does not challenge the accuracy of this summary.

II. SUMMARY OF PENDING MOTIONS

Doc. 100

Plaintiff states that, on January 12, 2008, he received "incomplete and disorganized documents from Deputy Attorney General Jeff Steel" and that the "documents have no order, and where [sic] thrown into an oversize box . . . to prevent Plaintiff from discovering what documents have been produced and what has not." Plaintiff adds:

The "ploy" by the defense is to dump chaos onto Plaintiff, to try to figure out, while pro se, what document Defendants are stating they complied with and what document defendants state that they refuse to produce. This is a "game" to circumvent Discovery and overburden this Plaintiff and this Court.

Plaintiff seeks an order requiring defendants to produce documents "in the proper format." Plaintiff has not attached to his motion a copy of his discovery request or proof of service thereof, or a copy of defendants' responses.

Doc. 101

Plaintiff seeks an order compelling further responses to his request for production of documents, set no. nine, served on defendants on November 5, 2007. Plaintiff has attached to his motion copies of his original discovery request and defendants' responses.

In request no. one, plaintiff asked defendants to "[p]roduce evidence and documentation that the following grievance by plaintiff, as a prison rape survivor and protecting his right to correspond to the Office of Sexual Abuse in Detention Elimination Ombudsperson was not obstructed pursuant to Penal Code 2641." It appears that plaintiff attached to the discovery request a copy of the referenced grievance Plaintiff specifically requested the following documents from "the following state and organizations and that his grievances were mailed and received":

1. The Confidential Legal Mail log proving that this document was logged prior to being mailed;

2. A photocopy of the document with the envelope to prove it was received;

3. A CDC 193 Trust Withdraw slip proving that the Postage was applied to the envelope and prove that the postage was placed on plaintiff inmate trust as a lean on his account; and

4. The itemized deduction of the postage that was metered from zip code 93403 and to the receiving zip code, and as tracked by CDCR meter postage system called Pitney Bowes.

Defendants provided the following response:

Responding Parties object to this request for production on the grounds that it is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. In addition, the request is vague and ambiguous because it refers to "evidence from the following state and organizations," but does not name any.

In request no. two, plaintiff sought "evidence and proof that plaintiff large box of legal documents was mailed, when he was immediately released, and because CDCR did not apply 2196 days towards his prison sentence." In particular, plaintiff requested:

1. The Confidential Legal Mail log proving that this document was logged prior to being mailed;

2. A CDC 193 Trust Withdraw slip proving that the Postage was applied to the envelope and prove that the postage was placed on plaintiff inmate trust as a lean on his account; and

3. The itemized deduction of the postage that was metered from zip code 93403 and to the receiving zip code 72956, and as tracked by CDCR meter postage system called Pitney Bowes.

Defendants responded as follows:

Responding Parties object to this request for production on the grounds that it is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence and is argumentative in that it assumes facts and propositions of law that are subject to dispute.

In the third request, plaintiff asked for "documentation that plaintiff Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus was mailed and sent to Beverly Hills Superior Court." Plaintiff's request references "Exhibit 5," presumably attached to the discovery request. As with his prior requests, plaintiff specifically sought the following:

1. A CDC 193 Trust Withdraw slip proving that the Postage was applied to the envelope and prove that the postage was placed on plaintiff inmate trust as a lean on his account; and

2. The itemized deduction of the postage that was metered from zip code 93403 and to the receiving zip code 90210, and as tracked by CDCR meter postage system called Pitney Bowes.

Defendants provided the following response:

Responding Parties object to this request for production on the grounds that it is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence and is argumentative in that it assumes facts and propositions of law that are subject to dispute. In addition, no Exhibit 5 was attached to Plaintiff's request for production of documents.

Doc. 103 Plaintiff seeks an order compelling further responses to his request for production of documents, set nos. one through six. In these six discovery requests, plaintiff propounded a total of 118 separate requests for production of documents. Specifically, in set no. one, plaintiff propounded 29 separate requests; in set no. two, plaintiff propounded 14 separate requests; in set no. three, plaintiff propounded 37 separate requests; in set no. four, plaintiff propounded 21 separate requests; in set no. five, plaintiff propounded 65 separate requests; and, finally, in set no. six, plaintiff propounded 32 separate requests.*fn3

In his motion to compel, plaintiff states generally as to set no. one:

Plaintiff request in Production of Documents Set Number One are reasonable because it will provide the court evidence if Plaintiff was actually involved in a sexual misconduct alleged by Defendants or, was Plaintiff really a rape victim the staff attempted to cover up to exonerate fellow staff of misconducts. Mr. Steel's defense for Defendants is that it was Plaintiff's own "conduct" which caused the controversy. If the dates of the files and documents do no match, it may provide this court with evidence, if in deed, Plaintiff was a publicized rape victim that staffs are attempting to portray the victim as a sexual deviant, if Plaintiff actually alerted staff prior to Plaintiff being publicized about his reported victimization, if Defendants have manipulated facts and reports to cover up their liability, and only after the publicizing by fellow staff that created such a serious controversy.

