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Hoffman v. Jones

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 3, 2018

KASEY F. HOFFMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
KEVIN JONES, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          EDMUND F. BRENNAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, has filed a motion to compel - the third such motion he has filed in this action. ECF No. 39; see also ECF Nos. 19 & 20. For the reasons stated hereafter, the motion is denied.

         I. Background

         On November 30, 2017, after reviewing plaintiff's motion to compel production of documents (ECF No. 19), motion to compel (ECF No. 20), and defendant's oppositions to both motions (ECF Nos. 23 & 24), the court granted plaintiff's motions in part. ECF No. 34. Specifically, the court ordered defendant to:

1. Provide plaintiff with any written policies or procedures in effect at the Lassen County Jail in May 2015 which governed prisoners' access to and use of United States mail at that time.
2. Provide plaintiff with copies of any state or federal law referenced or relied upon in drafting procedures and policies governing prisoner mail at Lassen County Jail in May of 2015. If the laws in question are lengthy and cumbersome to produce in paper, defendant may instead provide plaintiff with citations so that he may refer to the documents using law library resources.
3. Provide plaintiff with the name and title of the official with overall command of the Lassen County Jail in May of 2015.
4. Answer interrogatory number seventeen by opining whether the circumstances at the jail in May of 2015 demanded the level of restriction set forth by the policy forbidding mail between inmates.

Id. at 23.

         On January 22, 2018, plaintiff filed the current motion to compel. ECF No. 39. Therein, he argues that, on January 12, 2018, he received part of the discovery the court directed defendant to provide. ECF No. 39 at 3. Specifically, defendant provided the following response:

Objection. Respondent defendant Kevin Jones (“Respondent” or “Jones”) objects to this request for production because it is compound, vague and ambiguous as to “this policy, ” is overbroad, and is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Subject to and without waiving these objections, Jones responds as follows: The Court narrowed the scope of this request. This request is now deemed to mean “any written policies or procedures in effect at the Lassen County Jail in May 2015 which governed prisoners' access to and use of United States mail.” ECF No. 34, 23:7-9. Following a diligent search, Jones has located and produced Policy Number 3-25 from the Lassen County Sheriff's Department ADF/CCF Manual of Policies and procedures. Also see Jones' supplemental response to request number five.[1]

Id. at 24. Policy Number 3-25 is attached to plaintiff's motion, thus it appears that it was actually produced by defendant. Id. at 25-33. Now plaintiff argues that defendant should also be compelled to produce the “Lassen County Sheriff Department ADF/CCF Manual of Policies and Procedures.” Id. at 4.

         Additionally, plaintiff appears to be dissatisfied with defendant's response as to interrogatory seventeen - whether the circumstances at Lassen County Jail in May 2015 demanded the level of restriction set forth by the policy forbidding mail between inmates. Id. at 6-7. Defendant's supplemental response to this interrogatory was:

Objection. Respondent objects to this interrogatory because it is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, lacks foundation, is vague and ambiguous at (sic) to “your enacted policy, ” and calls for an improper lay opinion. Subject to and without waiving these objections, Jones responds as follows: The Court interpreted and narrowed the permissible scope of this interrogatory. See ECF No. 34, 23:19-21. The circumstances at the Lassen County Jail in May 2015 did demand the level of restriction on inmate-to-inmate correspondence established by County policy. Legitimate penological interests include: preventing the movement of contraband or dangerous items to or from inmates; preventing ...

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