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Ford v. California Health Care Facility

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 11, 2017

DARREN VINCENT FORD, Plaintiff,
v.
CALIFORNIA HEALTH CARE FACILITY, Defendants.

          ORDER

          DEBORAH BARNES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff alleges defendant Jahangiri violated plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights when Jahangiri failed to take any protective measures after plaintiff threatened to commit suicide. Before the court are plaintiff's motion to quash or, in the alternative, to settle the case, defendant's motion to compel, and defendant's request for sanctions. For the reasons set forth below, the court will deny plaintiff's motion, grant defendant's motion to compel, and deny defendant's request for sanctions.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed his complaint here on December 14, 2015. Upon screening, the court found plaintiff stated a potentially cognizable claim under the Eighth Amendment against defendant Jahangiri for failing to take protective measures after plaintiff threatened to commit suicide. (ECF No. 11.) Defendant Jahangiri is the only defendant remaining in this action.

         On November 10, 2016, defendant filed an answer. (ECF No. 26.) On November 21, 2016, the court issued a discovery and scheduling order setting a deadline of March 10, 2017 for discovery. (ECF No. 27.) On January 20, 2017, the court granted plaintiff's request for an extension of time to respond to defendant's discovery. (ECF No. 38.) Plaintiff moved for a second extension of time, which was also granted. (ECF No. 44.) Plaintiff's responses to the discovery were due on February 28, 2017. At defendant's request, the court also continued the discovery cut-off to April 14, 2017. (Id.)

         On February 9, 2017, plaintiff filed the present motion entitled “Motion Pursuant to Rule 45(d)(3)(B) or Plaintiff would like to come to an agreement to settle case.” (ECF No. 45.) On February 22, plaintiff filed a document entitled “Plaintiff's objection to defendant's ‘Production of Document & interrogatory Questions' and ‘Copies of the Discovery forms.'” (ECF No. 46.) On March 3, defendant filed a motion to compel plaintiff to respond to his Request for Production of Documents, Set One. Therein, defendant also requests sanctions. (ECF No. 47.) Neither party has responded to the other's motions.

         PLAINTIFF'S MOTION

         Plaintiff titles his motion as one pursuant to Rule 45(d)(3)(B) or for settlement. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45(d)(3)(B) provides for motions to quash or modify a subpoena. However, in the body of his motion, plaintiff only argues that he would be willing to settle this case if he is transferred to an institution where he can “receive treatment for being a sex offender and a pedophile.” (ECF No. 45.) Because defendant has not responded to plaintiff's request to settle this case, the court assumes defendant is not, at this time, prepared to engage in settlement discussions. A party may also request a settlement conference pursuant to Local Rule 270. To the extent plaintiff is making that request, the court does not find a settlement conference would be beneficial at this time.

         DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO COMPEL

         Defendant moves to compel plaintiff to respond to defendant's Request for Production of Documents, Set One. (ECF No. 47.) Defendant states that plaintiff's responses were due no later than February 28, 2017. Plaintiff's only response has been the objections filed February 22.

         I. Legal Standards

         Under Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “a party seeking discovery may move for an order compelling an answer, designation, production, or inspection.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(3)(B). The court may order a party to provide further responses to an “evasive or incomplete disclosure, answer, or response.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(4). “District courts have ‘broad discretion to manage discovery and to control the course of litigation under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16.'” Hunt v. County of Orange, 672 F.3d 606, 616 (9th Cir. 2012) (quoting Avila v. Willits Envtl. Remediation Trust, 633 F.3d 828, 833 (9th Cir. 2011)).

         The party moving to compel bears the burden of informing the court (1) which discovery requests are the subject of the motion to compel, (2) which of the responses are disputed, (3) why the party believes the response is deficient, (4) why any objections are not justified, and (5) why the information sought through discovery is relevant to the prosecution of this action. McCoy v. Ramirez, No. 1:13-cv-1808-MJS (PC), 2016 WL 3196738, at *1 (E.D. Cal. June 9, 2016); Ellis v. Cambra, No. 1:02-cv-5646-AWI-SMS PC, 2008 WL 860523, at *4 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 27, 2008). The reach of Rule 34 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which governs requests for production, “extends to all relevant documents, tangible things, and entry upon designated land or other property.” Clark v. Vega Wholesale Inc., 181 F.R.D. 470, 472-73 (D. Nev. 1998) (citing 8A C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 2206, at 381).

         The purpose of discovery is to “remove surprise from trial preparation so the parties can obtain evidence necessary to evaluate and resolve their dispute.” United States v. Chapman University, 245 F.R.D. 646, 648 (C.D. Cal. 2007) (quotation and citation omitted). Rule 26(b)(1) of the ...


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