United States District Court, S.D. California
S.R. NEHAD, an individual, K.R. NEHAD, an individual, ESTATE OF FRIDOON RAWSHAN NEHAD, an entity, Plaintiffs,
NEAL N. BROWDER, an individual, and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, Defendants.
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR
RECONSIDERATION OF DISCOVERY RULING ON JOINT MOTION FOR
DISCOVERY DISPUTE NO. 2 (DKT. NO. 90)
Nita L. Stormes United States Magistrate Judge.
the Court is Defendants’ Motion for Reconsideration of
this Court’s earlier discovery ruling on the Joint
Motion for Determination of Discovery Dispute Number 2. (Dkt.
No. 90.) Plaintiffs filed an Opposition, and also requested
sanctions for the amount of expenses incurred in opposing the
motion. (Dkt. No. 95.) Defendants filed a Reply. (Dkt. No.
98.) District Judge Hayes referred this motion to the
undersigned based on the new information presented in
Defendants’ motion. (Dkt. No. 99.) Having reviewed and
considered the papers submitted, the Court DENIES
Defendants’ motion for reconsideration in its entirety
and DENIES Plaintiffs’ request for sanctions.
parties and the undersigned are familiar with the background
of the case and the underlying discovery dispute, and so the
Court only briefly summarizes the dispute here. In the Joint
Motion for Determination of Discovery Dispute No. 2, the
parties requested the Court’s involvement in resolving
discovery disputes regarding approximately forty separate
requests for production and interrogatories. Among those
requests, Plaintiffs moved to compel Defendants to provide
further responses to their Request for Production No. 34
(“RFP 34”.) That request sought “DOCUMENTS
RELATING TO YOUR investigations of any officer involved
shootings, from 2010 to the present.” Defendants
objected on various grounds, including undue burden. They
contended that the search would “yield dozens of
investigations, thousands of pages of documents” and
that “[t]o review such investigations would require
thousands of man-house to copy, sift through, redact
etc.” (Dkt. No. 68 at 17.)
considering and ruling on RFP No. 34, the Court narrowed the
scope of the discovery “to only seek responsive
documents from the past three years (as opposed to five
years), and to the internal affairs/investigation files for
incidents involving officer-involved shootings that resulted
in physical injury or death (as opposed to any incident in
which an officer fired his or her weapon).” (Dkt. No.
83 at 16.) The Court thus ordered Defendants to provide
further responses to Plaintiffs’ requests for documents
pertaining to investigations, including internal affairs
files, of officer-involved shootings that resulted in
physical injury or death from 2013 to the present.
(Id. at 19.)
23, 2016, Defendants filed a motion for reconsideration and
objections to that ruling under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 72(a). The parties briefed the matter, and on June
30, 2016, District Judge Hayes referred the motion for
reconsideration to the undersigned.
this Court cannot review its prior ruling under Rule 72(a),
the Court construes the motion as a request for
reconsideration under the Court’s inherent authority to
reconsider interlocutory orders. The Court maintains an
inherent authority to reconsider all interlocutory orders.
Amarel v. Connell, 102 F.3d 1494, 1515 (9th
Cir.1996); Abada v. Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.,
127 F.Supp.2d 1101, 1102 (S.D. Cal. 2000) (“District
courts retain inherent authority to revise interim or
interlocutory orders any time before entry of
judgment”). Motions for reconsideration are “not
to re-hash arguments the court has already thought through,
or present arguments or evidence for the first time which
could reasonably have been raised earlier in the litigation.
It is not a vehicle for a ‘second bite at the apple,
’ ‘after thoughts, ’ or ‘shifting of
ground.’” Salazar v. Monaco Enters.,
2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167081 (E.D. Wash. Dec. 14, 2015)
Defendants’ Objection Based on Burden
object to the discovery ruling on the grounds that
Plaintiffs’ request is unduly burdensome and
disproportional to the needs of the case. (Dkt. No. 90-1 at
6.) Defendants argue that in making the earlier discovery
ruling, the Court omitted discussion of other investigations,
such as homicide investigations, which contain thousands of
pages of documents. (Dkt. No. 90-1 at 8, 10-11.) Defendants
assert the burden imposed is not proportional to the needs of
the case because although roughly $12, 000 in expenses may
not seem unduly burdensome at first blush, it would be unduly
burdensome to require Defendants to engage in thousands of
hours of labor to review and analyze the more than 15, 000
pages of documents, 403 compact discs, and possibly 217 DVDs
for privacy redactions and accuracy. (Dkt. No. 98 at 2-3, 8;
see also Dkt. No. 91 at ¶ 8.) They also argue
the ruling should be narrowed so that Defendants only need to
provide Internal Affairs Investigation summaries from April
30, 2013 through April 30, 2015, because any documents
thereafter are irrelevant. (Id.)
respond that the Court’s earlier order was neither
clearly erroneous nor contrary to law, and that the discovery
sought is relevant. (Dkt. No. 95 at 10.) They contend
Defendants’ argument fails because they present new
evidence not previously submitted, including a specific
recounting of documents plus their “roughly $12,
000” calculation of expenses. (Id. at 11.)
They maintain Defendants also make no effort to show this
expense would create an undue strain on their resources.
(Id.) They further contend Defendants fail to
explain why documents after April 30, 2015 would not be
relevant, particularly given that Defendants do not assert
the SDPD’s policy changed following the shooting
incident in this case. (Id. at 10-11.)
Court is unpersuaded by Defendants’ burden arguments.
Defendants provide no persuasive reason why they failed to
present the quantitative information regarding the estimated
cost and the amount of documents and things in the briefing
on the joint motion for determination of discovery dispute.
Defendants summarily contend they could not have determined
the estimated amount of costs or the estimated amount of
documents to be reviewed before the Court’s ruling on
this discovery request. Not so. Defendants were well aware of
the scope of the discovery request, and Defendants had the
obligation of explaining and supporting its burden objection
when the dispute was first brought before the Court.
Bryant v. Ochoa, 2009 WL 1390794 at *1 (S.D. Cal.
May 14, 2009) (“the party opposing discovery has the
burden of showing that the discovery should be prohibited,
and the burden of clarifying, explaining or supporting its
objections.”) Defendants did not gather information
about the estimated costs or number of documents that would
need to be reviewed despite the fact that these arguments and
evidence could have, and should have, been raised at the time
the parties first brought this dispute before the Court.
Defendants’ attempt at a second bite of the apple by
presenting evidence and argument that should have been raised
earlier frustrates the systematic efficiencies of the
judicial process. Their belated attempt to re-hash arguments
the Court has already thought through is unavailing.
unavailing is Defendants’ argument that documents after
April 30, 2015 bear no relevance on Plaintiff’s claims
and thus would be unduly burdensome to produce. As Plaintiffs
aptly noted, Defendants have not explained why these
documents would not be relevant, nor have they asserted the
San Diego Police ...