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Cooley v. Leonard

United States District Court, N.D. California

November 6, 2019

GERALD LEN COOLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
GREG LEONARD, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER REGARDING 10/10/19 JOINT LETTER RE: DEFENDANT HOLCOMBE'S RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION RE: DKT. NO. 120

          KANDIS A. WESTMORE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         On October 10, 2019, Plaintiff Gerald Len Cooley and Defendant Darryl Holcombe filed a joint letter pertaining to the sufficiency of Defendant's responses to Plaintiff's Requests for Production of Documents Nos. 1 and 3. (Joint Letter, Dkt. No. 120.)

         Upon review of the joint letter, and for the reasons set forth below, the Court denies Plaintiff's request to compel supplemental responses.

         1. Timeliness of Initial Responses

         As an initial matter, Plaintiff contends that the responses were not timely served. (Joint Letter at 2.) Defendant argues that Plaintiff refused to grant a reasonable request for an extension of time, so he served timely objections on July 3, 2019 in order to preserve his objections, and supplemental responses were later served on August 6, 2019. Id. at 3.

         Now, Plaintiff asks that the Court require Defendant to furnish supplemental responses without objection. (Joint Letter at 3.) The Court declines to do so, because 1) the objections were preserved, and 2) the parties are encouraged to grant reasonable extensions to serve discovery responses. See Northern District Guidelines for Professional Conduct § 4.

         2. Request for Production No. 1

         Request No. 1 seeks documents pertaining to Plaintiff's involvement in the murder investigation, including any investigative reports. (Joint Letter at 2.) Plaintiff argues that after reviewing the document production, no “comprehensive report authored by Holcombe concerning his analysis of the cellphone GPS location data” was included, despite the fact that an affidavit supporting a search warrant for Plaintiff's cellphone stated that “Holcombe reported that Plaintiff's and Larry Griffin's cellphone GPS locations mirrored each other.” (Joint Letter at 2) (emphasis in original.)

         In response, Defendant states that the supplemental responses served on August 6, 2019 included all documents responsive to the request, including Holcombe's written digital forensic analysis of the cell site locations on the night of the murder, the phone records used to prepare the report, and an email from the Walnut Creek Police Department with information regarding Plaintiff's cell phone. (Joint Letter at 3.) Defendant affirmatively states that “[a]ll reports by Holcombe relating to his analysis of the locations of Griffin's phone and Cooley's phone have been produced to plaintiff.” Id.

         The Court cannot require a party to produce documents that do not exist. Accordingly, Plaintiff's request to compel supplemental responses to Request No. 1 is denied.

         3. Request for Production No. 3

         Request No. 3 seeks:

any and all digital cellphone data including in and out going phone calls, text messages, GPS location data, deleted pictures, encrypted messages, that were obtained and used in the course of the investigation of Plaintiff Gerald Len Cooley Jr. as the accessor of Larry Griffin in connection of the murder of Courtney Brown that points to Plaintiff's involvement or involvement is said murder, prior to the submission of the warrant application to Contra Costa ...

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