United States District Court, C.D. California
Rite Loof, et al.
Upland Unified School District
Present: The Honorable KENLY KIYA KATO, UNITED STATES
Order Granting Defendant's Motion to Compel Production of
Mental Health Records and for Discovery Sanctions [Dkt.
October 18, 2019, Defendant Upland Unified School District
("Defendant") riled a Motion to Compel Production
of Mental Health Records ("Motion") seeking to
compel Plaintiff Rachel Loof ("Rachel") to execute
authorizations to release her mental health records from her
therapist Stacy Donaldson (formerly Maggard)
("Donaldson") and Kaiser Permanence
("Kaiser"). ECF Docket No. ("Dkt.") 26.
Defendant also seeks $9, 744.00 in attorneys' fees
incurred in seeking to obtain the mental health records and
bringing die instant Motion. Dkts. 26, 28. For the reasons
set forth below, Defendant's Motion is granted and
Defendant's request for attorney's fees incurred in
bringing the Motion is granted in part.
February 6, 2019, Plaintiffs Rachel Loof,
Rita Loof, and Rene Loof ("Plaintiffs")
filed a Complaint seeking damages for
retaliation under the Americans wkh Disabilities Act
("ADA"), damages for breach of contract, and
enforcement of the parties' settlement agreement. Dkt. 1.
Rachel was identified as a student with a disability and
received special education and related services from
Defendant while a student diere. Id.. ¶ 10.
Rachel graduated from high school in June 2014 and began
studies at Cal Polv. Id., ¶¶ 9, 25. Plaintiffs
allege a delay in providing an agreed-upon assessment to
"fully assess and identify all of Rachel's
educational needs" resulted in Rachel being unable to
provide documentation of her disabilities to
university staff and professors so that she
could obtain necessary accommodations. Id., ¶¶ 15,
24. Plaintiffs allege "Rachel has developed anxiety as a
result of her inability to access an education without
necessary accommodations [, ] has been unable to complete
educational requirements, to timely and reasonably earn
credits towards a college degree, and, as a direct result,
has been delayed in her ability to enter the workforce and be
a productive citizen.” Id., ¶ 39.
March 21, 2019, Defendant filed an Answer. Dkt. 10.
10, 2019, the Court issued a Scheduling Order setting a
discovery cut-off (including hearing of discovery motions) of
January 6, 2020 and trial for May 12, 2020. Dkt. 19.
September 16, 2019, Defendant served a subpoena on Kaiser
Any medical and hospital records pertaining to RACHEL LOOF
(DOB: . . ., SSN . . .), in paper, photographic, microfilm or
any electronic form, for diagnosis, treatment, counseling for
any medical or mental condition including psychiatric,
psychological, or drug dependency, related to or regarding
conditions of stress, anxiety, panic attacks, eczema, and
“feelings of academic inadequacy and feelings of an
external locus of control, ” from 2009 to the present.
Dkt. 26-1, Declaration of Shiva Stein (“Stein
Decl.”), Ex. 4.
September 17 and 18, 2019, Defendant's counsel sent
Plaintiffs' counsel several emails seeking to determine
whether Rachel would agree to sign authorizations releasing
her records from Kaiser and her therapist, Donaldson. Stein
Decl., ¶¶ 6, 7, Exs. 6-8. Plaintiffs' counsel
did not respond.
September 23, 2019, Defendant served a subpoena on Donaldson
Any and all records pertaining to RACHEL LOOF (DOB: . . .,
SSN . . .), in paper, photographic, microfilm or any
electronic form for diagnosis, treatment, counseling and or
therapy records for any medical or mental condition including
psychiatric, psychological, or drug dependency regarding
and/or related to stress, anxiety, panic attacks and eczema,
from 2009 to the present.
Decl., Ex. 3.
September 23, 2019, Defendant's counsel sent
Plaintiffs' counsel a meet and confer letter by email
attaching a proposed authorization for Donaldson and an
authorization required by Kaiser. Stein Decl., ¶ 8, Ex.
9. Plaintiffs' counsel responded that evening, stating:
“Of course. And the release I have had Rachel Loof sign
is attached.” Stein Decl., Ex. 9. However, the only
release attached to the email from Plaintiffs' counsel
stated: “I, the undersigned, hereby authorize Gunn
Psychological Services, including Stacy Maggard and Dr.
Timothy Gunn to communicate with the following Persons: Name:
Tania Whiteleather.” Id.
September 24, 2019, Defendant's counsel sent
Plaintiffs' counsel an email reflecting her confusion
regarding the authorization attached to Plaintiffs'
counsel's September 23, 2019 email and requesting Rachel
execute the authorizations for Kaiser and Donaldson.
Id., Ex. 10. Plaintiffs' counsel promptly
responded objecting to the requested one-day turn around on
the authorizations and stating she “hop[ed] to have it
to” Defendant's counsel later that day.
Id., Ex. 11. Defendant's counsel responded
stating she has been attempting to obtain authorizations
since early September and thanked Plaintiffs' counsel for
agreeing to provide the authorizations. Id.
Plaintiffs' counsel responded and explained: “I had
asked Rachel to create a release and then, when I was out of
the office yesterday at mediation, asked that it be forwarded
to you. My apologies for the unanticipated limitation of that
release; it was not what I had asked for but was not reviewed
by me in my haste to get it to you.” Id.
October 1, 2019, Defendant's counsel sent Plaintiffs'
counsel an email requesting a status update on the
authorizations. Stein Decl., Ex. 12. Plaintiffs' counsel
promptly responded attaching releases for Kaiser and
Donaldson. Id., Ex. 13. However, the authorizations
were not on the forms provided, but were re-typed, contained
various typos, permitted disclosure to Defendant's
counsel three days after production to Plaintiffs'
counsel, expired in two weeks (instead of one year), and
limited the records to be released as follows:
Any and all medical and hospital records pertaining to Rachel
Loof (DOB: . . ., SSN . . .) in paper, photographic,
microfilm, or any electronic for, for diagnosis, treatment,
counseling for any medical or mental condition including
psychiatric, psychological, or drug dependency, related to or
regarding conditions of stress, anxiety, panic attacks,
exczema, and “feelings of academic inadequacy and
feelings of an external locus of control, ” as
related to academic performance from
2014 to the present.
Id., Ex. 13 (emphasis added). Defendant's
counsel sent Plaintiffs' counsel an email objecting to
the added limitations and requesting again that Rachel sign
the authorizations previously provided by Kaiser and
October 10, 2019, Plaintiffs' counsel emailed
Defendant's counsel a second set of authorizations. Stein
Decl., Ex. 5. However, the authorizations were not on the
forms provided by Kaiser or Donaldson, expired ...