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Herman D. Shead v. C/O Vang

May 19, 2011

HERMAN D. SHEAD,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
C/O VANG,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sheila K. Oberto United States Magistrate Judge

(Docs. 39 and 43)

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFÂ’S MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR ADMISSION No. 3 AND INTERROGATORY No. 3 AND OTHERWISE DENYING PLAINTIFFÂ’S MOTIONS TO COMPEL

I. Introduction

Plaintiff Herman D. Shead, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on January 5, 2009. This action is proceeding against Defendant Vang on Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment excessive force claim. Pending before the Court are (1) Plaintiff's motion to compel responses to his requests for admission (RFAs) one through five, set one, and interrogatories (ROGs) one through five and eleven, set one, filed January 11, 2011; and (2) Plaintiff's motion to compel a response to his request for the production of documents, filed February 16, 2011. Defendant filed oppositions on January 26, 2011, and March 3, 2011, respectively, and the motions have been submitted. Local Rule 230(l).

II. First Motion to Compel

A. RFAs 1-5

Parties may obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense, and for good cause, the Court may order discovery of any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the action. Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1) (quotation marks omitted). Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Id. (quotation marks omitted).

The responding party may be asked to admit the truth of any fact, application of law to fact, or opinions about either, and the genuineness of any documents. Fed. R. Civ. P. 36(a)(1) (quotation marks omitted). If a matter is not admitted, the responding party must specifically deny the matter or state in detail why the matter cannot be truthfully admitted or denied. Id. (quotation marks omitted). If a request is objected to, the grounds must be stated. Id. (quotation marks omitted).

Requests for admission are intended to eliminate those issues on which there are no genuine disputes between the parties. Bovarie v. Schwarzenegger, No. 08cv1661 LAB (NLS), 2011 WL 719206, at *6 (S.D.Cal. Feb. 22, 2011) (citation omitted). Requests for admission are not a discovery device for gathering evidence, Bovarie, 2011 WL 719206, at *6 (citation omitted), and they are not intended as a substitute for other methods of discovery, Woodall v. California, No. 1:08-cv-01948-OWW-DLB PC, 2010 WL 4316953, at *3 (E.D.Cal. Oct. 22, 2010) (citation omitted).

Plaintiff seeks to compel responses to RFAs 1 through 5, none of which was admitted or denied and all of which were objected to. Having considered Plaintiff's motion, Defendant's opposition, and the relevant discovery requests and responses, the Court issues the following rulings.

RFA 1: Admit that you have never been detained by any law enforcement agency within the United States at any time other than a traffic related matter.

Response: Defendant objects on the grounds that the request is vague as to "detained," is overly broad as to time and place, is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, and is an invasion of his privacy.

Ruling: The request is ambiguous as to the term "detained," and it is overly broad as to time frame and to scope in that it is not limited to information relevant to Plaintiff's excessive force claim against Defendant. For these reasons, Plaintiff's motion to compel a response is denied.*fn1

RFA 2: Admit that you have never been arrested by any law enforcement agency within the United States at any time other ...


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