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Gorham v. Solis

United States District Court, Northern District of California

November 3, 2014

ARTIS E. GORHAM, Plaintiff,
v.
A. SOLIS, et al., Defendants

Artis E. Gorham, Plaintiff, Pro se, Soledad, CA.

For S. Hatton, R. Parin, L. Locke, L. Hernandez, Defendants: Elliott Thomas Seals, LEAD ATTORNEY, California Office of the Attorney General, Civil Division - Correctional Law Section, San Francisco, CA.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART GORHAM'S MOTIONS TO COMPEL DISCOVERY; ORDER EXTENDING TIME

WILLIAM H. ORRICK, United States District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Artis Gorham seeks discovery for his complaint that (1) Salinas Valley Correctional Officers L. Hernandez and L. Locke used excessive force on him on May 10, 2011; (2) Locke violated Gorham's Eighth Amendment rights when he threatened to place him in danger if he reported the May 10th incident; and (3) S. Hatton, a correctional officer, in violation of Gorham's First Amendment rights, filed battery charges against him in retaliation for reporting the May 10th incident. (Order of Service, Docket No. 20, at 2.)[1]

Most of the requested discovery is not related to Gorham's own complaint, but instead to other allegations of officer misconduct at Salinas Valley State Prison in 2011. He has not shown how that discovery is relevant to his claims, and it is DENIED. To the extent that certain discovery relevant to Gorham and his claims has not been provided (and on this record, it is not clear whether it has been), his request is GRANTED and further records shall be provided to Gorham no later than November 20, 2014.

The Court extends the time for Gorham to file an opposition to defendants' motion for summary judgment to January 20, 2015. No further extensions will be granted. The Court reminds Gorham that he must meet the opposition filing deadline even if the Court has not ruled on any motions he may file before the deadline of January 20, 2015. Defendants' reply to the opposition, if any, shall be filed within 15 days after the opposition has been filed.

BACKGROUND

Gorham served defendants with his first requests for the production of documents (Docket No. 48), and defendants served responses and objections about a month later. Gorham then filed the instant second motion for the production of documents, which the Court construes as a motion to compel. (Docket No. 53.)

Gorham did not meet and confer with defendants prior to filing his motion to compel. To promote the goal of addressing only very specific disagreements (rather than becoming an overseer of all discovery), the Court requires that the parties meet and confer to try to resolve their disagreements before seeking court intervention. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a); N.D. Cal. Local Rule 37. However, given the pending motion for summary judgment, the defendants' response to the motion on the merits that did not indicate willingness to provide any documents in a meet and confer process, and the delay that would be caused if I required the parties (i) to meet and confer over requests whose materiality is easily determined by a review of Gorham's motion, (ii) to then brief the discovery issue again, and (iii) to continue further the briefing on the motion for summary judgment until the potentially relevant documents were produced, which would likely be necessary under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d), I will review Gorham's request on the merits.

DISCUSSION

I. Standard of Review

Discovery requests must be reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Discovery may be limited by the Court 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). Requests for ...


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