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Howard Young v. Cdcr

June 4, 2012

HOWARD YOUNG,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CDCR, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER REGARDING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO QUASH SUBPOENAS (Document 1)

RELEVANT BACKGROUND

In 2009, Plaintiff Howard Young ("Plaintiff") filed a civil rights complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, case number 09-cv-2545 DMS JMA. Related thereto, Defendant California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("Defendant" or "CDCR") issued subpoenas out of this district, seeking records maintained at Kern Valley State Prison. Plaintiff moves to quash the subpoenas on the basis they are too broad and are "not subject to the case in question." Alternatively, he asks this Court to modify the subpoenas to "limit them to the dates and incidents that are relevant" to the action pending before the Southern District. (Doc. 1 [motion]; see also Doc. 6 [reply to opposition].)

As directed, Defendant filed its opposition to Plaintiff's motion to quash and/or modify the subpoenas on April 30, 2012. Defendant contends the subpoenas issued relating to Plaintiff's medical records and central file are relevant and narrowly tailored. Moreover, Defendant asserts Plaintiff has not met the heavy burden required of him. (Doc. 5 [opposition to motion].)

The matter was deemed submitted for written findings on May 31, 2012. (See Doc. 4 [minute order setting deadlines].) For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's motion is denied.

DISCUSSION*fn1

The purpose of discovery is to make trial "less a game of blind man's bluff and more a fair contest with the basic issues and facts disclosed to the fullest practicable extent possible." United States v. Procter & Gamble, 356 U.S. 677, 683 (1958). Discovery will also serve to narrow and clarify the issues in dispute. Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, 501 (1947).

Rule 26(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure establishes the scope of discovery and states in pertinent part:

Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the claim or defense of any party, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of any discoverable matter. For good cause, the court may order discovery of any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the action. Relevant information need not be admissible at trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

"The party who resists discovery has the burden to show that discovery should not be allowed, and has the burden of clarifying, explaining, and supporting its objections." Oakes v. Halvorsen Marine Ltd., 179 F.R.D 281, 283 (C.D. Cal. 1998); Nestle Foods Corp. v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., 135 F.R.D. 101, 104 (D. N.J. 1990).

Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides, in pertinent part:

(3) Quashing or Modifying a Subpoena.

(A) When required. On timely motion, the issuing court must quash or modify a subpoena that: . . . . . . . . ...


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