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Curtis v. Gonzales

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 2, 2017

J. GONZALES and J. BUGARIN, Defendants.


         This Court conducted a scheduling conference on May 2, 2017. Plaintiff Reamel Curtis telephonically appeared on his own behalf. Counsel Lucas L. Hennes telephonically appeared on behalf of Defendants. Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b), this Court now sets a schedule for this action.


         The parties are now granted leave to serve discovery in addition to that provided as part of initial disclosures. Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 1, 16, and 26-36, discovery shall proceed as follows:

1. Discovery requests shall be served by the parties pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5 and Local Rule 135. Discovery requests and responses shall not be filed with the Court unless required by Local Rules 250.2, 250.3, or 250.4 (providing that discovery requests shall not be filed unless or until there is a proceeding in which the document or proof of service is at issue). A party may serve on any other party no more than 15 interrogatories, 15 requests for production of documents, and 10 requests for admission. On motion, these limits may be increased for good cause.
2. Plaintiff has already served discovery on Defendants, including interrogatories. Plaintiff served more than 15 interrogatories on each defendant. As discussed at the scheduling conference, Plaintiff has seven days from May 2, 2017, to notify Defendants which of the fifteen interrogatories each defendant is to answer. If Plaintiff does not specify which interrogatories he wants each defendant to answer, each defendant only needs to answer the first fifteen interrogatories that were served on that defendant.
3. Responses to written discovery requests shall be due forty-five (45) days after the request is first served. Boilerplate objections are disfavored and may be summarily overruled by the Court. Responses to document requests shall include all documents within a party's possession, custody or control. Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(a)(1). Documents are deemed within a party's possession, custody, or control if the party has actual possession, custody, or control thereof, or the legal right to obtain the property on demand.[1]
4. If any party or third party withholds a document on the basis of privilege, they shall provide a privilege log to the requesting party identifying the date, author, recipients, general subject matter, and basis of the privilege within thirty (30) days after the date that responses are due. Failure to provide a privilege log within this time shall result in a waiver of the privilege. To the extent the requesting party disputes whether a document is privileged, it can raise that issue to the Court's attention in its statement of a discovery dispute to be discussed at the discovery conference (see below). If a party or third party withholds a document on the basis of the official information privilege, the requesting party may request that the Court conduct an in camera review of such document so that the Court can balance the moving party's need for the documents in the litigation against the reasons that are asserted in defending their confidentiality. In any such request for in camera review, the party requesting review shall identify, with specificity, the document(s) for which review is sought.
5. The parties are required to act in good faith during the course of discovery and the failure to do so may result in the payment of expenses pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(a)(5) or other appropriate sanctions authorized by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or the Local Rules.
6. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(a)(2)(B), Defendant(s) may depose Plaintiff and any other witness confined in a prison on the condition that, at least fourteen (14) days before such a deposition, Defendant(s) serve all parties with the notice required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(1). Plaintiff's failure to participate in a properly noticed deposition could result in sanctions against Plaintiff, including monetary sanctions and/or dismissal of this case. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(4), the parties may take any deposition under this section by video conference without a further motion or order of the Court. Due to security concerns and institutional considerations not applicable to Defendant(s), Plaintiff must seek leave from the Court to depose incarcerated witnesses pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(a)(2). Nothing herein forecloses a party from bringing a motion for protective order pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c)(1) if necessary.
7. With the Court's permission, Plaintiff may serve third party subpoenas, including on the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and/or the Office of the Inspector General if Plaintiff seeks documents from them and the entities are not presently defendants in this case. To issue a subpoena on these entities, or any other third parties, Plaintiff must file a request for the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum with the Court. If the Court approves the request, it may issue Plaintiff a subpoena duces tecum, commanding the production of documents from a non-party, and may command service of the subpoena by the United States Marshal Service. Fed.R.Civ.P. 45; 28 U.S.C. 1915(d). However, the Court will consider granting such a request only if the documents sought from the non-party are not equally available to Plaintiff and are not obtainable from Defendant(s) through a request for production of documents. Fed.R.Civ.P. 34. In any request for a subpoena, Plaintiff must: (1) identify with specificity the documents sought and from whom, and (2) make a showing in the request that the records are only obtainable through that third party. The documents requested must also fall within the scope of discovery allowed in this action. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1).
8. A discovery conference has been set for September 11, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. Parties have leave to appear by phone. To join the conference, each party is directed to call the toll-free number (888) 251-2909 and use Access Code 1024453. Up until three weeks before the discovery conference, the parties may file a motion to compel further discovery responses. One week before the discovery conference, the responding party may file a response to the motion to compel. The motion should include a copy of the request(s) and any response to the request(s) at issue. Unless there is a need for discovery prior to the discovery conference, motions to compel will not be considered until the discovery conference. Motions to compel will not be permitted after the discovery conference absent good cause. The parties should be prepared to address all discovery disputes at the discovery conference.

         II. PAGE LIMITS

         The parties are advised that unless prior leave of the Court is obtained before the filing deadline, [2] all moving and opposition briefs or legal memoranda filed in civil cases before Magistrate Judge Grosjean shall not exceed twenty-five (25) pages. Reply briefs by the moving party shall not exceed ten (10) pages. These page limits do not include exhibits.


         The deadline for the completion of all non-expert discovery is November 17, 2017. All non-expert discovery must be provided by this date, including discovery compelled following the discovery conference.

         IV. ...

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