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Thomas Clinton v. California Department of Corrections

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


January 3, 2011

THOMAS CLINTON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Craig M. Kellison United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff, a former state prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the court is plaintiff's request for production of unredacted confidential documents. The confidential documents were filed with the court under seal for the court to review in camera.

The court's initial review of the documents is completed. The court is inclined at this time to grant plaintiff's request for unredacted copies of these documents, with the exception of the prisoner identification numbers of the prisoners, other than plaintiff, named in the documents, and the name of the yard in which the other inmate was released as identified in Sergeant Dixon's report. The only argument supporting the redaction of information is institutional safety and security. The court does not find the information which has been redacted in the documents is likely to have any impact on the safety and security of the institution. Specifically, the redacted information is similar to, if not essentially duplicative of, unredacted information contained in other parts of the documents. Thus, conclusory statements relating to institutional safety and security is unpersuasive. No specific information has been provided to the court as to how the redacted information places the safety and security of the institution at risk.

However, prior to ordering the unredacted documents turned over to plaintiff, the court finds it appropriate to provide the parties an opportunity to be heard on the matter if there continues to be an objection to providing plaintiff unredacted copies of these documents. If the defense wishes to be heard on any additional reasons why plaintiff should not be provided an unredacted copy of these documents, a request for a telephonic appearance on the court's January 19, 2010, law and motion calendar, at 11:00 a.m., may be filed and served on or before January 7, 2010. If such a hearing is requested, both parties may appear telephonically and arrangements will be made for a conference call. If no request for hearing is filed within the time frame provided herein, the court will issue an order for plaintiff to be provided an unredacted copy of each of the three confidential reports submitted to the court for review.

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. The court is inclined to require an unredacted copy of the confidential reports, submitted to the court for an in camera review, be provided to plaintiff;

2. If the defense has additional reasons, specific to the information contained in these reports, why an unredacted copy should not be provided to plaintiff, they may file a notice to be heard on or before January 7, 2010;

3. If the defense files a notice to be heard, a telephonic hearing will be held on January 19, 2010, at 11:00 a.m.; and / / / / / /

4. If no notice to be heard is timely filed, the court will issue an order for Plaintiff to be provided an unredacted copy of each confidential report provided to the court for review.

20110103

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