United States District Court, E.D. California
GILROY E. JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
LEE KELLEY, Defendant.
DEBORAH BARNES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis
with an action under 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983. Plaintiff alleges
defendant was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical
need in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Before the court
is plaintiffâs motion to compel. For the reasons set forth
below, this court will grant the motion in part.
case is proceeding on plaintiff’s original complaint,
filed here on July 13, 2018. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff alleges
that when he was incarcerated at California State Prison,
Sacramento in 2017, he was seen by defendant, a nurse there,
for severe shoulder pain. Defendant refused to refer
plaintiff to a doctor or otherwise treat his pain. As a
result, plaintiff suffered shoulder pain for several months
until he was transferred to Kern Valley State Prison. At Kern
Valley, he was diagnosed by a doctor with impingement
screening, this court found plaintiff stated a potentially
cognizable Eighth Amendment claim against defendant. (ECF No.
8.) On January 29, 2019, defendant answered the complaint.
(ECF No. 17.) After a settlement conference did not resolve
this action, the court issued a discovery and scheduling
order on April 11, 2019. (ECF No. 27.) Among other things,
the order set a deadline of August 9, 2019 for all discovery,
including motions to compel discovery.
document dated August 11 and filed here on August 19,
plaintiff moves to compel defendant to respond to
plaintiff’s request for production of documents. (ECF
No. 33.) Defendant opposes the motion. (ECF No. 34.)
Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “a
party seeking discovery may move for an order compelling an
answer, designation, production, or inspection.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(3)(B). 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)).
party moving to compel bears the burden of informing the
court (1) which discovery requests are the subject of the
motion to compel, (2) which of the responses are disputed,
(3) why the party believes the response is deficient, (4) why
any objections are not justified, and (5) why the information
sought through discovery is relevant to the prosecution of
this action. McCoy v. Ramirez, No. 1:13-cv-1808-MJS
(PC), 2016 WL 3196738, at *1 (E.D. Cal. June 9, 2016);
Ellis v. Cambra, No. 1:02-cv-5646-AWI-SMS PC, 2008
WL 860523, at *4 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 27, 2008). The reach of Rule
34 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which governs
requests for production, “extends to all relevant
documents, tangible things, and entry upon designated land or
other property.” Clark v. Vega Wholesale Inc.,
181 F.R.D. 470, 472-73 (D. Nev. 1998) (citing 8A C. Wright
& A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure
§ 2206, at 381).
purpose of discovery is to “remove surprise from trial
preparation so the parties can obtain evidence necessary to
evaluate and resolve their dispute.” United States
v. Chapman University, 245 F.R.D. 646, 648 (C.D. Cal.
2007) (quotation and citation omitted). Rule 26(b)(1) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure offers guidance on the scope
of discovery permitted:
Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged
information 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
for purposes of discovery is defined very broadly.”
Garneau v. City of Seattle, 147 F.3d 802, 812 (9th
Cir. 1998). “The party seeking to compel discovery has
the burden of establishing that its request satisfies the
relevancy requirements of Rule 26(b)(1). Thereafter, the
party opposing discovery has the burden of showing that the
discovery should be prohibited, and the burden of clarifying,
explaining or supporting its objections.” Bryant v.
Ochoa, No. 07cv200 JM (PCL), 2009 WL 1390794, at *1
(S.D. Cal. May 14, 2009) (internal citation omitted).
Plaintiff’s Request for Documents and ...