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Sean Shields v. Sergeant Koeling

January 13, 2012

SEAN SHIELDS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SERGEANT KOELING, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff is a state prisoner, proceeding without counsel, with a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and an action pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). The defendants are Sergeants Koelling and Martinez. Plaintiff alleges that on April 10, 2009, defendants forced plaintiff to move to an upper bunk even though plaintiff had a lower bunk chrono. Plaintiff later fell from the upper bunk and suffered injuries.

Pending before the court are plaintiff's motions to compel filed September 7, 2011, and September 12, 2011. Both motions concern the same matters.

Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents Plaintiff first alleges that defendants failed to respond to interrogatories and requests for production of documents. Plaintiff alleges that he served defendants with interrogatories and requests for production of documents on May 13, 2011. Plaintiff granted defendants an extension of time to July 11, 2011, to file their responses. Plaintiff then sought to extend the July 29, 2011 discovery cut-off date by thirty days in order to file the pending motion to compel. On August 11, 2011, the undersigned granted this motion and ordered plaintiff's motion to compel due within thirty days. Plaintiff alleges that on August 31, 2011, he attended his deposition at which he informed defense counsel that he still had not received defendants' responses to discovery. Plaintiff alleges that defense counsel advised him to file a motion to compel.

In the opposition to the pending motion, defendants do not dispute plaintiff's version of events. Defendants state that they are now forwarding to plaintiff responses to the interrogatories and request for production of documents.

Because plaintiff has now received defendants' responses to the interrogatories and request for production of documents, the motion to compel is denied without prejudice. Plaintiff is granted thirty days to file a renewed motion to compel specifically addressing why the responses are deficient.*fn1

Requests for Admissions, Set Two

Plaintiff's motion to compel seeks further responses to requests for admissions. Plaintiff alleges that on May 24, 2011, he submitted a second set of requests for admissions directed to each individual defendant. Plaintiff alleges that in their response, defendants objected to nearly every request. With their response, defendants also included a letter requesting a two week extension of time to amend their requests. Plaintiff granted this request. When plaintiff did not receive defendants' amended response by the discovery cut-off, plaintiff filed the pending motion to compel.

In their opposition to the pending motion, defendants do not dispute plaintiff's version of events. Defendants state that they are now forwarding to plaintiff amended responses to request for admissions, set two, propounded to defendant Koelling and amended responses to request for admissions, set two, propounded to defendant Martinez. Defendants claim that in preparing their original responses to the request for admissions, they did not have access to plaintiff's prison and medical files. Defendants state that they obtained access to these files after preparing the initial responses and after plaintiff granted them access. Their amended responses are based on reviewing these files.

Because plaintiff has received amended responses to the requests for admissions, set two, the motion to compel is denied without prejudice. Plaintiff is granted thirty days to file a renewed motion to compel specifically addressing why the responses are deficient.*fn2

Request for Admissions, Set One

Plaintiff alleges that on May 13, 2011, he submitted one set of request for admissions directed to all defendants. This request contained twenty-nine requests. In the opposition to the pending motion, defendants stand by their original responses to these requests. Accordingly, the court will address the merits of the motion to compel as to request for admissions, set one, herein.

Plaintiff objects to defendants' responses to request for admissions 1-18, 21-22 and 24-27.

Request no. 1 asked defendants to admit the authenticity of the copy of the document attached as Exhibit A. Plaintiff described this document as the Department of Corrections Health Care Services Division Policies and Procedures, Volume 4, Chapter 23, Comprehensive Accommodation Chrono, January 2006. Request no. 2 asked defendants to admit the authenticity of the copy of the document attached as Exhibit B. Plaintiff described the document as the Institution Operations Plan, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California State Prison-Solano, Vacaville, CA, Plan for: Double Celling, Number CSPS-L3-09-050, Dated: November 2009.

Defendants objected to request nos. 1 and 2 on grounds that they called for speculation. Defendants stated that they lacked sufficient information or knowledge to authenticate the documents. Defendants also stated that they did not believe that they were the appropriate persons to authenticate the documents and that perhaps authentication could be done by someone in Health Care Services.

The document attached as exhibit A concerns health care matters. (Dkt. No. 22, part I, pp. 39-42.) Defendants objection that they are not authorized to authenticate this document has merit. Accordingly, the motion to compel as to request no. 1 is denied.*fn3

The document attached as exhibit B states that it is the Institution Operations Plan regarding double celling. (Id. at 44.) This document concerns matters related to corrections. Defendants' objection that this document concerns matters related to Health Care Services is without merit. In their opposition to the motion to compel, defendants argue that they cannot determine whether these documents are authentic or if they have been altered in any way. Defendants argue that the Custodian of Records must authenticate these ...


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