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Anthony R. Turner v. California Forensic Medical Group

March 25, 2013

ANTHONY R. TURNER,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CALIFORNIA FORENSIC MEDICAL GROUP, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Craig M. Kellison United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action proceeds on plaintiff's amended complaint (Doc. 18). Pending before the court is defendants' unopposed motion to compel discovery responses (Doc. 68).

In their motion to compel, defendants argue that discovery was propounded on plaintiff, including a request for production of documents, special interrogatories, and requests for admissions. Pursuant to the court's scheduling order, responses to the discovery requests were due 45 days after service. However, defendants have received no response to their request for production of documents, special interrogatories, or their second request for admissions, and inadequate responses to their first request for admissions. No response was received from plaintiff, even after the defendants sent plaintiff a meet and confer letter, providing plaintiff with additional time in which to respond.

The scope of discovery is generally governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b). Rule 26(b)(1) provides that "the scope of discovery is as follows: Parties may obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense . . . . Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). Rule 37 provides that if a party fails to respond to discovery requests, the propounding party may move for an order compelling an answer. See Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 37(a)(3)(B). Generally, discovery responses are due within 30 days after being served, unless otherwise ordered by the court. See e.g., Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 33(b)(2), 36(a)(3). Here, pursuant to the scheduling order issued December 20, 2011, the court has allowed 45 days for responses, due to plaintiff's incarceration.

Plaintiff has not filed an opposition to the motion to compel, so has not offered any reason why this motion should not be granted. The complete failure of plaintiff to respond in any way to defendants' propounded discovery requests requires an order compelling a response. As for plaintiff's failure to provide responses to the special interrogatories, and produce the documents requested, plaintiff will be required, within a short amount of time provided herein, to provide defendants with appropriate responses. Having not provided timely responses, plaintiff has waived any objection he may have to the requests propounded. See Fed. R. Civ. Proc 33(b)(4). Failure to provide full and complete answers to the questions and requests will therefore be grounds for additional sanctions.

As for plaintiff's failure to respond to the second request for admissions, Rule 36 provides that the failure to timely respond will result in the matter being deemed admitted. See Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 36(a)(3). As plaintiff failed to respond at all to the second request, the rule is clear that the matters are to be deemed admitted. No response to the second request for admissions was received at all, nor has plaintiff filed an opposition to this motion providing the court with an explanation or request to be relieved from his failure to respond. Thus, the second request for admissions at issue here are deemed admitted.

However, plaintiff did provide a response to the first request for admissions. This request was served on plaintiff March 9, 2012. He did respond, but defendants argue his response was inadequate. There are three requests for admissions at issue here, for which plaintiff's response is challenged:

Request for Admissions No. 1:

Admit Defendant MALUGANI did not retaliate against you at any time during your incarceration at the Yolo County Jail in 2009.

Plaintiff's Response to Request for Admissions No. 1:

Plaintiff admits that Defendant (Sgt. Mr. Malugani did retaliate against (Him) at the time plaintiff was "held" by illegal restraint from (Sept. 18, 2009) thru till (May 5, 2010) in the Yolo County Jail Sheriff's Dep't Monroe Detention for exercise of his Fed. protected Const. Rights, to aggrieve inhumane treatment and assault upon (his) person.

Request for Admissions No. 2:

Admit Defendant HUNDAL did not use excessive force against you at any time during your stay at the ...


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