Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He claims that defendants violated his right to equal protection of the laws by subjecting him to modified programs on two occasions on the basis of his race. The first modified program began on June 16, 2009, and lasted twenty-nine days. The second began on December 24, 2009, and lasted ten days.
Before the court is plaintiff's motion to compel defendants' responses to his requests for admissions, requests for production, and interrogatories. Dckt. No. 78. Defendants opposed the motion and plaintiff filed a reply. Dckt. Nos. 84, 87-88. For the reasons stated below, the motion is granted in part and denied in part.
I. Clarification of June 22, 2012 Order (Dckt. No. 74)
The docket reflects that on May 29, 2012, defendants requested an extension of time, to June 29, 2012, to serve their responses to plaintiff's first sets of interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and requests for admissions. Dckt. No. 72. The docket further reflects that on June 11, 2012, defendants requested a second extension of time, to June 29, 2012, to serve their responses to plaintiff's second sets of interrogatories. Dckt. No. 73.
On June 22, 2012, the court issued an order allowing defendants to serve their discovery responses by June 29, 2012 and directing the Clerk of the Court to terminate the docket entries for each of defendants' requests for extensions. Dckt. No. 74. Although the court intended to grant both of defendants' requests for extensions, it inadvertently identified only the discovery requests that were the subject of defendants' second request for an extension of time, and omitted reference to the discovery requests that were the subject of defendants' first request. The court now clarifies that earlier order and grants defendants' May 29, 2012 request for an extension of time, nunc pro tunc to June 22, 2012. Defendants' responses to plaintiff's first and second sets of interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and requests for admissions, were therefore due on June 29, 2012.
Plaintiff moves to compel defendants' responses to his requests for admissions, requests for production, and interrogatories. Based on the motion to compel and its exhibits, plaintiff appears to have served the following discovery requests: (1) requests for admission directed to each individual defendant, Dckt. No. 78, Exs. 6, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20; (2) a request for production directed at all defendants, id., Ex. 2; and (3) hybrid requests for "Interrogatories and Production of Documents," directed toward individual defendants, id., Exs. 6, 15, 17. As set forth below, plaintiff contends that defendants failed to respond to some requests, and served untimely responses to others. In addition, plaintiff contends that as to some of his requests, defendants provided deficient objections or responses.
A. Requests for Admission
Plaintiff contends that none of the defendants responded to his April 21, 2012 requests for admission. Defendants' opposition shows that each of the six defendants timely served their responses to plaintiff's requests for admission on June 29, 2012. Dckt. No. 84-3, Exs. O, P, Q, R, S, T. Accordingly, plaintiff's motion to compel responses to his requests for admission is denied.
B. Request for Production ("RFP") Directed to All Defendants
As noted, plaintiff served a single request for production directed at all defendants. Although plaintiff contends that defendants' response was untimely, defendants' opposition shows that they timely responded on June 28, 2012. Dckt. Nos. 84-2, Ex. B.
Plaintiff also contends that defendants failed to "produce for inspection and copying" the documents requested in RFP Nos. 1-5. Dckt. No. 78 at 2-3. If a party, in response to a request for production under Rule 34, fails to produce or permit inspection, the discovering party may move for an order compelling production. Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(3). As the moving party, plaintiff bears the burden of informing the court why he believes defendants' objections are not justified, and why the information he seeks through discovery is relevant to the action. See, e.g., Ellis v. Cambra, No. CIV 02-05646-AWI-SMS PC, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109050, 2008 WL 860523, at *4 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 27, 2008) ("Plaintiff must inform the court which discovery requests are the subject of his motion to compel, and, for each disputed response, inform the court why the information sought is relevant and why Defendant's objections are not justified."). Here, defendants objected to RFP Nos. 1-5. As discussed below, plaintiff's motion does not address the sufficiency of these objections.
In response to RFP No. 1, defendants objected, but agreed to make the "Program Status Report, Part B, available for inspection and copying." Dckt. No. 84-2, Ex. B. Defendants' opposition does not address plaintiff's contention that they failed to do so. To the extent they have not done so already, the motion is granted and defendants shall make the referenced document available to plaintiff within 21 days from the date of this order.
In RFP No. 2, plaintiff sought documents relating to Program Status Reports involving race-based lockdowns from April 2011 until 2012 -- well after the 2009 lockdowns at issue in this case. Dckt. No. 78, Ex. 2. Defendants objected to the request as overly broad, unduly burdensome, not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, and calling for documents protected by the official information privilege. Dckt. No. 84-2, Ex. B. Plaintiff does not contend that defendants' objections lack merit, but argues that the requested documents are needed to prevent this case from falling within that category of harm "capable of repetition, yet evading review." Dckt. No. 78 at 8. Plaintiff's argument is not responsive. Nor is his point convincing, given that he seeks damages and ...