United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR ISSUANCE OF
SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM (ECF NO. 48)
Monson (“Plaintiff”) is a prisoner proceeding
pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil
rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This
case is proceeding on Plaintiff's claim against defendant
Melkonian for failure to protect in violation of the
Fourteenth Amendment, which is based on an incident that
occurred on November 21, 2016.
6, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion for the issuance of a
subpoena duces tecum. (ECF No. 48). Plaintiff
requests the following documents from the Fresno County
1) Video footage on 11-21-16 of the incident that occurred on
Main jail fourth floor.
2) All pictures taking of inmates on 11-21-16 incident
including Plaintiff, and Dean Walker thats mentioned in
3) Grievance #2016110207
4) All incident reports from 11-21-16 incident
5) Any and all grievance and complaints that been filed on
defendant Ronald Melkonian during his employment at Fresno
(Id. at 1) (spelling, grammatical, and punctuation
errors in original).
7, 2019, Defendant filed an objection to Plaintiff's
request. (ECF No. 49).
command in a subpoena to produce documents, electronically
stored information, or tangible things requires the
responding person to permit inspection, copying, testing, or
sampling of the materials.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(a)(1)(D).
“If the subpoena commands the production of documents,
electronically stored information, or tangible things or the
inspection of premises before trial, then before it is served
on the person to whom it is directed, a notice and a copy of
the subpoena must be served on each party.”
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.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1).
“Information within this scope of discovery need not be
admissible in evidence to be discoverable.”
Defendant's objections, Defendant is not the Fresno
County Sheriff's Office, so it is not clear how he has
standing to object. Certainly, Plaintiff may choose to serve
these requests on Defendant who may then assert objections on
behalf of Defendant, and Plaintiff may move to compel if
Defendant's answers are insufficient. But notably
Defendant does not state that a third-party subpoena is
unnecessary because Defendant will respond on the Fresno
County Sheriff's Office's behalf. Nor does Defendant
state that these documents are within his possession,
custody, or control. Thus, it appears a third-party subpoena
may be necessary.
Defendant appears to be raising objections on behalf of
non-party Fresno County Sheriff's Office, but does not
represent the Fresno County Sheriff's Office in this
action or state that it will respond on its behalf, the Court
will overrule Defendant's objections (without prejudice
to the Fresno County Sheriff's Office raising these
objections in response to the subpoena).
Plaintiff's requests, it appears that many of the
documents Plaintiff is seeking fall within the scope of
discovery. Therefore, the Court will grant Plaintiff's
motion and send him ...