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Burke v. Brentwood Union School District

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 22, 2016

NATALIE BURKE, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
BRENTWOOD UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DIRECTING PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS FROM JUVENILE CRIMINAL CASE FILE RE: DKT. NO. 78, 79, 83

          ELIZABETH D. LAPORTE United States Magistrate Judge

         I. BACKGROUND

         On June 28, 2016, Plaintiffs and Defendants jointly filed a Stipulation for Order Directing Production of the Clerk’s Transcript on Appeal and the Criminal File of the Attorney General’s Office seeking materials related to the juvenile court prosecution of J.L. This request was precipitated by Plaintiffs’ discovery of references in the clerk’s transcript of J.L.’s state court habeas corpus petition regarding the discovery in November 2013 by BUSD personnel of matters potentially related to Plaintiff’s case.

         On June 29, 2016, the California Attorney General filed a Motion to Intervene and Object to Stipulation for Order Directing Disclosure of Criminal File. The Court granted the motion to intervene. The Court ordered Plaintiffs and Defendants333 to file, by July 5, 2016, a supplemental brief to address the scope of appropriately tailored discovery from J.L.’s criminal files subject to the existing protective order and ordered Intervenor to respond to that supplemental brief by July 7, 2016.

         On July 5, 2016, Plaintiffs timely filed a supplemental brief narrowing the scope of discovery. Dkt. 77. Defendants filed an untimely brief on July 6, 2016 requesting additional discovery exceeding the parameters of the Court’s Order. Dkt. 78. Intervenor filed a timely response on July 7, 2016. Dkt. 83.

         II.DISCUSSION

         Plaintiffs have now narrowed the materials they seek to those that relate to Defendants’ prior knowledge of J.L.’s aggressive behaviors tending to show that he presented a danger of harm to other students, including but not limited to M.B. Specifically, Plaintiffs point to the following statement in the clerk’s transcript of J.L.’s state habeas petition: “In November of 2013 school officials at the Adams Middle School in Brentwood, California discovered that students were sharing sexually explicit images via social media applications on their phones.” Plaintiffs specifically seek:

The associated testimony or exhibits, including any writing and statements from all witnesses (parent(s), student(s), employee(s) or other) referring to the knowledge of any BUSD employee relating to the following categories:
1. sexting incident(s) or any related investigation of sexting involving AMS students prior to March 7, 2014;
2. J.L.’s violence, bullying, sexual harassment, threats or extortion prior to March, 7, 2014;
3. J.L.’s sexual misconduct prior to March 7, 2014;
4. J.L.’s presence inside school bathrooms with girls prior to March 7, 2014;
5. any investigation into J.L.’s conduct prior to March 7, 2014

         Plaintiffs state that this information is relevant to a key issue in this case, which is Defendants’ knowledge of J.L.’s danger to other students prior to March 7, 2014, when the allegations regarding M.B. came to light. They point out that Defendants have filed a summary judgment motion claiming that they had no knowledge that J.L. posed a substantial risk of harm to Plaintiff or other students until Plaintiff’s report. ...


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