IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
June 7, 2011
TRI D. NGUYEN, PLAINTIFF,
BARTOS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel with a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the court is defendant's motion to compel filed April 8, 2011. For the following reasons, defendant's motion is denied. However, defendant is granted an opportunity to serve plaintiff with additional discovery requests in accordance with this order.
Defendant has served plaintiff with contention interrogatories and related requests for production of documents. The court has reviewed these requests as well as plaintiff's responses. Plaintiff's responses are not adequate.
However, "[c]ontention interrogatories, directed to a pro se litigant, are rarely appropriate[.]" Nielsen v. Society of New York Hosp., 1988 WL 100197 at * 2 (S.D.N.Y. 1988); see also Pobursky v. Madera County, 2009 WL 1582847 at * 2 (E.D. Cal. 2009) ("The Court also noted, and the long, tortured history of discovery in this action demonstrates, the futility of contention interrogatories, especially in actions involving pro se plaintiffs). In this action, the undersigned finds that contention interrogatories are not appropriate. Defendant would not be prejudiced by requesting the information he seeks from plaintiff in conventional interrogatories and requests for production of documents. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(2)(C) (court may limit discovery).
Defendant requests an award of attorneys' fees in the amount of $1137.50 for the costs incurred in bringing ths motion. Because defendant's motion is denied, the request for costs is denied. Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(5).
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Defendant's April 8, 2011 motion to compel and for costs (Dkt. No. 27) is denied without prejudice; and
2. Defendant is granted twenty-one days from the date of this order to serve plaintiff with one set of interrogatories and one set of request for production of documents in accordance with this order; plaintiff shall respond to this request within twenty-one days thereafter; defendant may file a motion to compel, if appropriate, within twenty-one days thereafter.
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