The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel and in forma pauperis with a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On May 24, 2010, plaintiff filed his second request for an extension of time to file an opposition to defendants' March 17, 2010 motion to dismiss. On June 2, 2010, the court ordered defendants to respond to plaintiff's filing. After receiving an extension of time, defendants filed their response on June 18, 2010.
Plaintiff seeks a second extension of time to oppose defendants' March 17, 2010 motion to dismiss based on prison officials' refusal to photocopy his opposition because it exceeds 100 pages. Plaintiff provided a copy of his photocopy request, along with a completed form explaining his need for copying 119 pages. (Dkt. No. 69 at 3, 4.) Plaintiff seeks physical access to the law library to make the necessary photocopies.
Defendants aver that plaintiff's physical access to the law library has been barred based on his threats against law library staff. However, plaintiff is provided access to law library materials through the library paging system. Thus, plaintiff's request for physical access to the law library will be denied.
Defendants have provided the declaration of R. Moser, Vice Principal at California State Prison-Corcoran, who is in charge of the law libraries on Facilities 4A and 4B. Defendants confirm that legal documents may be photocopied, so long as they do not exceed 50 pages in total length, except when necessary to advance litigation. (Moser Decl. at 2, citing Cal. Code Regs. tit. 15 § 3062(c); DOM § 101120.15.) If the document exceeds 50 pages, plaintiff must provide a written explanation for the excess document length to designated staff. (Id. at 2-3.) However, if the document submitted for photocopying exceeds 100 pages, plaintiff must obtain a court order directing the photocopying. (Id. at 3, citing DOM § 101120.15.)
Defendants state that "[l]aw library staff members are trained and instructed to diligently maintain a log of all inmate requests for photocopying services." (Response at 3.) Moser's declaration states that a review of plaintiff's law library file by library staff revealed no such requests for photocopying. (Moser Decl. at 3.) Defendants argue plaintiff "should not be allowed to circumvent prison rules by immediately appealing to the district court." (Response at 3.)
However, review of plaintiff's request demonstrates plaintiff is seeking to copy 119 pages. (Dkt. No. 69 at 4.) Defendants confirm that the prison law library will not photocopy documents exceeding 100 pages absent a court order. Thus, the court finds plaintiff's request to photocopy 119 pages necessary to advance this litigation. Defendants' motion to dismiss was filed in March, and this court will not entertain any further delay.*fn1 R. Moser shall designate a staff person at the California State Prison - Corcoran law library to photocopy plaintiff's opposition forthwith.*fn2 Counsel for defendants will be directed to ensure designated law library staff at California State Prison - Corcoran timely photocopy plaintiff's opposition.
It appears from plaintiff's photocopy request form that he sought four copies of his opposition. However, plaintiff needs one copy to serve on counsel for defendants, one to retain in his files, and one to submit to the court with his original opposition. Thus, the court will direct that plaintiff be provided three photocopies of his opposition.
On June 14, 2010, plaintiff filed an opposition to defendants' request for extension of time and requested sanctions. In light of the extensions of time granted plaintiff, he is unable to demonstrate prejudice from the nine day extension granted defendants. Thus, plaintiff's June 14, 2010 request for sanctions will be denied.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff's May 24, 2010 request for physical access to the law library is denied. (Dkt. No. 69.)
2. Plaintiff's request to photocopy 119 pages is necessary to advance this litigation. R. Moser shall designate a staff person at the California State Prison - Corcoran law library to provide plaintiff with three photocopies of plaintiff's 119 page opposition forthwith.
3. Counsel for defendants shall ensure that designated staff at the law library at California State Prison - Corcoran timely ...