United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO COMPEL
FURTHER RESPONSES TO INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE [ECF NO.
Mario King is a state prisoner and appearing pro se and in
forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983.
before the Court is Defendant's motion to compel, filed
May 3, 2017.
action is proceeding against Defendant W. S. Wadkins for
alleged due process violations relating to a rules violation
for fighting with another inmate.
Wadkins filed an answer to the complaint on August 18, 2016,
and on August 23, 2016, the Court issued the discovery and
March 20, 2017, the Court granted Plaintiff's request to
extend the time to respond to Defendant's interrogatory
requests to and including, April 17, 2017.
April 17, 2017, the Court granted Defendant's request to
extend the discovery deadline to May 8, 2017.
April 20, 2017, the Court granted Plaintiff's request for
an extension of time to submit production of documents to
Defendant. The deadline was extended to May 24, 2017, and the
discovery cut-off date was extended to and including June 14,
previously stated, on May 3, 2017, Defendant filed a motion
to compel further responses to Defendant's first set of
interrogatories. Plaintiff filed an opposition on May 26,
2017, and Defendant filed a reply on June 2, 2017.
is proceeding pro se and he is a state prisoner challenging
his conditions of confinement. As a result, the parties were
relieved of some of the requirements which would otherwise
apply, including initial disclosure and the need to meet and
confer in good faith prior to involving the Court in a
discovery dispute. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(1); Local Rules 240, 251; ECF No. 18,
Discovery and Scheduling Order, &4. Further, where
otherwise discoverable information would pose a threat to the
safety and security of the prison or infringe upon a
protected privacy interest, a need may arise for the Court to
balance interests in determining whether disclosure should
occur. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c); Seattle Times Co.
v. Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20, 35 n.21 (1984) (privacy
rights or interests implicit in broad purpose and language of
Rule 26(c)); Burlington N. & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v.
United States Dist. Court for the Dist. of Montana, 408
F.3d 1142, 1149 (9th Cir. 2005) (discussing assertion of
privilege); Soto v. City of Concord, 162 F.R.D. 603,
616 (N.D. Cal. 1995) (recognizing a constitutionally-based
right of privacy that can be raised in discovery); see
also Garcia v. Clark, No. 1:10-CV-00447-LJO-DLB PC, 2012
WL 1232315, at *6 n.5 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 12, 2012) (noting
inmate's entitlement to inspect discoverable information
may be accommodated in ways which mitigate institutional
safety concerns); Robinson v. Adams, No.
1:08-cv-01380-AWI-BAM PC, 2012 WL 912746, at *2-3 (E.D. Cal.
Mar. 16, 2012) (issuing protective order regarding documents
containing information which implicated the safety and
security of the prison); Orr v. Hernandez, No.
CV-08-0472-JLQ, 2012 WL 761355, at *1-2 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 7,
2012) (addressing requests for protective order and for
redaction of information asserted to risk jeopardizing safety
and security of inmates or the institution if released);
Womack v. Virga, No. CIV S-11-1030 MCE EFB P, 2011
WL 6703958, at *5-6 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 21, 2011) (requiring
defendants to submit withheld documents for in camera review
or move for a protective order).
this is a civil action to which the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure apply. The discovery process is subject to the
overriding limitation of good faith, and callous disregard of
discovery responsibilities cannot be condoned. Asea, Inc.
v. Southern Pac. Transp. Co., 669 F.2d 1242, 1246 (9th
Cir. 1981) (quotation marks and citation omitted).
“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).
if the responding party objects to a discovery request, the
party moving to compel bears the burden of demonstrating why
the objections are not justified. Grabek v.
Dickinson, No. CIV S-10-2892 GGH P, 2012 WL 113799, at
*1 (E.D. Cal. Jan. 13, 2012); Womack, 2011 WL
6703958, at *3; Mitchell v. Felker, No. CV
08-119RAJ, 2010 WL 3835765, at *2 (E.D. Cal. Sep. 29, 2010);
Ellis v. Cambra, No. 1:02-cv-05646-AWI-SMS PC, 2008
WL 860523, at *4 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 27, 2008). This requires the
moving party to inform the Court which discovery requests are
the subject of the motion to compel, and, for each disputed
response, why the information sought is relevant and why the
responding party's objections are not meritorious.
Grabek, 2012 WL 113799, at *1; Womack, 2011
WL 6703958, at *3; Mitchell, 2010 WL 3835765, at *2;
Ellis, 2008 WL 860523, at *4. However, the Court is
vested with broad discretion to manage discovery and
notwithstanding these procedures, Plaintiff is entitled to
leniency as a pro se litigation; therefore, to the extent
possible, the Court endeavors to resolve his motion to compel
on its merits. Hunt v. County of Orange, 672 F.3d
606, 616 (9th Cir. 2012); Surfvivor Media, Inc. v.
Survivor Productions, 406 F.3d 625, 635 (9th Cir. 2005);
Hallett v. Morgan, 296 F.3d 732, 751 (9th Cir.
moves to compel Plaintiff to provide further responses to
Interrogatories Numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12,
13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22.
opposition, Plaintiff appears to argue that he did not have
sufficient time to respond to Defendant's
interrogatories. However, Plaintiff was granted an extension
of time to respond to Defendant's requests (ECF No. 34),
and Plaintiff did not seek any additional time to respond to
Defendant's interrogatories. Thus, there is no basis to
support Plaintiff's argument of the need to conduct
additional research relevant to Defendant's interrogatory
interrogatory must, to the extent it is not objected to, be
answered separately and fully in writing under oath.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(b)(3). “The grounds for objecting to an
interrogatory must be stated with specificity. Any ground not
stated in a timely objection is waived unless the court, for
good cause, excuses the failure.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
33(b)(4). Finally, responses to interrogatories must be
verified. Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(b)(5) (“The person who makes
the answers must sign them, and the attorney, who objects
must sign any objections.”)
submits that his first set of interrogatories ask Plaintiff
to identify facts, persons, and documents that support
Plaintiff's contentions that Defendant violated his due
Nos. 1, 2 and 3
No. 1: State all facts that support your claim that
DEFENDANT Wadkins was provided with evidence indicating YOUR
innocence as YOU allege on page four of YOUR COMPLAINT.
Response: Supporting facts that Defendant W. S. Wadkins
was presented with evidence. See Exhibits 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,
9, 12, 13, 14, 15.” See also Exhibit 11 that Defendant
W. S. Watkins deliberately withheld document until the
conclusion of the hearing which clearly contradicts both
correctional officer B. Martinez report and the Defendant W.
S. Wadkins assertion that Plaintiff inflicted serious injury
or serious impairment of physical condition, nor injury
pursuant to Dr. G. Ugwueze Chief Medical Executive report.
No. 2: IDENTIFY each and every PERSON by name and
address who YOU contend has knowledge of any fact supporting
YOUR contention that DEFENDANT Wadkins was provided with
evidence indicating ...