United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER DENYING JOINT MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF
DISCOVERY DISPUTE NO. 3 [ECF NO.
Nita L. Stormes United States Magistrate Judge
case arises from the actions of employees of Defendant County
of San Diego (“County”), the San Diego Health and
Human Services Agency, and the County's Polinsky
Children's Center (“Polinsky”) during and
following the removal of minor Plaintiffs Cassandra Garcia,
C.N.G., and C.J.G. from their home and parents. In the
parties' joint motion for determination of Discovery
Dispute No. 3, Plaintiffs request an additional two hours to
depose Defendant Jesus Salcido. ECF No. 72-1 at 2. For the
reasons explained below, Plaintiffs' Motion for
Determination of Discovery Dispute No. 3 [ECF No. 72] is
DENIED without prejudice.
Salcido is a County social worker who was assigned to the
Garcia family from February 7, 2013, until early May 2013.
ECF No. 72-1 at 2. Plaintiffs already have deposed him for 4
hours and 51 minutes. Id. at 3. On September 8,
2017, they are scheduled to depose him for the remaining 2
hours and 9 minutes afforded them by Rule 30(d)(1) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Id. Plaintiffs now
seek leave to depose him for an additional 2 hours on
September 8, 2017. Id. at 4.
limits the time for deposition to 1 day of 7 hours, unless
otherwise stipulated or altered by court order. Fed.R.Civ.P.
30(d)(1). “The court must allow additional time
consistent with Rule 26(b)(1) and (2) if needed to fairly
examine the deponent or if the deponent, another person, or
any other circumstance impedes or delays the
examination.” Id. If a party seeks a court
order to extend the deposition time, the party “is
expected to show good cause to justify such an order.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 30 advisory committee's note (2000
Amendment); Medlock v. Taco Bell Corp., No.
1:07-CV-01314-SAB, 2014 WL 2154437, at *4 (E.D. Cal. May 22,
2014) (“[t]he party seeking an extension of time beyond
seven hours bears the burden of demonstrating good cause to
justify such an extension”).
26(b)(2) instructs courts to limit discovery where the party
seeking the discovery “has had ample opportunity to
obtain the information by discovery in the action” or
where the proposed discovery is “unreasonably
cumulative or duplicative, ” “obtain[able] from
some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome,
or less expensive, ” or where it “is outside the
scope permitted by Rule 26(b)(1).” Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(b)(2); see also Eclipse Grp. LLP v. Target Corp.,
No. 15cv1411-JLS (BLM), 2017 WL 2231316, at *2 (S.D. Cal. May
19, 2017) (noting that “[d]istrict courts also have
broad discretion to limit discovery to prevent its
abuse”). The scope of discovery is limited by Rule
26(b)(1) to matters that are “relevant to any
party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of
the case.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). District courts have
broad discretion to determine relevancy for discovery
purposes. See Hallett v. Morgan, 296 F.3d 732, 751
(9th Cir. 2002).
argue that additional time is warranted because, between Mr.
Sacido's last deposition on May 11, 2017, and late
August, Defendants produced “thousands of pages of
documents relating to the County's policies, practices,
and training” as well as “over 400 pages of
records related to psychological treatment Cassandra Garcia
received while she was housed at Polinsky.” ECF No.
72-1 at 3. They contend that, as the social worker assigned
to the Garcia family, Mr. Salcido was responsible for the
children's care and safety and bound to follow the
County's policies and protocols. Id. at 5. As
such, his knowledge about the events that occurred, his
training on and knowledge of the County's policies and
practices, and his actual responses are critical to
Plaintiff's claims.” Id.
respond that Plaintiffs have not shown good cause because the
new documents reflect County policies and therapy notes and
Mr. Salcido is neither the designated Person Most
Knowledgeable (“PMK”) concerning policies or
practices, nor is he a therapist. Id. at 7. They
highlight that Plaintiffs have not asked Mr. Salcido to
review any of these numerous documents in advance of his
deposition, which would save time. Id. Finally,
Defendants argue that the dispute is not ripe because
Plaintiffs have yet to take the full seven hours with Mr.
Salcido to determine how much additional time, if any, they
actually require. Id. at 8.
Court is not persuaded that Plaintiffs have shown good cause
to extend the deposition time for Mr. Salcido by another two
hours. Mr. Salcido is a fact witness, who has not been
designated as having any basis for knowledge about Cassandra
Garcia's psychological treatment. As Plaintiffs
highlighted in their last motion, Mr. Salcido already has
testified that he did not document many of his contacts with
the Garcia family. ECF No. 66-1 at 6. If they have not done
so already, it will not take Plaintiffs long to ask Mr.
Salcido if he was aware of, or trained on, the policies
related to his conduct. Moreover, the events occurred over a
short period of time - three months - and Plaintiffs have not
explained why more than seven hours is required to cover Mr.
Salcido's recollections from that time. Thus, the Court
does not, at this time, have sufficient reason to believe
Plaintiffs cannot fairly examine Mr. Sancido in the time
remaining. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(d)(1); Somerset
Studios, LLC v. Sch. Specialty, Inc., No. C 10-5527 MEJ,
2011 WL 4344596, at *5 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 14, 2011) quoting
Malec v. Trustees of Boston College, 208 F.R.D. 23, 24
(D. Mass. 2002) (noting that “the better practice is
for the deposition to go forward to determine how much is
able to be covered in the seven hours and, then, if
additional time is needed, for counsel to stipulate to extend
the deposition for a specific additional time period”
or, if necessary, seek court intervention).
beyond inquiring into his direct knowledge, Plaintiffs have
not made clear what relevant information they could obtain
from Mr. Salcido related to the County's documents. Rule
26 is intended to provide parties with “efficient
access to what is needed to prove a claim or defense, but
eliminate unnecessary or wasteful discovery.”
Roberts v. Clark County Sch. Dist., 312 F.R.D. 594,
603 (D. Nev. 2016). The Court is directed to limit discovery
where it is duplicative or obtainable from more convenient,
less burdensome source. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2). Here, the
County already has designated PMKs in response to most of
Plaintiffs' requests for information about the
County's policies, practices, and procedures related to
the duties, training, and obligations of its social workers.
ECF No. 66-6. Additionally, the Court already has granted
Plaintiffs leave to depose the County's PMK about the
documents the County produced relating to its disciplinary
policies, practices, and procedures. ECF No. 71. The Court
finds that the information Plaintiffs seek from Mr. Salcido
is unreasonably duplicative of information it has, or will,
obtain from PMK depositions.
joint motion [ECF No. 72], therefore, is DENIED ...