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Lia Charlene Faalevao v. Timothy Davenport Mechem

May 16, 2011

LIA CHARLENE FAALEVAO,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
TIMOTHY DAVENPORT MECHEM AND ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oliver W. Wanger United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER RE DEFENDANTS‟ MOTION (1) TO COMPEL ANSWERS TO INTERROGATORIES, (2) TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, (3) TO COMPEL ATTENDANCE AT PHYSICAL EXAMINATION, (4) TO COMPEL ATTENDANCE AT DEPOSITION, (5) TO MODIFY SCHEDULING ORDER DATES, AND (6) TO CONTINUE THE TRIAL DATE, OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, (7) TO DISMISS THE ACTION. (DOC. 25)

I.INTRODUCTION

Before the court is Defendant Timothy Mechem's ("Defendant") Motion (1) to Compel Answers to Interrogatories, (2) to Compel Responses to Requests for Production of Documents, (3) to Compel Attendance at Physical Examination, (4) to Compel Attendance at Deposition, (5) to Modify Scheduling Order Dates, and (6) to Continue the Trial Date, or, in the Alternative, (7) to Dismiss the Action. (Doc. 25). Plaintiff, appearing pro se and proceeding in forma pauperis, did not file an opposition. The matter was heard May 9, 2011. Plaintiff did not make an appearance at the hearing.

II.FACTUAL BACKGROUND

This is a personal injury action arising from an automobile accident between Plaintiff and Defendant occurring on or about April 17, 2008. Plaintiff filed a Complaint on April 19, 2010. (Doc. 1). Defendant Allstate Insurance Company was dismissed from the action on August 9, 2010. (Doc. 12).

A scheduling conference order dated December 8, 2010 set the following schedule: (1) January 31, 2011: deadline for Rule 26(a) disclosures; (2) April 1, 2011: deadline for written disclosures of expert witnesses; (3) May 2, 2011: deadline for rebuttal or supplemental expert disclosures; (4) June 1, 2011: discovery cutoff; (5) June 15, 2011: deadline for non-dispositive pre-trial motions; (6) July 1, 2011: deadline for dispositive pre-trial motions; (7) July 13, 2011: settlement conference; (8) September 12, 2011: pre-trial conference; and (9) October 25, 2011: 4-day jury trial.

III.LEGAL STANDARD AND ANALYSIS

A.MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY

"Parties may obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense." Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). "Relevant information need not be admissible at trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." Id. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure create a "broad right of discovery" because "wide access to relevant facts serves the integrity and fairness of the judicial process by promoting the search for truth." Epstein v. MCA, Inc. , 54 F.3d 1422, 1423 (9th Cir. 1995).

A party seeking discovery may move to compel disclosure or discovery under Rule 37(a)(1):

On notice to other parties and all affected persons, a party may move for an order compelling disclosure or discovery. The motion must include a certification that the movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with the person or party failing to make disclosure or discovery in an effort to obtain it without court action.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(1).

1.Interrogatories, Requests for Production of Documents, Rule 26 Disclosures

Defendant seeks an order compelling Plaintiff: (1) to respond to Defendant‟s interrogatories and requests for production of documents, which were served on Plaintiff December 18, 2010; and (2) to provide Rule 26 disclosures, which were due January 31, 2011. Defendant‟s counsel submits a declaration describing his repeated attempts (i.e., numerous phone calls, letters, and e-mails) to confer with Plaintiff to obtain the requested discovery without court action. (Doc. 27). ...


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