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Butler v. CDCR

May 14, 2010

MARCELLUS BUTLER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CDCR, L. WOLCOTT, B. WEBSTER, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert H. Whaley United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO COMPEL; SETTING TELEPHONIC STATUS CONFERENCE

Before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Compel (Ct. Rec. 13). The motion was heard without oral argument.

"Parties may obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense.... Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). For document production requests, responding parties must produce documents which are in their "possession, custody or control." Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(a)(1).

If Defendants object to one of Plaintiff's discovery requests, it is Plaintiff's burden on his motion to compel to demonstrate why the objection is not justified. Ordinarily, Plaintiff must inform the Court which discovery requests are the subject of his motion to compel, and, for each disputed response, inform the Court why the information sought is relevant and why Defendants' objections are not justified.

In his motion, Plaintiff challenges the response provided by Defendants. Each of Plaintiff's challenges will be addressed in turn.

1. Interrogatory No. 2

In Interrogatory No. 2, Plaintiff requested Defendants to provide him with a brief draft of the CDCR's policies for ADA inmates in emergencies. Defendants objected to the request because the information it seeks is not relevant to Plaintiff's claim and the question is overly broad and burdensome. The Court agrees. Plaintiff's claims are based on Wolcott's and Webster's failure to clean up water that had accumulated on the floor. Plaintiff is not seeking relief under the ADA. Moreover, it is not clear the time period in question, the type of emergency, or the particular situation. Thus, the request is overbroad.

2. Interrogatory No. 5

In interrogatory No. 5, Plaintiff requested:

Please describe in as much detail as possible the complete circumstances surrounding your determinations in forcing Plaintiff and similarly situated inmates at High Desert State Prison, with ADA Mobility Impairment, to traverse the chow hall floor while it was wet with no warning signs.

Defendants denied forcing Plaintiff to traverse the chow hall floor. Plaintiff disagrees with Defendant's assertions, but such a disagreement is not a basis for a motion to compel.

3. Request for Production

Plaintiff asserts that Defendants refused to provide Plaintiff with any documents that were requested. Requests No. 1 and 2 seek documents pertaining to ADA inmates and their movement. Defendants objected on the ground that these requests were overly broad in scope and time, burdensome, and irrelevant. The Court agrees.

Request 3 seeks all documents that evidence, mention, or refer to the Plaintiff's constitutional injuries suffered between July 4, 2007 all the way to the present time, as well as documents relating to subsequent inmate and staff complaints and discipline. This request is too ...


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