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Demetrio Quintero v. Mariposa County School District

October 9, 2012

DEMETRIO QUINTERO,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
MARIPOSA COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, ET AL.
DEFENDANTS.



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

) ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S ) MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY ) AND AWARD OF SANCTIONS ) (Document 31)

RELEVANT PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Demetrio Quintero filed his original complaint on May 23, 2011. (Doc. 2.) Following screening procedures by the Court, on December 1, 2011, Plaintiff filed his second amended complaint ("SAC"). (Doc. 9.) In an order dated December 9, 2011, the Court clarified that Plaintiff's SAC was proceeding on its single viable claim, to wit: a violation of section 2000d of Title 42 of the United States Code*fn1 (and clarifying that his causes of action pertaining to sections 1981, 1983, 1985 and 1985 of that same code, as well as the state law claims, had been dismissed previously). (Doc. 11.)

On February 23, 2011, Defendant Mariposa County United School District ("MCUSD") filed a motion to dismiss. (Doc. 14.) Plaintiff filed an opposition on March 12, 2012 (Doc. 20) and Defendant filed its reply on March 21, 2012 (Doc. 23). On May 24, 2012, this Court issued its order denying MCUSD's motion. (Doc. 25.)

An initial scheduling conference was held June 4, 2012, and a scheduling order issued the following day, setting forth the relevant deadlines and pertinent dates applicable to this matter. (See Docs. 27 & 28.)

On August 28, 2012, MCUSD filed a motion compel discovery. (Doc. 31.) Plaintiff filed an opposition to the motion on September 10, 2012 (Doc. 32), and MCUSD filed its reply on September 21, 2012 (Doc. 33). At the hearing on the motion heard September 25, 2012, Mr. Quintero personally appeared on his own behalf; defense counsel Lara Marabito personally appeared on behalf of MCUSD. (Doc. 36.)

DISCUSSION

Applicable Legal Standards 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 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).

Analysis

MCUSD seeks an order compelling Plaintiff to respond to its Request for Production of Documents ("RPD"), Set One. At the time MCUSD filed its motion, Plaintiff had failed to respond to the discovery request in any way and his responses were more than thirty days delinquent.

More particularly, MCUSD asserted it served its RPD on June 12, 2012, requiring a response no later than July 16, 2012. In the absence of any response, on July 17, 2012, MCUSD initiated meet and confer efforts; however, despite Plaintiff's ...


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