United States District Court, E.D. California
A.V., a minor by and through Guardian ad Litem CONCEPCION VARELA, Plaintiff,
PANAMA-BUENA VISTA UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO
COMPEL DISCOVERY (Doc. 78)
JENNIFER L. THURSTON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
A.V., through his guardian ad litem Concepcion Varela,
challenges actions taken by Panama-Buena Vista Union School
District related to his education. Defendant seeks to compel
Plaintiff to provide additional responses to its Requests for
Production; Interrogatories Nos. 32, 33, and 34; and Requests
for Admission. (Docs. 78-79) For the following reasons,
Defendant’s motion to compel discovery is GRANTED IN
A.V. asserts he has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,
Combined Type. (Doc. 7 at 2) He alleges he “is a
disabled student under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation act
and has a suspected disability under the IDEA.”
(Id.) Plaintiff asserts he was “was
consistently and regularly disciplined for behavioral
incidents but the District failed to record his classroom
removals.” (Id. at 3) For example, Plaintiff
contends that during the 2014-2015 school year, he “had
been removed from school or classes in excess of 10-days due
to behavioral issues” by October 2014. (Id.)
participated in two special education administrative
hearings, and contends “Defendant District failed to
provide an assessment plan within statutory guidelines,
failed to provide parent with procedural rights, failed to
translate documents and failed to hold a legally compliant
Manifestation Determination under both Section 504 and the
IDEA.” (Doc. 7 at 3) He now appeals the decisions
rendered by the administrative law judge.
seeks to compel Plaintiff to provide additional discovery
responses to its request for production of documents,
interrogatories, and requests for admission. (Docs. 78-79)
of Discovery and Requests
scope and limitations of discovery are set forth by the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Evidence. Fed.R.Civ.P.
Unless otherwise limited by court order, parties may obtain
discovery regarding any nonprivileged manner that is relevant
to any party’s claim or defense - including the
existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and
location of any documents or other tangible things…For
good cause, the court may order discovery of any matter
relevant to the subject matter involved in the accident.
Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if
the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the
discovery of admissible evidence.
evidence is defined as “evidence having any tendency to
make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the
determination of the action more probable or less probable
than it would be without the evidence.” Fed.R.Evid.
401. Relevancy to a subject matter is interpreted
“broadly to encompass any matter that bears on, or that
reasonably could lead to other matter that could bear on, any
issue that is or may be in the case.” Oppenheimer
Fund, Inc. v. Sanders, 437 U.S. 340, 351 (1978).
Discussion and Analysis
the Federal Rules, “[a] party seeking discovery may
move for an order compelling an answer, designation,
production or inspection” when “a party fails to
answer an interrogatory submitted under Rule 33; or . . . a
party fails to respond that inspection will be permitted - or
fails to permit inspection - as requested under Rule
34.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(3)(B). Here, Defendant asserts
Plaintiff failed to adequately respond to document requests,
interrogatories, and requests for admission.
may request documents “in the responding party’s
possession, custody, or control.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
34(a)(1). A request is adequate if it describes items with
“reasonable particularity;” specifies a
reasonable time, place, and manner for the inspection; and
specifies the form or forms in which electronic information
can be produced. Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(b). Thus, a request is
sufficiently clear if it “places the party upon
‘reasonable notice of what is called for and what is
not.’” Kidwiler v. Progressive Paloverde Ins.
Co., 192. F.R.D. 193, 202 (N.D. W.Va. 2000) (quoting
Parsons v. Jefferson-Pilot Corp., 141 F.R.D. 408,
412 (M.D. N.C. 1992)); see also Schwarzer, Tashima
& Wagstaffe, California Practice Guide:
Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial (Rev. #1 2011)
Discovery, para. 11:1886 (“the apparent test is whether
a respondent of average intelligence would know what items to
responding party must respond in writing and is obliged to
produce all specified relevant and non-privileged documents,
tangible things, or electronically stored information in its
“possession, custody, or control” on the date
specified. Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(a). Actual possession, custody or
control is not required. “A party may be ordered to
produce a document in the possession of a non-party entity if
that party has a legal right to obtain the document or has
control over the entity who is in possession of the
document.” Soto v. City of Concord, 162 F.R.D.
603, 620 (N.D. Cal. 1995). Such documents include documents
under the control of the party’s attorney. Meeks v.
Parson, 2009 WL 3303718 (E.D. Cal. September 18, 2009);