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Thornell Brown v. Jawayne Fambrough

April 18, 2011

THORNELL BROWN,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
JAWAYNE FAMBROUGH, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS TO COMPEL

(DOCS. 38, 39)

Plaintiff Thornell Brown ("Plaintiff") is a prisoner in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"). Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action is proceeding against Defendants Jawayne Fambrough, Jackson Copeland, V. Yates, Stephaine Amoako, Jerome Peacock, and John Whitehead.

Pending before the Court are Plaintiff's motions to compel, filed December 28, 2010. Docs. 38, 39. Defendants filed their opposition on January 10, 2011. Doc. 40. The matter is submitted pursuant to Local Rule 230(l).

I. Motion To Compel - Admissions (Doc. 38)

The purpose of a request for admission is to eliminate issues that are not in dispute between the parties. Asea, Inc. v. Southern Pacific Transport Co., 669 F.2d 1242, 1245 (9th Cir. 1981). Thus, requests for admissions are not primarily discovery devices and should not be used as a substitute for other discovery processes to uncover evidence. Safeco Ins. Co. of Am. v. Rawstron, 181 F.R.D. 441, 445 (C.D. Cal. 1998).

Plaintiffs moves to compel further response to Plaintiff's Requests For Admission Nos. 2, 3, and 4 from Defendant Fambrough and Requests For Admission Nos. 1, 2, and 4 from Defendant Whitehead.

A. Defendant Fambrough

Admission No. 2: Admit that Exhibit D1 and D2 to the complaint are statements made by

Inmate Youngblood and Trammel to plaintiff's investigator, Arnie Rios in Case (People v. Brown, No. DF008537A), alleging you used excessive force on them, while they were incarcerated at Kern Valley State Prison, secured in handcuffs.

Response: Responding party objects to this request on the grounds it lacks foundation and calls for speculation. Without waiving any objection, responding party lacks sufficient knowledge, information, or belief to admit or deny this request because he was not present when the alleged statements in Exhibits D1 and D2 were made.

Plaintiff does not explain how Defendant Fambrough's response was inadequate. Defendant Fambrough contends that he was not present when inmates Youngblood and Trammel made their statements to the investigator, and thus did not have sufficient knowledge to admit or deny that the statements were made.*fn1 The Court finds this response sufficient. Defendant Fambrough may only admit or deny when he has sufficient knowledge. As he was not present when either inmate made their statements to the investigator, Defendant may properly respond by stating that he has insufficient knowledge to admit or deny. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 36(a)(4) (answering party may assert lack of knowledge or information as a reason for failing to admit or deny).*fn2 Plaintiff's motion to compel further response from Defendant Fambrough to Request for Admission No. 2 is denied.

Admission No. 3: Admit that Inmate Youngblood, F13392 and Trammel T59175 filed 602 appeal complaints against you for excessive force and unreasonable force, while they were incarcerated at Kern Valley State Prison, according to the documents marked as Exhibits D1 and D2 to the complaint.

Response: Responding party objects to this request on the grounds it lacks foundation and calls for speculation. Without waiving any objection, responding party admits that inmates Youngblood and Trammel filed inmate grievances against me for alleged excessive or unreasonable force, and responding party lacks sufficient knowledge, information, or belief to admit or deny the remainder of ...


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