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Cranford v. Badagon

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 4, 2014

ARCHIE CRANFORD, Plaintiff,
v.
ANGELA BADAGON, et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY RESPONSES (ECF No. 46)

BARBARA A. McAULIFFE, Magistrate Judge.

I. Background

Plaintiff Archie Cranford ("Plaintiff") is a civil detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action proceeds against Defendant Balcagon for excessive force in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and against Defendants Perryman and Harder for failure to protect in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.[1]

On March 6, 2014, Defendants Perryman and Harder filed a motion to compel Plaintiff's responses to their Special Interrogatories and their Demands for Identification and Production of Documents, Sets One. (ECF No. 46.) Plaintiff opposed the motion on March 14, 2014. (ECF No. 47.) Defendants did not reply. The motion is deemed submitted. Local Rule 230(l).

II. Motion to Compel Discovery

On October 25, 2013, Defendant Perryman and Defendant Harder each served Plaintiff with a Demand for Identification and Production of Documents, Set One. On November 12, 2013, Defendant Perryman and Defendant Harder each served Plaintiff with Special Interrogatories, Set One. Plaintiff did not respond. On December 11, 2013, and January 13, 2014, Defendants' counsel sent a meet and confer letter to Plaintiff asking that he respond within ten days of each letter. Plaintiff did not respond to the letters. (ECF No. 46-1, Declaration of Andreas O. Garza, ¶¶ 3-6 and Exs. A, B and C.)

Defendants now move to compel responses pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37. Rule 37 provides that a motion to compel may be filed when a party fails to answer interrogatories or fails to produce documents following a good faith attempt to confer in an effort to obtain a response. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(3)(B).

1. Interrogatories

An interrogatory is a written question propounded by one party to another who must answer under oath and in writing. Interrogatories are limited to anything within the permissible scope of discovery, namely, any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense. Fed.R.Civ.P. 33, 26(b)(1). The responding party is obligated to respond to the interrogatories to the fullest extent possible, Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(b)(3), and any objections must be stated with specificity, Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(b)(4). Generally, the responding party does not need to conduct extensive research in answering the interrogatory, but a reasonable effort to respond must be made. Evans v. Tilton , 2010 WL 1136216, at *6 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 19, 2010).

Defendants move to compel responses to their special interrogatories. Plaintiff's opposition to the motion to compel is difficult to understand, but provides no apparent basis to deny Defendants' motion. Rather, Plaintiff takes issue with a purported agreement reached with defense counsel regarding documents from Plaintiff's medical file. Plaintiff also complains that he would not normally give up his knowledge to defense counsel. These issues and complaints do not justify Plaintiff's failure to respond to Defendants' interrogatories.

Defendants are entitled to discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter relevant to the claims and defenses in this action. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). That Plaintiff would not normally provide his knowledge to Defendants is not a valid objection.

Accordingly, the Court will grant Defendants' motion to compel responses to their interrogatories. Plaintiff shall be required to answer the interrogatories separately and fully in writing under oath. Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(b)(3).

2. Requests for Production of Documents

In responding to requests for production, Plaintiff must produce documents or other tangible things which are in his "possession, custody, or control." Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(a). Responses must either state that inspection and related activities will be permitted as requested or state an ...


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