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Miranda v. Hokinson

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


January 23, 2009

SANDRA MIRANDA
v.
THOMAS C HOKINSON ET AL

The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Florence-marie Cooper

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

Alicia Mamer Not Reported N/A

Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No.

Proceedings: ORDER DENYING MOTION (In Chambers)

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Sandra Miranda's Motion/Appeal of Order Granting Ex Parte Application to Compel Plaintiff's Mental Examination (docket no. 85), filed December 30, 2008. The Court has read and considered the moving and opposition documents submitted in connection with this motion.*fn1 Pursuant to the Court's Standing Order Rule 3(b), "any Reply papers are to be filed and served not later than 14 days before the hearing date." As the hearing for Plaintiff's Motion is scheduled for February 2, 2009, Plaintiff's Reply was due on January 20, 2009. To date, no Reply has been filed with the Court. The Court deems this matter appropriate for decision without oral argument. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; Local Rule 7-15. Accordingly, the hearing set for February 2, 2009, is removed from the Court's calendar.

Plaintiff's Motion seeks review of the Magistrate Judge's Order dated December 18, 2008 compelling a mental examination of Plaintiff Sandra Miranda. As noted by the Court in its Order dated January 9, 2009, the Court has been advised that Plaintiff has already undergone the mental examination scheduled for January 8, 2009. The Court therefore DENIES as moot Plaintiff's Motion for review of the Magistrate Judge's Order to compel a mental examination.

Plaintiff also seeks sanctions in the amount of $6,000 against Defendants because their motion and ex parte application to compel a mental examination of Plaintiff were defective, were based upon falsehoods, and were brought in bad faith. The Magistrate Judge in its Order dated December 12, 2008, already considered Plaintiff's request for sanctions brought in connection with Defendants' discovery motions.

A district court will not modify or set aside a magistrate judge's order unless it is "found to be clearly erroneous or contrary to law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a).*fn2 The clearly erroneous standard applies to the magistrate judge's factual findings while the contrary to law standard applies to the magistrate judge's legal conclusions, which are reviewed de novo. See Wolpin v. Philip Morris, Inc., 189 F.R.D. 418, 422 (C.D. Cal. 1999); also see Center for Biological Diversity v. Federal Highway Admin., 290 F.Supp.2d 1175, 1199-1200 (S.D.Cal. 2003) (quoting Weeks v. Samsung Heavy Indus. Co., Ltd., 126 F.3d 926, 943 (7th Cir.1997), for the proposition that "discretionary orders will be overturned 'only if the district court is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been made' ").

When reviewing discovery disputes, "the Magistrate is afforded broad discretion, which will be overruled only if abused." Wright v. FBI, 385 F. Supp. 2d 1038, 1041 (C.D. Cal. 2005); Geophysical Sys. Corp. v. Raytheon Co., Inc., 117 F.R.D. 646, 647 (C.D. Cal. 1987) (Tashima, J.) (questions of relevance in discovery context are reviewed under "the clearly implicit standard of abuse of discretion.").

Here, the Magistrate Judge acknowledged, "plaintiff seeks sanctions in the amount of $6,000.00 against defendants' counsel under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 for filing a frivolous discovery motion," but held, "since the Court has granted defendants' motion, in part, the Court denies plaintiff's request for sanctions under Rule 11(c)." (Order dated December 12, 2008 at 8.) The Court does not find that the Magistrate Judge's denial of sanctions constitutes an abuse of discretion, is clearly erroneous, or is contrary to law. The Court hereby DENIES Plaintiff's Motion/Appeal of the Magistrate Judge's Orders (docket no. 85) in its entirety.


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