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Williams v. Woodford

November 1, 2010

JOHN WESLEY WILLIAMS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JEANNE WOODFORD, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sheila K. Oberto United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO COMPEL (Doc. 71)

Plaintiff John Wesley Williams ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On August 4, 2010, Defendant T. Vasquez ("Defendant") filed a motion to compel Plaintiff to provide further responses to Defendant's interrogatories and requests for production of documents. (Doc. #71.) Plaintiff filed an opposition to Defendant's motion to compel on August 30, 2010. (Doc. #75.) Defendant filed a reply to Plaintiff's opposition on September 7, 2010. (Doc. #76.)

I. Discussion

A. Defendant's Interrogatories

Defendant propounded a set of eighteen (18) interrogatories on Plaintiff on June 14, 2010. (Notice of Mot. and Mot. to Compel Pl. to Respond to Discovery; Supporting Decl. of Counsel Ex. A, ECF No. 71.) Defendant argues that Plaintiff's responses to Interrogatories 8, 9, and 14-18 are deficient.

1. Interrogatories 8 and 9

Defendant's Interrogatory 8 states:

If your response to Request for Admission 10 was other than an unqualified admission, please state each and every fact upon which you denied the request for admission.

Plaintiff's response states:

Objection based on burdensome, oppressive and non relevance. Request is also frivolous and creates argument and dispute.

Defendant's Interrogatory 9 states:

If your response to Request for Admission 11 was other than an unqualified admission, please state each and every fact upon which you denied the request for admission.

Plaintiff's response states:

Objection based on burdensome, oppressive, and non-relevance. Request is also frivolous and creates argument and dispute.

The requests for admission referenced in Defendant's interrogatories requested Plaintiff to admit that "the July 31, 2004 search of your cell had no affect on your willingness to file administrative grievances" and "that the July 31, 2004 search of your cell had no affect on your willingness to file lawsuits." (Mot. to Compel Ex. A, ECF No. 71.) Defendant's interrogatories ask Plaintiff to clarify the grounds upon which he denied those requests for admission. In other words, Defendant is asking Plaintiff to set forth the facts that support Plaintiff's contention that the July 31, 2004, cell search affected Plaintiff's willingness to file administrative grievances and lawsuits.

Plaintiff claims that Defendant retaliated against Plaintiff's exercise of his First Amendment rights by conducting a retaliatory cell search. One of the elements of a claim for retaliation is that Defendant's actions chilled Plaintiff's exercise of his First Amendment rights. Rhodes v. Robinson, 408 F.3d 559, 567-68 (9th Cir. 2005). Defendant is asking Plaintiff how the cell search chilled Plaintiff's exercise of his First Amendment rights. Interrogatories 8 and 9 are not burdensome, are not oppressive, and are relevant. The interrogatories are not frivolous. It is unclear what Plaintiff means by his objection that the interrogatories "create[] argument and dispute." The Court finds that Plaintiff's objections are not well founded and will order Plaintiff to provide further responses to Interrogatories 8 and 9.

2. Interrogatories 14 through 18

Defendant's Interrogatory 14 states:

Describe in detail how you calculated the $10,000 in compensatory damages you seek in paragraph 74 of ...


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