United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR AN ORDER
COMPELLING DISCLOSURE OR DISCOVERY [ECF NO. 168]
Joseph Raymond McCoy is appearing pro se and in forma
pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for an order
compelling disclosure or discovery, filed on September 27,
action is proceeding against Defendants Stronach, Gonzales,
LeMay, Beltran, Fisher, Snell and Tann for deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need in violation of the
April 25, 2019, the Court issued an amended scheduling order.
(ECF No. 129.)
previously stated, on September 27, 2019, Plaintiff filed the
instant motion for an order compelling disclosure or
discovery. Defendants filed an opposition on October 18,
is proceeding pro se and is a state prisoner challenging his
conditions of confinement. As a result, the parties were
relieved of some of the requirements which would otherwise
apply, including initial disclosure and the need to meet and
confer in good faith prior to involving the Court in a
discovery dispute. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(1); Local Rules 240, 251; ECF No. 54,
Discovery and Scheduling Order, &IV. Further, where
otherwise discoverable information would pose a threat to the
safety and security of the prison or infringe upon a
protected privacy interest, a need may arise for the Court to
balance interests in determining whether disclosure should
occur. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c); Seattle Times Co.
v. Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20, 35 n.21 (1984) (privacy
rights or interests implicit in broad purpose and language of
Rule 26(c)); Burlington N. & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v.
United States Dist. Court for the Dist. of Montana, 408
F.3d 1142, 1149 (9th Cir. 2005) (discussing assertion of
privilege); Soto v. City of Concord, 162 F.R.D. 603,
616 (N.D. Cal. 1995) (recognizing a constitutionally-based
right of privacy that can be raised in discovery); see
also Garcia v. Clark, No. 1:10-CV-00447-LJO-DLB PC, 2012
WL 1232315, at *6 n.5 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 12, 2012) (noting
inmate's entitlement to inspect discoverable information
may be accommodated in ways which mitigate institutional
safety concerns); Robinson v. Adams, No.
1:08-cv-01380-AWI-BAM PC, 2012 WL 912746, at *2-3 (E.D. Cal.
Mar. 16, 2012) (issuing protective order regarding documents
containing information which implicated the safety and
security of the prison); Orr v. Hernandez, No.
CV-08-0472-JLQ, 2012 WL 761355, at *1-2 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 7,
2012) (addressing requests for protective order and for
redaction of information asserted to risk jeopardizing safety
and security of inmates or the institution if released);
Womack v. Virga, No. CIV S-11-1030 MCE EFB P, 2011
WL 6703958, at *5-6 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 21, 2011) (requiring
defendants to submit withheld documents for in camera review
or move for a protective order).
this is a civil action to which the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure apply. The discovery process is subject to the
overriding limitation of good faith, and callous disregard of
discovery responsibilities cannot be condoned. Asea, Inc.
v. Southern Pac. Transp. Co., 669 F.2d 1242, 1246 (9th
Cir. 1981) (quotation marks and citation omitted).
“Parties may obtain discovery regarding any
nonprivileged 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).
if the responding party objects to a discovery request, the
party moving to compel bears the burden of demonstrating why
the objections are not justified. Grabek v.
Dickinson, No. CIV S-10-2892 GGH P, 2012 WL 113799, at
*1 (E.D. Cal. Jan. 13, 2012); Womack, 2011 WL
6703958, at *3; Mitchell v. Felker, No. CV
08-119RAJ, 2010 WL 3835765, at *2 (E.D. Cal. Sep. 29, 2010);
Ellis v. Cambra, No. 1:02-cv-05646-AWI-SMS PC, 2008
WL 860523, at *4 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 27, 2008). This requires the
moving party to inform the Court which discovery requests are
the subject of the motion to compel, and, for each disputed
response, why the information sought is relevant and why the
responding party's objections are not meritorious.
Grabek, 2012 WL 113799, at *1; Womack, 2011
WL 6703958, at *3; Mitchell, 2010 WL 3835765, at *2;
Ellis, 2008 WL 860523, at *4. However, the Court is
vested with broad discretion to manage discovery and
notwithstanding these procedures, Plaintiff is entitled to
leniency as a pro se litigant; therefore, to the extent
possible, the Court endeavors to resolve his motion to compel
on its merits. Hunt v. County of Orange, 672 F.3d
606, 616 (9th Cir. 2012); Surfvivor Media, Inc. v.
Survivor Productions, 406 F.3d 625, 635 (9th Cir. 2005);
Hallett v. Morgan, 296 F.3d 732, 751 (9th Cir.
the discovery at issue is Plaintiff's first set of
interrogatories and requests to produce documents after the
case was remanded from the Ninth Circuit. These discovery
requests were propounded on Defendants on July 28, 2019.
(Declaration of William McCaslin, Ex. A; ECF No. 183.)
Defendants timely responded to this set of discovery which
included responsive documents and objections based on
improper joinder of interrogatory questions and requests to
produce documents for each of the discovery requests.
(Id. Ex. B.)
of the instant motion, Plaintiff again seeks
“certified” copies of records. However, as stated
in the Court's August 22, 2019, order denying Plaintiffs
first motion to compel, “Plaintiff is advised signed
discovery responses are themselves certifications to the best
of the person's knowledge, information, and belief formed
after a reasonable inquiry … Defendants are required
to supplement their discovery responses should they learn
that their responses were incomplete or incorrect, if the
incomplete or incorrect information has not otherwise been
made known to Plaintiff.” (ECF No. 148, Order at 4 n.
2.) Plaintiff also makes vague reference to seek production
of “public hazard, performance, and bid bonds.”
(Pl's Mot. at 4, ECF No. 168.) However, in addition to
answering Plaintiffs interrogatories, Defendants have
produced duty statements responsive to Plaintiffs requests
for documentation. (Declaration of William McCaslin, Ex. B.)
Therefore, it is not clear what further response or documents
Plaintiff seeks, and Plaintiffs current motion for an order
compelling disclosure or discovery, filed on September 27,
2019, is DENIED. As this is ...