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Joseph Becker v. Dahl

January 12, 2011

JOSEPH BECKER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DAHL, ET. AL., DEFENDANTS.



ORDER

Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently pending before the court are defendants Dahl, Lisle, Martel and Moazam's ("defendants") motion to compel (Dckt. No. 32), plaintiff's motions for a protective order (Dckt. No. 37), and to modify the scheduling order and for leave to amend (Dckt. No. 33). For the reasons provided below, defendants' motion is granted in part, and plaintiff's motions are denied.

I. Background

This action proceeds on the March 3, 2010 complaint in which plaintiff alleges that defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs by removing him from the Enhanced Outpatient Program ("EOP"), despite the fact that plaintiff is suicidal and at risk if removed from that program. Dckt. No. 1, Comp., § IV. The court ordered service of the complaint on defendants on April 12, 2010. Dckt. No. 19. Defendants filed an answer on July 13, 2010. Dckt. No. 23. On August 2, 2010, the court issued a discovery and scheduling order, setting the following deadlines: (1) for requesting written discovery at September 10, 2010; (2) for completing discovery and filing discovery motions at November 12, 2010; (3) for filing a motion to amend the complaint at November 12, 2010; and (4) for filing dispositive motions at February 4, 2011. Dckt. No. 27.

II. Defendants' Motion to Compel

Defendants move for an order compelling plaintiff to provide further responses to certain discovery requests and for $1,330.00 as the reasonable costs and attorneys fees incurred in connection with their motion. Defendants contend that plaintiff provided deficient responses to:

(1) their first set of requests for production of documents ("RFPs"); and (2) their first set of requests for admissions ("RFAs"). The court will address each alleged deficient response in turn.

A. Requests for Production

If a party, in response to a request for production served under Rule 34 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, fails to produce or permit inspection, the discovering party may move for an order compelling production. Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(3)(B)(iv). Defendants argue that plaintiff's responses are incomplete and evasive and are tantamount to no response at all, as plaintiff produced no documents in response to defendants' requests for production of documents. Defendants take issue with the following RFP responses provided by plaintiff:

RFP No. 1: If you contend that DR. DAHL[, LISLE, MARTEL OR MOAZAM] had you removed from the EOP mental health program, please produce any and all documents which support your contention.

Response to RFP No. 1: Objection. Plaintiff objects to this request for production of documents on the ground that it seeks duplicative information sought for by Defendant Dr. Dahl[, Lisle, Martel and Moazam] in the interrogatories to plaintiff, set one, No. 1. Without waiving said objection, plaintiff responds as follows: Defendants have an obligation to duly provide official documentation to plaintiff, yet never have done so. Plaintiff irregardless never averred in the complaint of being "removed," and this request is otherwise unintelligible and vague as to time.

RFP No. 2: If you contend that you have been removed from the EOP mental health program since transferring to the Mule Creek State Prison, please produce any and all documents which support your contention.

Response to RFP No. 2: Objection. Plaintiff objects to this request for production of documents on the ground that it seeks duplicative information sought for by Defendant Dr. Dahl[, Lisle, Martel and Moazam] in the interrogatories to plaintiff, set one, No. 2. Plaintiff objects also on the ground that it is vague and unintelligible, and sets forth a misconstrued allegation.

Defs.' Mot. to Compel, Decl. of Kathleen J. Williams in Supp. Thereof ("Williams Decl."), Exs. A-H.

For the reasons that follow, plaintiff's objections to RFPs 1 and 2 are overruled. Plaintiff's objection on the ground that these requests are duplicative lacks merit. As defendants note, a request for production of documents seeks documents, while an interrogatory is a question seeking a written response. While the nature of the information sought may in some respect be "duplicative," the responses ...


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