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Conan v. City of Fontana

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 5, 2017

Randy Conan, et al.
v.
City of Fontana, et al.

          The Honorable KENLY KIYA KATO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

          CIVIL MINUTES-GENERAL

         Proceedings: Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel [Dkt. 67]

         I. SUMMARY OF RULING

         On June 7, 2017, Plaintiffs Randy and Xylina Conan (“Plaintiffs”) filed a Motion to Compel (“Motion”) and a Joint Stipulation. ECF Docket No. (“dkt.”) 67. Plaintiffs seek to compel production of documents from Defendant City of Fontana in response to Requests for Production Nos. 1 through 4. Id. Specifically, Plaintiffs seek to compel (1) complaints or reports of the use of excessive force or dishonesty from the personnel files of Defendant Patty (“Request for Production No. 1”); (2) Internal Affairs investigations and reports related to allegations of excessive force and dishonesty involving Defendant Patty (“Request for Production No. 2”); (3) civil or departmental complaints or grievances alleging use of excessive force by Defendant Patty (“Request for Production No. 3”); and (4) Internal Affairs investigations and reports, and civil and departmental complaints or grievances arising from or involving claims of excessive force of any other City of Fontana police officer for ten years prior to the filing of the instant action and documentation of the disposition of such complaints or grievances (“Request for Production No. 4”). JS at 11, 35, 56, 76.

         As set forth below, the Court (1) GRANTS Plaintiffs' Motion in part; and (2) ORDERS Defendant City of Fontana to lodge all responsive documents for five years prior to the filing of the instant action for in camera review before production. Following in camera review, the Court will issue an order regarding production.

         II. RELEVANT FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On June 14, 2016, Plaintiffs filed a Complaint against the City of Fontana, the Fontana Police Department, Joshua Patty, and Does 1-20 (“Defendants”) for excessive force and denial of medical care pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 as well as state law claims for assault and battery, negligence, intentional/negligent infliction of emotional distress, and loss of consortium. Dkt. 1. The lawsuit arises out of an incident on August 30, 2015 at Kicks Sports Bar when City of Fontana police officers, including Officer Patty, responded to a report of an unruly bar patron. Id. The Complaint alleged the officers' use of excessive force and failure to provide medical attention resulted in injuries to Mr. Conan. Id.

         On October 28, 2016, Defendant City of Fontana responded to Plaintiff's Requests for Production and included the Declaration of Fontana Police Sergeant James De La Torre in support thereof. Declaration of Jesse K. Cox (“Cox Decl.”), ¶¶ 2-3, Ex. B.

         On December 5, 2016, counsel for both parties met and conferred telephonically regarding the deficiencies in Defendant City of Fontana's responses. Declaration of Marjorie Barrios (“Barrios Decl.”), ¶ 11.

         On December 8, 2016, the Court approved and entered the parties' stipulated Protective Order. Dkt. 34.

         On December 13, 2016, pursuant to counsels' December 5, 2016 telephonic conference, Defendants' counsel provided supplemental responses to Plaintiffs' Requests for Production as well as a privilege log. Cox Decl., ¶ 5, Ex. D.

         On January 25, 2017, Plaintiffs were granted leave to file a Third Amended Complaint (“TAC”) naming additional officers who arrived at the scene after Mr. Conan had been arrested. Dkt. 39. On January 30, 2017, Plaintiffs filed the TAC. Dkt. 40. On February 23, 2017, Defendants filed an Answer to the TAC. Dkt. 44.

         On April 18, 2017, the Court granted the parties' stipulation to continue the discovery cut-off from July 7, 2017 to August 7, 2017. Dkt. 55.

         On May 16, 2017, counsel for both parties again met and conferred telephonically regarding the deficiencies in Defendant City of Fontana's supplemental responses. Barrios Decl., ¶ 11. During their conference, Plaintiffs' counsel offered to reduce the time period covered by the requests from ten to three years. Id. ¶ 5. Defendants' counsel declined this offer and requested Plaintiffs agree to limit the requests to “similar use of force incidents.” Id. Plaintiffs' counsel ...


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