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Castillo v. Solano County Jail

October 6, 2010

REYNALDO J. CASTILLO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SOLANO COUNTY JAIL, 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 in this civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff alleges that he contracted scabies and/or a staph infection and/or "MRSA" (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) infection while incarcerated at the Solano County Jail. He alleges that defendants were deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's serious medical needs by failing to quarantine previously infected inmates, thus rendering plaintiff vulnerable to the communicable disease, and then, after plaintiff contracted the illness, by providing inadequate medical care. Plaintiff alleges that he has been left with skin discoloration and scarring, and has suffered emotionally. Plaintiff names two "groups" of defendants: the "county defendants" (County of Solano and defendants Stanton, Grapentine, Marsh and Dolan), and the "medical defendants" (defendants Kadevari and Pilaczynski).

Presently pending before the court is plaintiff's motion to compel discovery from the medical defendants.

Plaintiff moves to compel discovery (Dkt. No. 51) pursuant to his Request for Production of Documents (Set Two), served on defendants Dr. Ravinder Kadevari, M.D., and Physician's Assistant Christopher Pilaczynski, on March 16, 2010. Plaintiff received defendants' responses on May 15, 2010, but no documents were produced. Defendants have filed an opposition to the motion (Dkt. No. 52), and plaintiff has filed a reply (Dkt. No. 54).

For the following reasons, the court grants a limited portion of plaintiff's discovery motion.

I. REQUESTS COMMON TO BOTH DEFENDANTS KADEVARI and PILACZYNSKI*fn1

A. REQUEST NOS. 1 THROUGH 3

1. Requests and Responses

Request No. 1: Any and all documents that refer or related to the "Administrative Meetings and Reports" that are scheduled quarterly, according to IMG standard #103(E); CFMG (California Forensic Medical Group) Policy and Procedure Manual (PPM), pg. 4. The time frame of these documents are to be from . . . the hiring of defendant until present. Request No. 2: All documents of the "Monthly Statistical Summaries," according to IMQ standard #103(E); CFMG Policy and Procedure Manual (PPM), pg 5. These documents are to be from the time of defendant's hiring until present.

Request No. 3: All documents of the "Monthly Workload Summaries" according to IMQ standard #103(E); CFMG (PPM), pg 5. The time frame of these documents are to be from the hiring of defendant until present. Kadevari's Identical Response to Nos. 1-3: Defendant is not currently employed at the Solano County Jail and was no longer working there at the time of the receipt of Plaintiff's Second Set of Requests for Production. Defendant has no current affiliation with the company that provides medical care at the Solano County Jail and, therefore, Defendant has neither possession, control nor access to the records of "[A]dministrative Meetings and Reports" / "Monthly Statistical Summaries" / "Monthly Workload Summaries" done on a quarterly basis pursuant to the applicable manual at the jail. Further Defendant notes that the litigation against Defendant involves solely the observation and prescriptions of care for Plaintiff on or about June 20, 2008 with resolution of the problem documented on June 27, 2008 . . .*fn2 Pilaczynski's Identical Response to Nos. 1-3: Defendant is not currently employed at the Solano County Jail and was no longer working there at the time of the receipt of Plaintiff's Second Set of Requests for Production. Defendant has no current affiliation with the company that provides medical care at the Solano County Jail and, therefore, Defendant has neither possession, control nor access to the records of "[A]dministrative Meetings and Reports" / "Monthly Statistical Summaries" / "Monthly Workload Summaries" done on a quarterly basis pursuant to the applicable manual at the jail. Further, Defendant notes that he provided appropriate care and treatment for an abscess that was present on the Plaintiff's right thigh on October 30, 2008. . . . [with] resolution of the infection as of November 18, 2008 . . .*fn3

2. Parties' Positions

Plaintiff contends that these responses are "evasive and obstructive to plaintiff's ability to acquire evidence of deliberate indifference," and that the requested information "will help plaintiff to expose if the claim against [each] defendant is a product of systemic malfeance (sic) or individual choice of misconduct." (Dkt. No. 51, at 2.) Plaintiff asserts that defendants were CFMG employees when he filed suit and served these requests, that it is the policy of CFMG to produce documents requested of its employees and former employees pursuant to litigation, and that the law firm currently representing Pilaczynski and Kadevari also represents CFMG and thus has ready access to the requested documents.

Defendants do not address the relevance of plaintiff's requests, but contend that each defendant properly treated plaintiff and, in any case, no longer works at Solano County Jail and cannot, therefore, provide any of the requested documents. Plaintiff replies that the requested documents can only be obtained from the medical defendants because "[t]his medical entity [CFMG] has a separate administrative system and policy and procedure manual, completely different from custody administration. The internal review, audit and assessment records requested by plaintiff deal specifically with medical issues . . ." (Dkt. No. 54, at 3.)

3. Order

Defendants' objections are largely based on their position that they no longer work at the Solano County Jail, are no longer employed by the jail's medical provider, the California Forensic Medical Group ("CFMG"), and therefore do not have access to the documents plaintiff seeks. The court has previously rejected this argument. (See, e.g., Dkt. No. 40, at 2.) Defendants have a continuing responsibility to disclose their past relevant conduct and paperwork, and CFMG has a continuing duty to disclose relevant documents generated by its former employees and independent contractors. Moreover, as plaintiff notes, counsel for these medical defendants also acts as counsel for CFMG. The court does not, therefore, find this objection dispositive.

However, the court is not persuaded that the information sought by these three requests is sufficiently relevant to require disclosure. Even if the extensive time span ("from the hiring of defendant to the present") was limited, CFMG's Administrative Meetings and Reports, Monthly Statistical Summaries, and Monthly Workload Summaries may be relevant only to plaintiff's quarantine claims, and such information would likely comprise only a fraction of these documents. The court finds these requests excessively overbroad, in essence, a "fishing expedition," thus presenting a burden that far outweighs any potential relevance to this action.

The court will therefore deny plaintiff's motion as to his Request Nos. 1-3.

B. REQUEST NOS. 4 THROUGH 11

1. Requests and Responses (emphasis in original)

Request No. 4: All documents of the "Monthly Workload Statistics" for Solano County Main Jail, according to IMQ standard #103(E); CFMG (PPM), pg 6. The time frame of these documents are ...


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