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Keith Zavala v. Chris Chrones

September 20, 2011

KEITH ZAVALA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CHRIS CHRONES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL

(DOC. 65)

Plaintiff Keith Zavala ("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 on Plaintiff's amended complaint, filed May 24, 2010, against Defendants Chris Chrones, S. Kays, D. Smith, C. Martin, and Soto. Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's amended motion to compel, filed May 23, 2011.*fn1 Doc. 65. Defendants filed their opposition on June 9, 2011. Doc. 66. Plaintiff filed his reply on June 22, 2011. Doc. 67. The matter is submitted pursuant to Local Rule 230(l).

I. Production Of Documents

In responding to discovery requests, Defendants must produce documents which are in their "possession, custody or control." Fed. R. Civ. P. 34(a). Actual possession, custody or control is not required, however. "A party may be ordered to produce a document in the possession of a non-party entity if that party has a legal right to obtain the document or has control over the entity who is in possession of the document." Soto v. City of Concord, 162 F.R.D. 603, 620 (N.D. Cal. 1995).

Plaintiff contends that Defendants have more documents in their possession, custody, or control than were produced. Plaintiff moves for the production of the following documents:

1. All written statements, originals or copies, identifiable as reports about the incident on September 15, 2007, on and of Facility B Kern Valley State Prison, made by prison and civilian employees of the Department of Corrections and prisoner witnesses, and other departments or outside agencies.

2. List of all prisoners housed in A.S.U. #1 and A.S.U. B1 from July 15, 2007 through January 1, 2008.

3. List of all employees working on Facility B, including A.S.U. #1 (South) and A.S.U. B1, at the time of the incident of September 15, 2007, and three months prior.

Pl.'s Mot. Compel 1-6, Doc. 65. Plaintiff has now submitted his arguments as to why Defendants' responses were deficient.

A. Request For Production No. 1

Plaintiff contends that Defendants or Defendants' counsel has control of additional documents. Mot. Compel 2:11-27. Plaintiff contends, for example, that Defendant Soto informed him of 1) an internal memorandum regarding Plaintiff's safety concerns, and 2) communications with the California Inspector General's office about Defendant Martin. Id. at 3:18-4:1. Plaintiff further contends that Defendants should produce documents in support of their answers, which deny many of Plaintiff's allegations regarding the September 15, 2007 incident. Id. at 4:3-16.

Defendants contend that they have discovered Rules Violation Reports ("RVR") and related documents for inmates Prescott and Reyes, who apparently were involved in the attack on Plaintiff at issue. Defs.' Opp'n 3:8-18. Defendants contend that any other documents related to the incident are in the control of the Kern County district attorney's office, Kern County Superior Court, or Kern County grand jury, and that Plaintiff should obtain such documents through subpoena. Id.

Plaintiff contends that he has not received the RVR for inmate Reyes. Pl.'s Reply 2. Plaintiff also contends that there are interdepartmental communications, including internal affairs investigations and ...


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