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Joseph Pinasco, et al v. State of California

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


March 14, 2011

JOSEPH PINASCO, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
STATE OF CALIFORNIA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

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

ORDER

Plaintiff's motion to compel production of documents (docket no. 17) was submitted on the papers pending submission of documents for in camera review. Upon review of the joint discovery statement and in camera review of the documents at issue, and good cause appearing therefor, THE COURT FINDS AS FOLLOWS:

This action arises out of an shooting incident on August 24, 2008 wherein defendants Walling and Coffman, who are CHP officers, shot and killed plaintiff's decedent during the course of performance of their duties. Plaintiffs, by their motion to compel, seek production of documents pertaining to the subject incident and documents of similar shooting incidents or claims of excessive force by these officers prior to the date of the subject incident.

After reviewing the documents at issue, the court finds plaintiff's interest in disclosure outweighs the government's interest in confidentiality as to some of the disputed documents. See Kelly v. City of San Jose, 114 F.R.D. 653 (N.D. Cal. 1987) (court ordered production of documents pertaining to similar incidents) ; see also Youngblood v. Gates, 112 F.R.D. 342, 344 (C.D. Cal. 1985) (after weighing interests, court concluded disclosure warranted). Defendants' objections to disclosure of the documents are more appropriately raised in a motion in limine at trial and are inapposite to the issue of whether these documents should be disclosed during discovery. The court will therefore order production of certain documents, but to ensure that the privacy interests of defendants and third parties are appropriately protected, the documents shall be subject to a protective order.

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 1. The motion to compel (docket no. 17) is granted in part. Within fourteen days from the date of this order, defendants shall produce, for copying and inspection:

a. Documents on the July 2004 shooting incident (comprising Bate-stamped numbers 1-669);

b. the Policy and Procedures Evaluation Report on the subject incident;

and

c. the Confidential Memoranda of Findings to officers Walling and

Coffman.

2. The motion to compel is denied with respect to the separately maintained personnel records.

3. Documents produced pursuant to this order shall be used solely for purposes of this litigation and all copies thereof shall be returned to defense counsel at the conclusion of this litigation.

20110314

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