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Briscoe v. Mims

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


July 15, 2010

JAMES R. BRISCOE, III, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MARGARET MIMS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Seng United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY RESPONSES AND FOR AWARD OF MONETARY SANCTIONS (ECF No. 85)

Plaintiff James R. Briscoe ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Before the Court is Defendants' May 26, 2010 Motion to Compel Discovery Responses and for Award of Monetary Sanctions [ECF No. 85] asking the Court to order Plaintiff to respond fully and completely to previously served interrogatories and requests for production and to award sanctions for the filing of the instant motion.

On June 17, 2010, Defendants withdrew the Motion to Compel because Plaintiff provided the requested discovery to Defendants at Plaintiff's deposition. (Decl. of James Arendt (ECF No. 87) ¶ 3.) Accordingly, the Court will not address the merits of the Motion to Compel.

Defendants did not withdraw their request for monetary sanctions. Defendants argue that Plaintiff ignored their discovery requests without good cause or justification and necessitated the filing of the Motion to Compel. Defendants ask that the Court order Plaintiff to pay their fees associated with filing the Motion to Compel. Specifically, Defendants seek an award of $525.00. (ECF No. 85-1, p. 4.)

Rule 37 provides, in pertinent part, that the Court "must, after giving an opportunity to be heard, require the party . . . whose conduct necessitated the motion [to compel] . . . to pay the movant's reasonable expenses incurred in making the motion, including attorney's fees" unless "other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust." Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 37(a)(5)(A)(iii).

In this case, at the time the interrogatories and requests for production were served, Plaintiff was represented by an attorney. Plaintiff's attorney withdrew in the middle of discovery leaving Plaintiff, who presumably has no legal education, to wade through the discovery on his own. It also appears that Plaintiff was arrested and re-incarcerated at some point during the discovery process. (ECF No. 81.) Ultimately, Plaintiff produced the requested documents and information at his deposition. Under these circumstances, the Court finds that an award of monetary sanctions would be unjust.

Accordingly, Defendants' Motion to Compel Discovery Responses and for Award of Monetary Sanctions [ECF No. 85] is DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20100715

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