As to set no. three, plaintiff states generally: It makes it impossible to conclude what a prison official what supposed to do and did not do, and without reviewing their signed job description. It will provide Plaintiff clues if certain actions and constitutional violations where not within their job description or, was within their job description but it was due to corruption and code of silence that they did not act or, what roll they are actually responsible for. Therefore, Plaintiff should be entitled to review their duties while acting under the color of the law. . . .

As to set no. six, plaintiff generally states:

Part of Defendants argument is that Plaintiff has an adequate administrative remedy to use. Plaintiff will prove to this court that it is not adequate, and appellants face constant reprisals. Even though the following requests are unusual, it is because Plaintiff has had first hand experience, and knows where the evidence is hidden. . . .

Plaintiff does not provide any introductory statement with respect to any of the other sets which are the subject of this motion to compel. The court has been provided with copies of the discovery requests and responses at issue for sets one through five.*fn4

In set no. one, plaintiff sought various memoranda and documents written by correctional officers, as well as the computer "properties" files associated with some of the requested memoranda and other documents. As to the "properties" files, plaintiff argues in his motion to compel:

. . . This staff, actually downloads these files onto a backup at least once a year, and audits all computer's to ensure that the state owned computer is not being used for personal use. It is self evidence that if Microsoft can provide a copy of the properties file, that Defendants can to. . . .

Defendants responded to the requests in set no. one in one of three ways: (1) they stated that they were not in possession or control of the requested documents; (2) they produced the documents; or (3) they objected based on relevance.

In set no. two, plaintiff sought, among other things, copies of his prison central and medical files. He also sought:

1. All video surveillance tapes showing his transfer to and from the "Lassen Yard Dental" and all incident reports relating to him submitted from November 23, 2004, through August 17, 2006;

2. All "logs, duty rosters, and log entries" showing the dates and names of all correctional officers entering and exiting his housing unit between November 23, 2004, and March 17, 2005;

3. All legal mail logs completed while he was at Trinity River Conservation Camp #3 in Lewiston, California, and the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo, California;

4. A document showing the names of inmates who worked with plaintiff at the California Correctional Center, Sierra Yard, in Susanville, California;

5. A copy of "Department Operation Manual Section 52080.20";

6. A copy of "police reports, convictions, serious rule violations, disciplinary 128 A chrono's, classification 128 G chronos" for inmate Victor Mathieu; and

7. A copy of a letter sent to J.S. Woodford on or about March 2005;

Defendants either produced requested documents or responded that the requested documents were not in their control or possession.

In set no. three, plaintiff sought production of the "signed job description" for various correctional officers (request nos. 1-27). He also sought "a document of Head Clerk Robert Morgan, where he was not granted computer access as a clerk, and due to his convictions of fraud" (request no. 28), and a copy of his job descriptions when he was at California Correctional Center (request nos. 29-35). Additionally, plaintiff sought copies of any disciplinary infractions issued against defendants (request no. 36). Finally, plaintiff sought copies of suits, grievances, and discipline reports filed against a list of 26 correctional officers. As to request nos. 10, 14, and 29, defendants interposed no objections and produced documents. As to request nos. 1-9, 11-13, and 15-27, in which plaintiff sought production of the job descriptions for correctional officers who are not defendants to this action, defendants objected on, among other grounds, the basis of relevance. As to request nos. 28 and 30-35, defendants stated that they were not in possession or control of responsive documents. As to request nos. 36 and 37, defendants objected that the documents sought were confidential personnel information.

In set no. four, plaintiff sought production of maintenance records and photographs. Defendants responded that no responsive documents were in their possession or control.

In set no. five, plaintiff propounded 65 requests for production covering a variety of topics. Defendants responded in one of several ways: (1) that they did not have custody or control of responsive documents; (2) that the requested documents were not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence; (3) the discovery request is vague and ambiguous; (4) the discovery requests seeks confidential documents and violates the privacy rights of third parties; (5) the documents are equally available to plaintiff; or (6) documents were produced.

And, finally, in set no. six, plaintiff sought documents relating to his inmate grievances and administrative remedies.*fn5

Doc. 106

Plaintiff seeks an order compelling further responses to his request for production of documents, set no. eleven, in which he propounded nine requests for production of documents. In his motion to compel, plaintiff states:

The purpose of these production of documents is to provide evidence of what prison officials knew or should have known about Plaintiff's untreated prisoner rape, and enforces accountability and responsibility for state official's deliberate indifference while acting under the color of the law.

As to request no. 1, defendants responded that the request sought privileged information and was vague and/or ambiguous. As to request nos. 2 and 4-7, defendants stated that they do not have any responsive documents in their possession, custody, or control, and as to request no. 8., defendants produced documents. As to request nos. 3 and 9, defendants objected that the request was vague and/or ambiguous. The court has been provided with copies of the discovery requests and responses at issue in Doc. 106.

Doc. 107

Plaintiff challenges defendants' responses to his request for production, set no. ten, in which he propounded ten separate requests. As to request nos. 2, 3, 8, and 10, defendants stated that they do not have any responsive documents in their custody or control. As to request nos. 7 and 9, defendants produced documents. As to request nos. 1 and 4, defendants objected that the request was vague and ambiguous. As to request no. 5, defendants objected that the request was overbroad. As to request no. 6, defendants objected that the information sought was protected by the attorney-client privilege. In his motion to compel, plaintiff does not address defendants' specific responses. Instead, he offers ...


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