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Manago v. Davey

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 6, 2017

STEWART MANAGO, Plaintiff,
v.
D. DAVEY, et al., Defendants.

         ORDER GRANTING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S FIRST MOTION TO COMPEL (ECF No. 61.) ORDER FOR DEFENDANTS TO PRODUCE REDACTED DOCUMENT IN RESPONSE TO PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION SET THREE, NO. 1 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S SECOND MOTION TO COMPEL (ECF No. 67.) ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S THIRD MOTION TO COMPEL (ECF No. 68.) ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S FOURTH MOTION TO COMPEL (ECF No. 73.)

          Gary S. Austin, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. BACKGROUND

         Stewart Manago (“Plaintiff”) is a former state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with this civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed the Complaint commencing this action on March 24, 2016. (ECF No. 1.) This case now proceeds with the First Amended Complaint filed on April 18, 2016, against defendants J. Acevedo, D.

         Davey, A. Maxfield, E. Razo, M.V. Sexton, A. Valdez, and J. Vanderpoel (collectively, “Defendants”), on Plaintiff's First Amendment retaliation claims. (ECF No. 13.)

         On November 18, 2016, December 1, 2016, December 5, 2016, and January 5, 2017, Plaintiff filed four motions to compel discovery. (ECF Nos. 61, 67, 68, 73.) On December 8, 2016, December 20, 2016, and January 25, 2017, Defendants filed oppositions to the motions. (ECF Nos. 69, 71, 72, 74.) Plaintiff has not replied to the oppositions. Plaintiff's motions to compel are now before the court.

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         Under Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged 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. Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1).

         With respect to requests for production, a party may propound requests for production of documents that are within the scope of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b). Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(a). With respect to interrogatories, a party may propound interrogatories related to any matter that may be inquired into under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b). Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(a)(2). With respect to requests for admissions, a party may propound requests for admissions of the “truth of any matters within the scope of Rule 26(b)(1) relating to facts, the application of law to fact, or the opinions about either; and the genuineness of any described documents.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(a)(1).

         Under Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “a party may move for an order compelling disclosure or discovery.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(1). The court may order a party to provide further responses to an “evasive or incomplete disclosure, answer, or response.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(4). “District courts have ‘broad discretion to manage discovery and to control the course of litigation under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16.'” Hunt v. County of Orange, 672 F.3d 606, 616 (9th Cir. 2012) (quoting Avila v. Willits Envtl. Remediation Trust, 633 F.3d 828, 833 (9th Cir. 2011)). Generally, 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. E.g., Grabek v. Dickinson, No. CIV S-10-2892 GGH P, 2012 WL 113799, at *1 (E.D.Cal. Jan. 13, 2012); 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. Id.

         III. PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS AND CLAIMS

         This case now proceeds against defendants Acevedo, Davey, Maxfield, Razo, Sexton, Valdez, and Vanderpoel on Plaintiff's claims that they retaliated against him at Corcoran State Prison (CSP) by retaining him in the SHU because of his grievances and civil litigation. In the First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants retained him in the SHU beginning on December 6, 2013, based in part on a false report that claimed that he was a validated member of the Black Guerilla Family (BGF) gang. (ECF No. 13.) Plaintiff also alleges that he was retaliated against and detained in the SHU because he filed a civil action, Manago v. Williams, and because of his willingness to report staff criminal activity, file grievances, and assist the Office of Internal Affairs with criminal investigations.

         To state a First Amendment retaliation claim, a plaintiff must satisfy five elements: (1) An assertion that a state actor took some adverse action against an inmate (2) because of (3) that prisoner's protected conduct, and that such action (4) chilled the inmate's exercise of his First Amendment rights, and (5) the action did not reasonably advance a legitimate correctional goal.” Rhodes v. Robinson, 408 F.3d 559, 567-68 (9th Cir. 2005). “Prisoners have a First Amendment right to file grievances against prison officials and to be free from retaliation for doing so.” Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108, 1114 (9th Cir. 2012) (citing Brodheim v. Cry, 584 F.3d 1262, 1269 (9th Cir. 2009)). Also protected by the First Amendment is the right to pursue civil rights litigation in federal court without retaliation. Silva v. Di Vittorio, 658 F.3d 1090, 1104 (9th Cir. 2011).

         IV. FIRST MOTION TO COMPEL (ECF No. 61.)

         On November 18, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion to compel Defendants to produce documents pursuant to Plaintiff's request for production (RFP) set three. (ECF No. 61.) Plaintiff served the RFP set three on Defendants on September 27, 2016, and Defendants served ...


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