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Amatrone v. Champion

United States District Court, N.D. California

March 20, 2017

ROBERT AMATRONE, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
RANDY CHAMPION, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO COMPEL RE: ECF NOS. 154, 158

          JON S. TIGAR States District Judge.

         Before the Court are two motions to compel by Defendants Randy Champion and Devon Bell's (“Defendants”). For the reasons below, the Court will grant the motions.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case was first filed on March 19, 2015. ECF No. 1. Since then, there have been three rounds of motions to dismiss and the only claims that remain are against Randy Champion and Devon Bell, individually, for violations of the Fourth Amendment. ECF No. 141 at 7. On December 27, 2016, Plaintiff Robert Amatrone filed a motion to continue all pending depositions to March 2017 and to have them taken in Boca Raton, Florida. ECF No. 151. In response, Defendants filed a letter with the Court explaining Plaintiffs' failure to comply with their discovery obligations, including but not limited to scheduling their depositions. ECF No. 152. On January 10, 2017, the Court denied Plaintiff Robert Amatrone's motion because (1) he failed to satisfy the Court's meet and confer requirements, see Standing Order for All Civil Cases Before District Judge Jon S. Tigar at 2, and (2) the medical information he provided was outdated and did not state the opinion of a physician that he (or his son) were currently unable to participate in litigation activities or travel to California. ECF No. 153. Although the Court took no action as to Defendants' letter, the Court relieved Defendants of their obligation to file a joint letter brief before filing a motion to compel discovery. Id.

         On January 31, 2017, Defendants moved to compel Plaintiffs': 1) initial disclosures, 2) interrogatory verifications, 3) supplemental responses to Defendants' Document Demands, Nos. 2 and 3, and 4) Plaintiff Marla Sharlow's deposition. ECF No. 154 at 1. Defendants did not move to compel Robert or Nick Amatrone's depositions, stating that they agreed to come to California for depositions on February 16, 2017. Id. at 4 n.1. Plaintiffs spend the majority of their (untimely) opposition summarizing the facts of their case. ECF No. 156. They offer no substantive response to any of the requests in Defendants' motion, other than to say that the documents Defendants request are the same documents that were removed in the illegal search and seizure of Plaintiffs' home. Id. at 4 (“Defendants are now requesting all documents from plaintiffs, ironically the boxes of documents removed from plaintiff's home and now being demanded for production by defendants, although plaintiffs have no access or copies of these documents.”).

         Plaintiffs also attach to their opposition two declarations. Despite Defendants' representation that they agreed to a February 16, 2017 deposition, both Robert and Nick Amatrone state that they will not attend their depositions on March 10, 2017. ECF No. 156 at 6-7. Finally, Plaintiffs' opposition includes a request by Nick Amatrone that this Court appoint him counsel. ECF No. 156 at 1.

         On February 24, 2017, Defendants filed a second motion to compel. ECF No. 158. Apparently, after agreeing to the February 23, 2017 deposition dates, Nick and Robert Amatrone notified Defendants that the date was no longer convenient. ECF No. 158 at 4. The parties rescheduled the depositions for March 10, 2017. Id. But then, as mentioned above, in Plaintiffs' opposition to Defendants' first motion to compel, Nick and Robert Amatrone stated that they object to appearing for depositions on March 10, 2017. ECF No. 156 at 6-7. That prompted Defendants to file their second motion to compel.[1] Plaintiffs did not respond to that motion by the March 3, 2017 deadline imposed by the Court. ECF No. 160.

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. Initial Disclosures

         The Court grants the motion to compel Plaintiffs' mandatory disclosures. Plaintiffs have provided no reason why they failed to comply with this Rule 26 requirement.

         B. Interrogatory Verifications

         The Court grants the motion to compel signed verifications of Plaintiffs' interrogatory responses. Plaintiffs have provided no reason why they failed to comply with this Rule 33 requirement.

         C. Supplemental Responses to Defendants' Document Demands, Nos. 2 and 3

         Plaintiffs responded to Document Demands 2 and 3 with the following statements, respectively: “Vague and ambiguous, broad and overzealous and seeks privileged information” and “Seeks privileged information regarding an ongoing lawsuit, broad and overzealous.” ECF No. 154 at 7. These boilerplate responses are insufficient responses to Defendants' two discovery requests. Burlington N. & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. U.S. Dist. Court for Dist. of Mont., 408 F.3d 1142, 1147 (9th Cir. 2005) (“[A] proper assertion of privilege must be more specific than a generalized, boilerplate objection.”). To the extent that Plaintiffs now offer a different reason for their failure to respond - that the documents requested were seized by Defendants - Plaintiffs waived that objection by failing to make it in their responses. Richmark Corp. v. Timber Falling Consultants, 959 F.2d 1468, 1473 (9th Cir. 1992) (citing Davis v. Fendler, 650 F.2d 1154, 1160 (9th Cir. 1981)) (“It is well established that a failure ...


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