United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL; DENYING HIS REQUEST FOR APPOINTMENT OF COURT-APPOINTED INVESTIGATOR; AND DENYING HIS MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND TO SET A RIAL DATE
YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS, District Judge.
Plaintiff filed the instant pro se civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging claims of deliberate indifference to his safety and to his medical needs. Thereafter, the Court issued an Order of Service. Prior to Defendants appearing in this action, Plaintiff filed a motion to compel discovery as well as motions for summary judgment and to set a trial date. (Docket Nos. 9, 12.) Defendants have since appeared in this action and have filed an opposition to Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. (Docket No. 42.)
Also before the Court are Plaintiff's "Motion Seeking the Court to Grant and Order Defendants to Pay for an Investigator for Plaintiff" (Docket No. 29) as well as Defendants' recently-filed motion for summary judgment (Docket No. 47).
I. Motion to Compel Discovery
Discovery may be taken in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. No further court order under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(a)(2) or Local Rule 16-1 is required before the parties may conduct discovery. For Plaintiff's information, the proper manner of promulgating discovery is to send demands for documents or interrogatories (questions asking for specific, factual responses) directly to Defendants' counsel. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 33-34. The scope of discovery is limited to matters "relevant to the claim or defense of any party.... Relevant information need not be admissible at trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Discovery may be further limited by court order if "(i) the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or is obtainable from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive; (ii) the party seeking discovery has had ample opportunity by discovery in the action to obtain the information sought; or (iii) the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2).
It is not an effective or appropriate use of the Court's limited resources for it to oversee all aspects of discovery. Thus, before filing a motion to compel, the moving party must first attempt to resolve the dispute informally with the opposing party. It is only when the parties are unable to resolve the dispute after making a good faith effort to do so should they seek the Court's intervention. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(2)(B); N.D. Cal. Local Rule 37-1. Because Plaintiff is incarcerated, he is not required to meet and confer with Defendants in person. Rather, if Plaintiff's discovery requests are denied and he intends to pursue a motion to compel, he need only send a letter to Defendants to that effect, offering them one last opportunity to provide him the sought-after information. The letter should state the specific discovery he seeks, and state the reasons that Plaintiff believes he is entitled to such discovery.
Here, Plaintiff did not meet and confer with Defendants, which would have afforded them with a final opportunity to address each request upon which he now asks the Court to rule. Moreover, it may be that Plaintiff will obtain some sought-after discovery if Defendants file a motion for summary judgment and accompanying exhibits, with which Defendants shall also serve Plaintiff. For these reasons, Plaintiff's motion to compel (Docket No. 9) is DENIED as premature. The parties are directed to abide by the scheduling order to complete discovery outlined below.
II. Plaintiff's Motions for Summary Judgment and to Set a Trial Date
As mentioned above, Plaintiff has filed a motion for summary judgment; however, the Court finds that it is premature because it was filed before Defendants appeared. Even though Defendants have now been given the opportunity to respond to Plaintiff's premature motion for summary judgment, the Court notes that it was not originally served upon Defendants. Plaintiff may file the motion again or he may simply raise the arguments raised therein when he opposes the motion for summary judgment that Defendants intend to file, but he must serve any paper he files upon Defendants if he wishes to have it considered. In addition, Plaintiff must ensure that any brief he files is procedurally proper and does not violate this Court's standing orders as well as the Local Rules of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Docket No. 12) is DENIED as premature. Because Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment has been denied, Plaintiff's motion to set a trial date is also DENIED as premature.
III. Remaining Pending Motions
A. Plaintiff's Request for Appointment of Court-Appointed Investigator
Plaintiff's "Motion Seeking the Court to Grant and Order Defendants to Pay for an Investigator for Plaintiff" (Docket No. 29) is construed as a request for appointment of a court-appointed investigator is DENIED for lack of exceptional circumstances. Cf. Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 1991); Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 1331 (9th Cir. 1986). Plaintiff may seek discovery ...