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Taylor v. Patel

United States District Court, E.D. California

August 2, 2016

DELTON L. TAYLOR, Plaintiff,
v.
HARISHKUMAR PATEL, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO DISCOVERY REQUESTS ECF No. 31) THIRTY (30) DAY DEADLINE

          MICHAEL J. SENG, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Delton L. Taylor, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on November 10, 2014. (ECF No. 1.) This action proceeds on Plaintiff’s first amended complaint, filed on February 23, 2015, against Defendants Harishkumar Patel and Richard Le for medical indifference in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution. (ECF No. 9.)

         Pending before the Court is Defendants’ May 12, 2016 motion to compel responses to Defendants’ Special Interrogatories and requests for production of documents. (ECF No. 31.) To date, Plaintiff has not filed an opposition. The matter is submitted. Local Rule 230(1).

         I. Procedural History

         The Court issued a scheduling order in this case on September 30, 2015. (ECF No. 23.) The order set a discovery deadline of May 30, 2016 and a dispositive motion deadline of August 8, 2016. At Defendants’ request, the Court issued an order modifying the scheduling order and extending the discovery deadline to September 1, 2016 and the dispositive motion deadline to November 8, 2016. (ECF No. 33.)

         On October 1, 2015, Defendants propounded Requests for Production of Documents, Set One, to Plaintiff. Each Defendant also propounded Special Interrogatories, Set One, to Plaintiff. (Marquez Dec. ¶ 2 (ECF No. 31-1)) Plaintiff provided responses to each Defendant’s special interrogatories and produced documents called for in Defendants’ Request for Production of Documents, but to date has failed to provide the written response to each request for production required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34(b)(2)(B).[1] Id. at ¶ 4.

         On or about December 10, 2015, Defendants each propounded Special Interrogatories, Set Two to Plaintiff. Id. at ¶ 7. To date, Plaintiff has not responded. Id. On January 19, 2016, and February 12, 2016, Defendants sent Plaintiff a meet and confer letter regarding his failure to provide written responses to Defendants’ production requests and Special Interrogatories, Set Two. Id. at ¶¶ 8, 9. Plaintiff has failed to respond. Id. at ¶ 10.

         Defendants filed the instant motion to compel on May 12, 2016. (ECF No. 31.)

         II. Legal Standard

         The discovery process is subject to the overriding limitation of good faith. Asea, Inc. v. S. Pac. Transp. Co., 669 F.2d 1242, 1246 (9th Cir.1981). Parties may obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party’s claim or defense, and for good cause, the Court may order discovery of any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the action. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Id. The court must limit discovery if the burden of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C)(iii). “In each instance, the determination whether . . . information is discoverable because it is relevant to the claims or defenses depends on the circumstances of the pending action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26 Advisory Committee’s Note (2000 Amendment) (Gap Report) (Subdivision (b)(1)).

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 33(a)(1), “[a]n interrogatory may relate to any matter that may be inquired into under Rule 26(b).” Further, a party may serve on any other party a request within the scope of Rule 26(b) to “produce and permit the requesting party or its representative to inspect, copy, test, or sample” any documents, electronically stored information, or tangible things “in the responding party's possession, custody or control.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(a)(1).

         Pursuant to Rule 37(a), a party propounding discovery may seek an order compelling disclosure when an opposing party has failed to respond or has provided evasive or incomplete responses. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(3)(B). The failure to timely object to a discovery request may be deemed a waiver of the objection. Richmark Corp. v. Timber Falling Consultants, 959 F.2d 1468, 1473 (9th Cir. 1992).

         Generally, if the responding party objects to a discovery request, the party moving to compel bears the burden of demonstrating why the objections are not justified. E.g., Grabek v. Dickinson, No. CIV S-10-2892 GGH P., 2012 WL 113799, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Jan. 13, 2012); Ellis v. Cambra, No. 1:02-cv-05646-AWI-SMS (PC), 2008 WL 860523, at *4 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 27, 2008). This requires the moving party to inform the Court which discovery requests are the subject of the motion to compel, and, for each disputed response, why the information sought is relevant and why the responding party's objections are not meritorious. Grabek, 2012 WL 113799, at *1; Womack v. Virga, No. CIV S-11-1030 MCE EFB P., 2011 WL 6703958, at *3 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 21, 2011).

         III. ...


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