United States District Court, E.D. California
ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis with
appointed pro bono counsel in this civil rights action filed
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action proceeds on
plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claims that defendant
physicians Dr. Jarom Daszko and Dr. David Mathis were
deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's serious medical
needs. Plaintiff alleges that on September 7, 2012, during
his incarceration at California Medical Facility (CMF),
another inmate threw a caustic substance on plaintiff,
causing second and third degree burns to plaintiff's
face, neck, hands and arms. Plaintiff alleges that defendants
failed to provide him with adequate pain medication, and
challenges an alleged CMF policy that allowed only a
prisoner's primary care physician to prescribe morphine;
plaintiff's primary care physician, Dr. Wieland, was on
vacation during the relevant period.
pending is plaintiff's motion to extend the discovery
deadline. See ECF No. 70. Although plaintiff set the
matter for hearing on May 10, 2017, the court ordered
expedited briefing, see ECF No. 71; the briefing is
now complete, see ECF Nos. 72-4. For the reasons
that follow, the court grants plaintiff's motion, extends
the discovery deadline to August 4, 2017, extends the
deadline for filing dispositive motions to November 3, 2017,
and vacates the hearing on this matter.
commenced this action in pro se by filing the operative
complaint on May 21, 2014. See ECF No. 1. By order
filed September 16, 2014, this court found, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A, that the complaint states cognizable
claims against defendants Daszko and Mathis, and directed the
United States Marshal to serve process on these defendants.
See ECF No. 8. The Marshal returned defendants'
waivers of service on November 26, 2014. See ECF No.
Mathis, represented by Deputy California Attorney General
(DAG) Joseph Wheeler, filed and served his answer to the
complaint on December 15, 2014, ECF No. 15; defendant Daszko,
represented by private counsel Kevin Dehoff, with the
Sacramento law firm Angelo, Kilday & Kilduff, filed and
served his answer on December 23, 2014, ECF No. 17. The court
issued the initial Discovery and Scheduling Order on December
31, 2014, which set a discovery deadline of April 30, 2015,
and a dispositive motion deadline of July 30, 2015.
See ECF No. 18.
Mathis and Daszko filed separate motions for summary judgment
on March 3 and March 17, 2015, respectively. See ECF
Nos. 19, 21. Both motions sought judgment on the ground that
plaintiff had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies
before commencing this action. The court granted
plaintiff's request for extended time to prepare his
opposition to the motions, ECF No. 23, and vacated other
deadlines pending the court's decision on the motions,
ECF No. 34. On February 8, 2016, the undersigned issued
findings and recommendations recommending the denial of
defendants' motions for summary judgment. See
ECF No. 37. By order filed March 14, 2016, the district judge
adopted the undersigned's findings and recommendations.
See ECF No. 39.
order filed March 16, 2016, the undersigned directed each
party to file and serve a statement informing the court
whether a settlement conference may be helpful in resolving
this case. See ECF No. 41. Although plaintiff
expressed support for scheduling a settlement conference, ECF
No. 49, neither defendant agreed, ECF Nos. 44, 45.
April 4, 2016, the court issued an Amended Discovery and
Scheduling Order, with a discovery deadline of August 5,
2016, and a dispositive motion deadline of October 14, 2016.
See ECF No. 47. Plaintiff requested a 120-day
extension due to the recent death of his mother; his
placement in the administrative segregation unit; his recent
transfer to another prison and anticipated transfer to yet
another prison, and related difficulties in accessing the
prison law libraries and his legal materials; and because
“both defendant[s] [are] sending all kinds of paper
work to me at the same time it's to[o] much for me to
deal with.” ECF No. 50 at 1. The court granted
plaintiff's request and issued a further scheduling
April 20, 2016, the court issued a Further Amended Discovery
and Scheduling Order, which set a discovery deadline of
December 16, 2016, and a dispositive motion deadline of March
17, 2017. See ECF No. 51. Defendant Mathis filed a
motion to compel discovery on August 3, 2016. ECF No. 59.
Defendant Daszko filed a motion to compel discovery on
October 19, 2016. ECF No. 65.
November 15, 2016, the court granted plaintiff's request
for appointment of counsel. See ECF No. 67; see
also ECF Nos. 43, 62, 64. Three attorneys with the Los
Angeles law firm Jenner & Block are working together to
provide plaintiff with pro bono representation.
November 29, 2016, the court issued yet another Further
Amended Discovery and Scheduling Order, setting a discovery
deadline of March 31, 2017, and a dispositive motion deadline
of June 30, 2017. See ECF No. 68. These remain the
operative dates. The court denied without prejudice
defendants' respective motions to compel discovery, which
were not renewed, apparently because resolved by
plaintiff's newly appointed counsel.
March 31, 2017, plaintiff's counsel filed the pending
motion to extend discovery. ECF No. 70.
seeks to extend the discovery deadline by at least 90 days in
order to obtain contact information for, and to depose,
nonparties Dr. Deepak Mehta and Dr. John Wieland, and to
propound additional written discovery on defendants Daszko
and Mathis. Plaintiff's counsel conferred with
defendants' counsel before filing the instant motion, but
was unable to obtain a stipulation to extend the discovery
counsel states that when appointed to represent plaintiff in
November 2016, no witnesses had been deposed, and defendants
had produced no documents in response to plaintiff's