United States District Court, E.D. California
MICHAEL A. SAAVEDRA, Plaintiff,
SCOTT KERNAN, ET AL., Defendants.
DISCOVERY ORDER FOLLOWING RULE 16 SCHEDULING
CONFERENCE ORDER GRANTING LIMITED STAY OF DISCOVERY TO
FACILITATE EARLY SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS
Anthony Saavedra ("Plaintiff) was a state prisoner
proceeding pro se in this civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is no longer
filed the Complaint commencing this action on July 25, 2013.
(ECF No. 1.) On August 24, 2015, Plaintiff filed the First
Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 15.) This case is proceeding on
Plaintiffs claims found cognizable by the Court after
screening the First Amended Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A on June 27, 2016. (ECF Nos. 18-21.)
cognizable claims in the First Amended Complaint are based
primarily on allegations that Plaintiff was wrongfully
retained in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) in solitary
confinement for over a decade on the basis of coerced,
erroneous, false, unreliable and unreasonable allegations of
gang activity without Due Process of the law. He claims that
he was not given sufficient notice of information used to
validate his gang membership, could not adequately prepare
and present his views, did not have a meaningful opportunity
to present any views to the critical decision maker, and was
not given any meaningful periodic review.
Court conducted a mandatory scheduling conference on
September 26, 2016. Plaintiff Michael A. Saavedra appeared on
his own behalf. Counsel Laraya M. Parnell telephonically
appeared on behalf of the Defendants. Various issues
concerning discovery were addressed in the hearing. This
order addresses two of the issues: 1) the production/briefing
schedule concerning claims of privilege/confidentiality
regarding documents related to Plaintiffs gang revalidation;
and 2) the stay of discovery to facilitate early settlement
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure "should be construed,
administered, and employed by the court and the parties to
secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of
every action and proceeding." Fed.R.Civ.P. 1.
"Parties may obtain discovery regarding any
nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's
claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case,
considering the importance of the issues at stake in the
action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative
access to relevant information, the parties' resources,
the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and
whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery
outweighs its likely benefit." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1).
Furthermore, discoverable information "need not be
admissible in evidence." Id.
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16, "[a]t any
pretrial conference, the court may consider and take
appropriate action on the following matters: . . .
controlling and scheduling discovery, including orders
affecting disclosures and discovery under Rule 26 and Rules
29 through 37" and "facilitating in other ways the
just, speedy, and inexpensive disposition of the
action." Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(c)(2)(F). See also Little
v. City of Seattle, 863 F.2d 681, 685 (9th Cir. 1988)
("The district court has wide discretion in controlling
discovery.") Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16 vests
the district court with early control over cases "toward
a process of judicial management that embraces the entire
pretrial phase, especially motions and discovery."
In re Arizona, 528 F.3d 652, 655 (9th Cir.
2008) (affirming district court's requiring that prison
officials prepare a Martinez report to give detailed
factual information involving a prisoner's suit under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 and stating "district courts have
wide latitude in controlling discovery").
Production/Briefing Schedule re: Gang Revalidation
on the allegations of this case, which largely concern the
sufficiency of the evidence used to validate Plaintiff as a
gang member, as well as information provided in the initial
disclosures process, it is clear that discoverability of
evidence used to validate Plaintiffs gang membership will be
an important discovery issue in this case. At the initial
scheduling conference, Plaintiff took the position that he
would seek such evidence, and indeed had a due process right
to review such evidence. Defendants took the position that
such evidence was confidential and would not be disclosed to
the Plaintiff in discovery.
pursuant to its Rule 16 authority, the Court set forth a
briefing schedule for resolving claims of privilege and/or
confidentiality regarding the gang revalidation documents
during the discovery period:
• To the extent Defendants claim that any documents or
evidence used to validate or revalidate Plaintiffs gang
membership should be withheld from Plaintiff during
discovery, due to confidentiality or privilege, they should
file a motion on or before May 22, 2017, setting forth their
argument. Defendants shall provide the Court with a privilege
log providing sufficient identification of the documents
Defendants claim to be confidential/privileged.
• On or before June 19, 2017, Plaintiff may file a
response to the motion.
• On or before July 3, 2017, Defendants may file a
The Court will take the issue under submission at this time.
The Court may require in camera review of ...