United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER RE: PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY [Doc. 17]
PETER C. LEWIS, Magistrate Judge.
Now before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Compel, filed on January 27, 2015 pursuant to the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, Rule 37(a)(1). (Doc. 17.) Plaintiff seeks to compel the Defendants to: (1) respond to Plaintiff's interrogatories, Set One, Nos. 11 and 12; (2) comply with Plaintiff's request for production of documents, Set One, No. 31; and (3) respond to Plaintiff's requests for admissions, Set One, Nos. 19 through 31. (Id.)
The Court has read and considered all of the documents filed in connection with this motion, including Plaintiff's moving papers (Doc. 17), Plaintiff's exhibits (Docs. 17-1 through 17-5), and supporting declaration of Brody McBride (Doc. 17-1); Defendants' Opposition (Doc. 21), objections to Mr. McBride's declaration (Doc. 21-1), and Request for Judicial Notice (Doc. 21-2); and Plaintiff's Reply (Doc. 24). As discussed below, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's Motion to Compel.
This case arises from the alleged illegal arrest of the Plaintiff, Mr. Valenzuela, and the use of excessive force during that arrest by Defendants Ramirez and Flores on June 11, 2013. (Doc. 1, at 6-9.) Plaintiff's causes of action arising from this incident include: (1) false arrest and imprisonment; (2) battery; (3) negligence; (4) unlawful seizure, arrest, and detention; (5) unlawful entry into home; (6) use of excessive force; (7) a claim against Defendant City of Calexico under Monell v. Dept. of Soc. Serv. of the City of New York, 436 U.S. 658 (1978); (8) failure to properly train; (9) failure to supervise and discipline; and (10) violations of the Bane Act, California Civil Code §§ 52.1 and 52. (Id.)
A. Standard on Motion to Compel
Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure enables the propounding party to bring a motion to compel responses to discovery. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(3)(B). The party opposing discovery bears the burden of resisting disclosure. Miller v. Pancucci, 141 F.R.D. 292, 299 (C.D.Cal.1992). Additionally, the moving party carries the burden of informing the court: (1) which discovery requests are the subject of his motion to compel; (2) which of the defendants' responses are disputed; (3) why the responses are deficient; (4) the reasons defendants' objections are without merit; and (5) the relevance of the requested information to the prosecution of his action. See, e.g., Brooks v. Alameida, No. CIV S-03-2343-JAM-EFB P, 2009 WL 331358, at *2 (E.D.Cal. Feb.10, 2009) ("Without knowing which responses plaintiff seeks to compel or on what grounds, the court cannot grant plaintiff's motion."); Ellis v. Cambra, No. CIV 02-05646-AWI-SMS PC, 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."). Williams v. Adams, 105-CV-00124AWISMSPC, 2009 WL 1220311 (E.D. Cal. May 4, 2009). Additionally, a litigant may not file suit in order to "use discovery as the sole means of finding out whether [she has] a case." Szabo Food Serv. Inc. v. Canteen Corp., 823 F.2d 1073, 1083 (7th Cir.1989).
Lastly, when deciding whether to grant a motion to compel response to discovery request or interrogatory, the court considers the prior efforts of the parties to resolve the dispute, the relevance of the information sought, and the burden or expense of production. Barnes v. D.C., 289 F.R.D. 1 (D.D.C. 2012).
It is well established that a party may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any claim or defense. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Relevant information need not be admissible at trial so long as the discovery appears to be reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Id . Relevance is construed broadly to include any matter that bears on, or reasonably could lead to other matter that could bear on, any issue that may be in the case. Oppenheimer Fund, Inc. v. Sanders, 437 U.S. 340, 351, 98 S.Ct. 2380, 57 L.Ed.2d 253 (1978) (citing Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, 501, 67 S.Ct. 385, 91 L.Ed. 451 (1947)) (footnote omitted). However, liberal discovery does not mean unlimited discovery, Oppenheimer, 437 U.S. at 351-52, and Rule 26 vests the trial judge with broad discretion to tailor discovery narrowly and dictate its sequence. CrawfordEl v. Britton, 523 U.S. 574, 598, 118 S.Ct. 1584, 140 L.Ed.2d 759 (1998). District courts have broad discretion to determine relevancy for discovery purposes. Hallett v. Morgan, 296 F.3d 732, 751 (9th Cir.2002).
On August 22, 2014, Plaintiff served Defendants with discovery requests, Set One. (Doc. 17-1, "Declaration of Brody McBride, " ¶3.) On October 3, 2014, Defendants responded to Set One and objected to Interrogatories Nos. 11 and 12, Request for Production of Documents No. 31, and Requests for Admissions, Nos. 19, 23, and 28, as irrelevant. (Id. at 9-10.) Interrogatories 11 and 12 present the following requests:
11. State any and all reasons why CPD Sergeant German Duran approached Plaintiff while Plaintiff was in Alex ...