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Carmichael v. Wilson

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 10, 2014

MICHAEL CARMICHAEL, Plaintiff,
v.
W. WILSON, et al., Defendants.

ORDER REGARDING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL

DENNIS L. BECK, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Michael Carmichael ("Plaintiff") is a prisoner in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"). Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983.

Pursuant to the March 25, 2014, Discovery and Scheduling Order, discovery closed on August 22, 2014. The dispositive motion deadline is October 21, 2014.

On July 25, 2014, Plaintiff filed a motion to compel responses to discovery served on all Defendants. Defendants opposed the motion on August 15, 2014. Plaintiff filed an untimely reply on September 5, 2014. The motion is therefore deemed submitted pursuant to Local Rule 230(l).

DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

Parties may obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense, and for good cause, the court may order discovery of any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the action. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Id.

Generally, if the responding party objects to a discovery request, the party moving to compel bears the burden of demonstrating why the objections are not justified. E.g., Grabek v. Dickinson , 2012 WL 113799, at *1 (E.D. Cal. 2012). This requires the moving party to inform the Court which discovery requests are the subject of the motion to compel, and, for each disputed response, why the information sought is relevant and why the responding party's objections are not meritorious. Id.

However, the Court is vested with broad discretion to manage discovery and notwithstanding these procedures, Plaintiff is entitled to leniency as a pro se litigant. Therefore, to the extent possible, the Court endeavors to resolve his motion to compel on its merits. Hunt v. County of Orange , 672 F.3d 606, 616 (9th Cir.2012); Surfvivor Media, Inc. v. Survivor Productions , 406 F.3d 625, 635 (9th Cir.2005); Hallett v. Morgan , 296 F.3d 732, 751 (9th Cir.2002).

Courts in the Eastern District of California have required, "at a minimum, [that] the moving party plaintiff has the burden of informing the court (1) which discovery requests are the subject of his motion to compel, (2) which of the defendant's responses are disputed, (3) why he believes the defendant's responses are deficient, (4) why the defendant's objections are not justified, and (5) why the information he seeks through discovery is relevant to the prosecution of this action." Walker v. Karelas , 2009 WL 3075575, at *1 (E.D. Cal. 2009).

B. Analysis

Plaintiff's motion to compel identifies the discovery at issue, but fails to set forth the reasons why he believes the responses are inadequate. Defendants pointed out this deficiency in their opposition, but Plaintiff's reply does not address the issue. Nonetheless, in an effort to reach the merits of the dispute as much as possible, the Court provides the following analysis.

1. Defendants Wilson, Pressley, Meyer ...


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