United States District Court, E.D. California
ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the
court are plaintiff's motions to compel discovery from
defendant Weeks (ECF Nos. 19, 23), which defendant has
opposed (ECF Nos. 20, 25).
alleges that defendants Weeks and Arana conspired to
retaliate and actually retaliated against him for filing
complaints against Weeks, by searching his cell, seizing
property and paperwork, and writing him up on fictious
grounds. ECF No. 1 at 6-8.
Motions to Compel
has filed two motions to compel discovery from defendant
Weeks: one to compel further production of documents (ECF No.
19) and one to compel further responses to interrogatories
(ECF No. 23). Defendant Weeks opposes the motion to compel
further production on the grounds that the plaintiff failed
to indicate how defendant's responses are deficient and
that the responses were appropriate and the objections well
founded. ECF No. 20. He opposes the motion to compel further
responses to interrogatories on similar grounds. ECF No. 25.
Standards Governing Discovery
scope of discovery under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
26(b)(1) is broad. Discovery may be obtained as to “any
nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's
claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the
case.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). “Information within
this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to
be discoverable.” Id. The court, however, may
limit discovery if it is “unreasonably cumulative or
duplicative, or can be obtained from some other source that
is more convenient, less burdensome, or less
expensive;” or if the party who seeks discovery
“has had ample opportunity to obtain the information by
discovery;” or if “the proposed discovery is
outside the scope permitted by Rule 26(b)(1).”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C). The purpose of discovery is to
“make a trial less a game of blind man's bluff and
more a fair contest with the basic issues and facts disclosed
to the fullest practicable extent, ” United States
v. Procter & Gamble Co., 356 U.S. 677, 682 (1958)
(citation omitted), and “to narrow and clarify the
basic issues between the parties, ” Hickman v.
Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, 501 (1947).
party fails to answer an interrogatory submitted under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 33 or fails to produce
documents requested under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34,
the party seeking discovery may move for compelled
disclosure. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a). “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, 2009 WL 1390794
at * 1 (S.D. Cal. May 14, 2009) (citations omitted); see
also Nugget v. Hydroelectric, L.P. v. Pac. Gas & Elec.
Co., 981 F.2d 429, 438-39 (9th Cir. 1992) (upholding
denial of motion to compel because moving party did not show
the request fell within the scope of Rule 26(b)(1)). The
opposing party is “required to carry a heavy burden of
showing why discovery was denied.” Blankenship v.
Hearst Corp., 519 F.2d 418, 429 (9th Cir. 1975).
Requests for Production
January 5, 2019,  plaintiff filed a motion to compel the
production of documents from defendant Weeks. ECF No. 19.
While neither party has provided a copy of the original
requests, plaintiff asserts that they were served on November
15, 2018 (ECF No. 24 at 1), while defendant claims they were
mailed on November 19, 2018 (ECF No. 20 at 1). Weeks served
his responses to the requests on January 8, 2019. ECF No. 20
motion simply lists his requests for production without
addressing how Weeks' responses to the requests were
deficient. ECF No. 19. Based on plaintiff's reply and the
dates provided by the parties during briefing, it is clear
that plaintiff had not yet received defendant's responses
at the time he filed the motion. Defendant opposes the motion
to compel on the ground that it fails to identify how his
responses are deficient (ECF No. 20), and in reply, plaintiff
once again fails to identify any deficiencies other than to
claim that the responses were untimely (ECF No. 24).
to discovery requests were due forty-five days after the date
of service (ECF No. 17 at 4, ¶ 2), and defendant was
entitled to an additional three days after the forty-five-day
deadline expired because plaintiff's requests were served
by mail, Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(d). Accordingly, contrary to
defendant's assertion, his responses to plaintiff's
requests for production were untimely because regardless of
whether the requests were served on November 15 or November
19, 2018, responses were due by January 7,
is well established that a failure to object to discovery
requests within the time required constitutes a waiver of any
objection.” Richmark Corp. v. Timber Falling
Consultants, 959 F.2d 1468, 1473 (9th Cir. 1992) (citing
Davis v. Fendler, 650 F.2d 1154, 1160 (9th Cir.
1981)). However, because defendant's responses and
objections were only one day late, and the lateness appears
to have been the result of a calculation error given
counsel's belief that his responses were timely, good
cause exists to find that defendant's objections were not
case, plaintiff's motion to compel was prematurely filed
before defendant's deadline for responding to the
requests. Plaintiff's reply, which acknowledged that he
had since received defendant's responses, failed to
identify any specific deficiencies with any of the responses
or objections contained therein. ECF No. 24.
The Court does not hold prisoners proceeding pro se to the
same standards that it holds attorneys. However, at a
minimum, as the moving party plaintiff bears the burden of
informing the court of which discovery requests are the
subject of his motion to compel and, for each disputed
response, why defendant's objection is not justified.
Waterbury v. Scribner, No. 1:05-cv-0764 OWW DLB PC,
2008 WL 2018432, at *1, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53142, at *3
(E.D. Cal. May 8, 2008).
plaintiff has failed to make any specific assertions, the
court has reviewed defendant's responses to the requests.
Review of the responses demonstrates that defendant appears
to have produced all documents requested in response to
requests 3 through 7 and 14, with only minor redactions that
are not material. ECF No. 20 at 7-8, 11, 28-35. He also
appears to have provided operational procedures responsive to
Request 1, to the extent procedures responsive to the request
exist, and appropriately objected to Request 12 on the ground
that it related to staff complaints against defendant Arana,
who is represented by separate counsel and whose records are
not available to Weeks. Id. at 5-6, 9-10. The motion
will therefore be denied as to these requests and the court
will turn to the remaining requests.
Request for Production No. 2: Inmate housing
roster for High Desert State Prison “B” Yard date
11 July 2015.
(A) B4 Housing Unit A section, (Names and CDC Numbers)
(B) B4 Housing Unit B section, (Names and CDC Numbers)
(C) B4 Housing Unit C section, (Names and CDC ...