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James v. Lee

United States District Court, S.D. California

July 17, 2019

KYLE ROBERT JAMES, Plaintiff,
v.
BARBARA LEE, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S: (1) MOTION FOR WRITTEN DEPOSITIONS; AND (2) MOTION TO COMPEL [ECF NOS. 121, 125]

          HON. JILL L. BURKHARDT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Kyle Robert James' “Application for Order Authorizing Commencement of Written Depositions of Defendant Witness[es]” (“Motion for Written Depositions”). (ECF No. 121.) Also before the Court is Plaintiff's “Motion to Compel[] Production of Documents After Rejected Request” (“Motion to Compel”) against Defendants Barbara Lee and Mark Kania. (ECF No. 125.) Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, commenced this action pursuant to the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         For the reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's Motion for Written Depositions without prejudice and DENIES Plaintiff's Motion to Compel as moot and as premature.

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On December 26, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Fourth Amended Complaint asserting claims against several defendants.[1] (ECF No. 43 at 2-6.) On February 12, 2018, Judge Battaglia dismissed several claims and defendants, leaving only Plaintiff's: (1) excessive force claims against Defendants Kania, John Doe San Diego County Jail Deputies, and John/Jane Doe Lieutenant; and (2) medical care claims against Defendants Lee and Blake. (ECF No. 50 at 10.)

         On March 26, 2018, Defendants Lee and Kania filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's deliberate indifference claims against Defendant Lee and to strike parts of Plaintiff's Fourth Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 64.)

         On February 22, 2019, Judge Battaglia adopted the Court's Report and Recommendation on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and dismissed Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment claim against Defendant Lee without prejudice and with leave to amend and Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim against Defendant Lee with prejudice. (ECF No. 109 at 2-3.) Judge Battaglia set March 31, 2019, as the deadline for Plaintiff to file a Fifth Amended Complaint. (Id. at 3.) Judge Battaglia also denied Defendants' Motion to Strike. (Id.)

         On March 25, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Extension of Time to file a Fifth Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 113.) Judge Battaglia granted Plaintiff's request and provided Plaintiff until June 3, 2019, to file a Fifth Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 116.)

         To date, Plaintiff has not filed a Fifth Amended Complaint nor has any defendant answered Plaintiff's Fourth Amended Complaint.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff's Fourth Amended Complaint revolves around a precipitating incident that allegedly occurred on July 3, 2014, as well as the incident's aftermath. Plaintiff alleges that on July 3, he was transferred from George Bailey Detention Facility (“GBDF”) to the San Diego County Jail (“SDCJ”) and that, to effect this transfer, he was “hog-tie[d] naked” as punishment for possessing handcuff keys. (ECF No. 43 at 7.) Prior to being transported, Plaintiff alleges that he was stripped naked, handcuffed behind the back, and strapped to a gurney facedown. (Id. at 7-9.) Plaintiff alleges that he told deputies that “the cuffs were too tight, ” that the cuffs caused him pain for an hour, that he cried, and that Defendant Kania nevertheless refused to permit deputies to loosen the cuffs. (Id. at 7.) Plaintiff alleges that the handcuffs and other restraint devices used during this incident caused him to suffer severe pain in his hands, wrists, forearms, and left shoulder. (Id.) Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Kania refused to dress Plaintiff before six deputies carried him outside to be transferred “like a naked hogtied pig on it[s] way to be barbecued.” (Id. at 9.)

         When Plaintiff arrived at SDCJ, Plaintiff claims that Defendant Kania told SDCJ deputies that Plaintiff was “violent and an escape risk.” (Id. at 10.) Plaintiff states that he was required to wear leg and waist chains while in the SDCJ Day Room “as punishment.” (See Id. at 31.) Plaintiff claims that Defendant Lee-a medical administrator for the Sheriff's Department-“acted with deliberate indifference” to Plaintiff's complaints of “constant pain and injury” caused by the use of the leg and waist chains. (Id. at 3, 11.) Plaintiff further alleges that he suffered multiple injuries and that SDCJ officials “with the help of . . . Doctor Blake attempted to cover-up this injury out of fear of being sued.” (Id. at 15.)

         III. MOTION FOR WRITTEN DEPOSITIONS

         On May 9, 2019, Plaintiff constructively filed a Motion for Written Depositions wherein he appears to seek leave of Court to: (1) conduct written depositions; and (2) conduct more than ten depositions. (ECF No. 121 at 3.) Defendants oppose Plaintiff's motion. (ECF No. 123.)

         A. Legal Standards

         1. Depositions by ...


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