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Guevara v. Ralls

June 18, 2010

AMILCAR GUEVARA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
A. RALLS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel and in forma pauperis with a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff has filed numerous motions related to discovery, which the court will address seriatim.

On April 12, 2010 plaintiff filed a motion to compel production of documents and video recording. On May 3, 2010, defendants filed an opposition to plaintiff's motion to compel production of the video recording or DVD. (Dkt. No. 56.) On May 7, 2010, defendants were granted leave, nunc pro tunc, to file an opposition to plaintiff's motion to compel further production of documents. (Dkt. No. 57, 61.) These motions are now submitted for decision. Good cause appearing, the May 20, 2010 order to show cause will be discharged.

Plaintiff contends he is entitled to possess the video recording of the incident at issue in this lawsuit. Defendants contend plaintiff may not possess a DVD in his cell. Cal. Code of Regs., tit. 15 § 3190. Defendants state they responded to plaintiff's request on March 24, 2010, and made arrangements for plaintiff to view the DVD on April 19, 2010. (Dkt. No. 56 at 2.) Moreover, defendants state a copy of the DVD is held in the litigation office at the California State Prison, Corcoran, and plaintiff may request to review the DVD again if he wishes. (Id.)

Plaintiff did not file a reply and has failed to rebut defendants' response. Accordingly, plaintiff's motion to compel production of the video recording will be denied.

The court now turns to plaintiff's April 12, 2010 motion to compel further responses to request for production of documents, nos. 1 - 4.

Request No. 1: Please produce all documents, items of evidence or sworn, unsworn statements or affidavits that relate to the allegations/facts made in Plaintiff's complaint including but not limited to and which attorney Monica Noella Anderson, repeatedly complained of or refer to in the defendants answer as, "Defendants are without sufficient information to admit or deny."

(Opp'n at 2.) Defendants objected to this request as overbroad, vague, ambiguous, and incomprehensible. Id. Despite those objections, defendants provided a copy of the CDC 115 Rules Violation Report given to plaintiff for the April 30, 2007 incident, and the CDC 837 Crime/Incident Report of the April 30, 2007 incident. (Opp'n at 2, Attachment A.)

Plaintiff alleges defendants failed to explain their objections and states defendants are "using his request to introduce/produce unsolicited information and which is prejudicial to Plaintiff." (Mot. at 2.)

Defendants' objections are well-taken. It appears the documents provided to plaintiff are related to the incident at issue herein. However, defendants state they have provided plaintiff with all "non-confidential" documents related to the incident. Defendants have not explained what confidential documents they have not provided, nor why plaintiff is not entitled to have access to documents related to the incident at issue herein. Accordingly, the court will order defendants to provide the court and plaintiff, within thirty days from the date of this order, a list of each document related to the instant incident defendants contend is confidential, and identify the author of the document. Defendants shall explain why each document is confidential, with supporting legal authority, and explain why plaintiff should not have access to such document. Plaintiff will be provided an opportunity to respond. Once this briefing has been submitted, the court will determine whether an in camera review will be required. If defendants have no confidential documents related to the instant incident that they have not produced to plaintiff, they shall file a declaration stating same. Thus, plaintiff's motion to compel further response to Request No. 1 will be partially granted.

Request No. 2: Please produce all documents that contain, mention, construe or refer to policies, regulations, and local procedures on staff supervision of inmates, staff at California State Prison-Sacramento C-facility. (Opp'n at 3.) Defendants objected to this request as overbroad, vague and ambiguous, and not likely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Id.

In his motion, plaintiff explained he was attempting to obtain policies that relate to use of force by staff, and whether staff are required to protect an inmate during an incident where force is used. Defendants then responded by providing plaintiff with a copy of the Use of Force policy from the California Code of Regulations, title 15. (Opp'n at 4.)

Plaintiff has failed to file a reply to defendants' response. Defendants' initial objections are well-taken, and defendants subsequently provided plaintiff with the policy related to the incident herein. Plaintiff's motion to compel further response to Request No. 2 will be denied.

Request No. 3: Please produce all documents that contain, mention, construe or refer to policies, regulations and Local Procedures on staff, supervisors responses to non-prisoners inmate threats, assaults and use of force, at the California State Prison-Sacramento C-Facility. (Opp'n at 4.) Defendants objected to this request as overbroad, vague and ambiguous, and not likely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Id. Defendants also raised myriad substantive ...


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