Reed v. Barcklay et al

Filing 107

ORDER affirming 100 Magistrate Judge Metcalf's Order of June 22, 2012 and denying 106 Plaintiff's Objection to Magistrate Judge's Order Dated June 22, 2012. Signed by Judge James A Teilborg on 7/19/12. (LSP)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 Kenneth W. Reed, Plaintiff, 10 11 vs. 12 Karen Barcklay et al, 13 Defendant. 14 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. CV 11-1339-PHX-JAT ORDER 15 16 Pending before the Court is Plaintiff Kenneth Reed’s interlocutory appeal of 17 Magistrate Judge Metcalf’s Order of June 22, 2012. (Doc. 106). The Court now rules on the 18 appeal. 19 I. 20 On May 23, 2011, Plaintiff, who is confined in the Arizona State Prison 21 Complex-Yuma in San Luis, Arizona, filed a pro se civil rights Complaint in the Superior 22 Court of Yuma County, Arizona, seeking redress pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On July 6, 23 2011, Defendant Chenail filed a Notice of Removal. This Court concluded that removal was 24 appropriate, dismissed Plaintiff’s original complaint for failure to state a claim, and gave him 25 leave to amend. After Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint, further pretrial 26 proceedings were assigned to Magistrate Judge Irwin, and subsequently to Magistrate Judge 27 Metcalf. 28 BACKGROUND Magistrate Judge Metcalf issued an Order on June 22, 2012, resolving a discovery 1 dispute that had arisen regarding Plaintiff’s medical records. (Doc. 100). Essentially, Plaintiff 2 sought to have his medical records released directly to him, while Defendants sought to 3 compel the release of the records to them to enable redactions for security and privacy 4 reasons. Id. at 5-6. The Magistrate Judge ordered that Plaintiff’s medical records be produced 5 to Defendants, and that Defendants provide Plaintiff a copy (with any redactions noted and 6 explained) within fourteen days of that release. Id. at 14. The Order also provided for 7 protection of those documents from disclosure. Id. at 13-14. 8 Plaintiff objects to the Magistrate Judge’s: (1) ruling on alleged noncompliance with 9 an allegedly nonexistent discovery request; (2) finding of substantial justification for the 10 Defendant’s proposed course of discovery; (3) adoption of Defendants’ proposed course of 11 discovery; and (4) alleged denial of the Rule 34 discovery process. (Doc. 106 at 4-5). The 12 Court now rules on Plaintiff’s objections. STANDARD OF REVIEW 13 II. 14 The Federal Magistrates Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 631-639, “distinguishes between 15 nondispositive matters under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and dispositive matters heard 16 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B).” United States v. Abonce-Barrera, 257 F.3d 959, 968 17 (9th Cir. 2001). “Under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A), a district judge may designate a magistrate 18 judge to hear any nondispositive pretrial matter pending before the court.” Estate of Connors 19 v. O’Connor, 6 F.3d 656, 658 (9th Cir. 1993) (emphasis in original). Regarding 20 nondispositive pretrial matters heard by a magistrate judge, the Federal Magistrate Act 21 provides, in pertinent part: 25 [A] judge may designate a magistrate to hear and determine any pretrial matter pending before the court, except a motion for injunctive relief, for judgment on the pleadings, for summary judgment, . . . to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, and to involuntarily dismiss an action. A judge of the court may reconsider any pretrial matter under this subparagraph (A) where it has been shown that the magistrate’s order is clearly erroneous or contrary to law. 26 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A); see Abonce-Barrera, 257 F.3d at 967. The Court will thus review 27 the Magistrate Judge’s decisions of law de novo, and decisions of fact only for clear error. 22 23 24 28 -2- 1 III. 2 Plaintiff first argues that the Magistrate Judge ordered discovery of documents that 3 were never actually requested by Defendants. However, as the Magistrate Judge’s Order 4 states, Defendants requested “all documents relied on in responding to discovery, or relevant 5 or likely lead to relevant evidence, and records on the claims maintained by Plaintiff.” (Doc. 6 100 at 2) (quoting Doc. 71 at Exhibit 1). Although not explicit, this request includes 7 Plaintiff’s medical records. Further, in a letter to Defendant, Plaintiff also indicated he would 8 “consider [Defendants] letter of December 21, 2011 as a request for production of 9 [Plaintiff’s] medical records.” Id. (quoting Doc. 71, Exhibit 2, Letter 1/14/12.). Accordingly, 10 ANALYSIS this objection is without merit. 11 Plaintiff next objects to the finding of substantial justification for ordering an 12 alternative discovery process. (Doc. 106 at 4). Plaintiff argues that this finding is 13 unsupported. Id. However, the Magistrate Judge did discuss the justifications for his Order. 14 (Doc. 100 at 7-9 (discussing privacy concerns), 9-10 (discussing security concerns)). Based 15 on these justifications, the Magistrate Judge found the alternative discovery process proper, 16 and this Court finds no clear error in his reliance upon these justifications. 17 Plaintiff finally objects that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure entitle him to direct 18 production of his records, and that the terms of discovery adopted by the Magistrate Judge 19 are unfair. (Doc. 106 at 4-5). The Magistrate Judge addressed this argument, stating that the 20 discovery rules allow for flexibility in the production of the documents, and that the Court 21 has broad authority to limit discovery. (Doc. 100 at 11) (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(2)(C), 22 34(b)(2)(E)(i)). The Magistrate Judge correctly stated the law. See In re Anonymous Online 23 Speakers, 661 F.3d 1168, 1176 (9th Cir. 2011) (“district court has wide latitude in controlling 24 discovery and . . . decisions governing discovery are highly fact-intensive”) (internal 25 citations omitted). As discussed above, there is no clear error in his finding that the present 26 discovery dispute warranted the exercise of that flexibility. Nor is there any clear error in the 27 course of discovery ordered by the Magistrate Judge, given that Plaintiff has presented no 28 evidence to suggest that Defendants will not honestly participate in the discovery process. -3- 1 IV. 2 Accordingly, 3 IT IS ORDERED affirming Magistrate Judge Metcalf’s Order of June 22, 2012. 4 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that and Plaintiff’s Objection to Magistrate Judge’s 5 6 CONCLUSION Order Dated June 22, 2012 (Doc. 106) is denied. DATED this 19th day of July, 2012. 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -4-

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