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Hallford v. California Dep't of Corrections

March 12, 2010

GARY HALLFORD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



ORDER

Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a civil rights action. Pending before the court are plaintiff's motion for sanctions and motion to compel.

PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SANCTIONS

I. The Parties' Arguments

In his first motion, plaintiff seeks the imposition of sanctions against defense

counsel and defendants for improperly serving plaintiff with case documents. Specifically, plaintiff contends that defense counsel has addressed case documents to plaintiff at California State Prison, Sacramento, but he is incarcerated at Old Folsom State Prison. (Pl.'s Mot. for Sanctions at 1-3.)

In opposition to plaintiff's motion, defense counsel contends that based on faulty information provided by prison officials, support staff at the Attorney General's Office mailed plaintiff's notice of deposition to California State Prison, Sacramento. Upon learning of the mistake, support staff mailed plaintiff a second notice of deposition to his correct address at Old Folsom State Prison. According to defense counsel, plaintiff ultimately received both notices of deposition within the fourteen-day period required by the court's discovery order, and his deposition took place on November 13, 2009. Counsel contends that neither she nor defendants have committed any misconduct in this regard. (Defs.' Opp'n to Pl.'s Mot. for Sanctions at 1, 3-4.) Nor, according to defense counsel, have they refused to obey a court order or created any impediment or delay to frustrate plaintiff's case.

In reply, plaintiff contends that he has communicated with this court from three different prisons. He has never communicated with the court from California State Prison, Sacramento. Plaintiff notes that he holds no animosity towards defense counsel but believes the court should order the California State Auditor to investigate misdirected legal mail. (Pl.'s Reply at 3-4.)

II. Discussion

Defense counsel and defendants' conduct in this case does not warrant the imposition of sanctions. Although the Attorney General's Office initially mailed plaintiff's notice of deposition to California State Prison, Sacramento, defense counsel remedied the mailing error shortly thereafter by sending plaintiff a second notice of deposition to Old Folsom State Prison. Ultimately, plaintiff received both notices in time for his deposition. In this regard, defense counsel and defendants have not failed to obey any court orders and have not created any impediment to plaintiff prosecuting this case. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37. Accordingly, the court will deny plaintiff's motion for sanctions.

PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL

I. The Parties' Arguments

In his motion to compel, plaintiff seeks a court order requiring defense counsel to provide him with a copy of his deposition transcript. Plaintiff also appears to seek a court order requiring defense counsel to provide him with a generalized salary schedule for employees in defendants' positions for settlement offer purposes. (Pl.'s Mot. to Compel at 1-3.)

In opposition to plaintiff's motion, defense counsel argues that plaintiff's request for a copy of his deposition transcript is improper. Counsel argues that plaintiff has made no contention that he needs a transcript of the deposition or that the fee charged by the court reporter for that transcript is unreasonable. Counsel contends that, if plaintiff believes a copy of the transcript is necessary, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require him to purchase a copy from the court reporter and that it is not a proper discovery request to request that the defendants produce a copy to him. (Defs.' Opp'n to Pl.'s Mot. to Compel. at 1, 2-3.)

In reply, plaintiff argues that he willingly participated in his deposition and made clear that he expected a copy of the transcript for his records and to refer to during any jury trial. According to plaintiff, it is ethically questionable to depose an individual and then deny him access to a ...


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