United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART CITY DEFENDANTS' EX PARTE MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDERS [ECF NO. 18]
MITCHELL D. DEMBIN, Magistrate Judge.
Before the Court is the Application for Protective Orders filed on behalf of certain Defendants (the "City Defendants') on February 19, 2015, and supplemented on February 20, 2015. (ECF Nos. 18-19). Plaintiff responded in opposition on March 9, 2015. (ECF No. 21). City Defendants replied on March 10, 2015. (ECF No. 22). A hearing was held on May 1, 2015. As provided below, City Defendants' Application is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.
The Complaint alleges violations of Title 42, United States Code, Section 1983, against Defendants, mainly law enforcement personnel and agencies from the City of San Diego and the County of San Diego stemming from the arrest of Plaintiff on August 14, 2014. The Complaint was removed by City Defendants to this Court from the Superior Court of California on December 15, 2014. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff moved to remand the case to the Superior Court on December 30, 2014. (ECF No. 4). That motion was denied on March 11, 2015. (ECF No. 23). City Defendants answered the complaint on January 5, 2015. (ECF No. 5). On April 8, 2015, County Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Complaint as it pertains to them. (ECF No. 24). That motion remains pending.
City Defendants seek a protective order from this Court pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c) to govern the interactions of the parties. Plaintiff opposes primarily on the basis that Rule 26 governs discovery and disclosure rendering the order sought by City Defendants overbroad. City Defendants agree that Rule 26 governs discovery but assert that inasmuch as the opening of discovery is imminent, the order sought is ripe. The Court agrees with City Defendants that despite the fact that discovery has not yet commenced, the Court may issue an order under Rules 26(b) and (c) governing the manner in which discovery shall be conducted in this case.
City Defendants seek to restrain Plaintiff in nine ways. Each will be discussed below:
Request No. 1
City Defendants seek an order requiring Plaintiff to disclose the names of all friends and acquaintances employed by the City Attorney's Office.
This request is DENIED. City Defendants may seek such discovery, if relevant, through proper means under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Request No. 2
City Defendants seek an order prohibiting Plaintiff from having any contact regarding this litigation with any person employed by City Attorney's Office other than its counsel of record. In his opposition, Plaintiff states that he will no longer communicate with City Defendants' counsel.
Defendants' request is GRANTED IN PART as follows:
In connection with this litigation, Plaintiff may not contact any person known to him to be employed by the City Attorney's Office other than City Defendants' counsel of record except as authorized by the Court or by agreement with counsel of record. Plaintiff must comply with any orders of this Court mandating ...