Womack v. GEO Group Incorporated et al

Filing 78

ORDER denying 66 Motion for Extension of Time to Complete Discovery; denying as moot 67 Motion to Compel; denying 70 Motion for Extension of Dispositive Motion Deadline (please see attached order for complete information). Signed by Magistrate Judge Lawrence O Anderson on 10/15/13.(TLJ)

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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 John Doneld Womack, Plaintiff, 10 11 vs. 12 GEO Group Incorporated, Defendant. 13 14 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. CV-12-1524-PHX-SRB (LOA) ORDER 15 This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion to Extend Discovery Deadlines, 16 Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Discovery, and Defendant’s Motion to Extend Dispositive Motion 17 Deadline. (Docs. 66, 67 and 70) Defendant has filed a Response to Plaintiff’s Motion to 18 Compel. (Doc. 72) No other responses or replies have been filed. 19 I. Background 20 Plaintiff initiated this action by filing a Civil Rights Complaint by a Prisoner on July 16, 21 2012. (Doc. 1) At the time he filed this action, Plaintiff was an inmate confined in the Central 22 Arizona Correctional Facility (“CACF”), a private correctional facility owned and operated by 23 Defendant GEO Group (“GEO”), which has contracted with the State of Arizona to incarcerate 24 prisoners. 25 In the First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that, since approximately 2009, GEO 26 has maintained the prison dorms in which Plaintiff was housed with “constant illumination” by 27 four large fluorescent lights which brightly illuminated his living area and bed for “24 hours 28 a day.” (Doc. 8 at 3-4) He also contends GEO instituted a practice of having its staff members 1 wake inmates who attempt to block the light by covering their heads at night. (Id. at 5-6) 2 Plaintiff claims the constant, bright illumination in his cell deprived him of normal sleep and 3 rest; caused him to suffer headaches, sleep disorders, placed “out of sync” his internal sleep 4 clock; and rendered him too sleepy and fatigued to participate in basic daily activities. (Id. at 5 8-9) Plaintiff alleges GEO has violated his Eighth Amendment rights under the United States 6 Constitution and was deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff’s “basic right to shelter.” (Doc. 8 at 7 3) See Keenan v. Hall, 83 F.3d 1083, 1088, 1090-91 (9th Cir. 1996) (Because “[t]here is no 8 legitimate penological justification for . . . constant illumination[,]” a triable issue of fact 9 existed on a continuous lighting claim where prisoner was subjected to two large fluorescent 10 lights that were kept on 24 hours a day for six months, and the prisoner claimed that the lighting 11 caused him grave sleeping problems and other mental and psychological problems.”) (citations 12 and internal quotation marks omitted), opinion amended on denial of rehearing by 135 F.3d 13 1318 (9th Cir. 1998). Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief and monetary damages. 14 II. Plaintiff’s Motion to Extend Discovery Deadlines and Motion to Compel 15 In the Motion to Compel, Plaintiff seeks an order compelling Defendant to respond to 16 the interrogatories and requests for production Plaintiff propounded on February 27, 2013. On 17 September 24, 2013, Defendant filed a Response, stating it submitted its Answers to 18 Interrogatories and Request for Documents that same day. (Doc. 72) Defendant contends, 19 therefore, Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel is moot and should be denied. Plaintiff has not filed a 20 reply and the time to do so has expired. See Local Rules of Civil Procedure (“LRCiv”) 7.2(d) 21 (stating a party has seven days after service of the response to file a reply). In light of Plaintiff’s 22 failure to file a reply after receiving Defendant’s discovery responses, the Court assumes 23 Plaintiff is no longer seeking the Court’s assistance with compelling responses to the discovery 24 requests. The motion will, therefore, be denied as moot. 25 Pursuant to Rule 37(a)(5)(A) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, if the requested 26 discovery is provided after the motion to compel was filed, “the court must, after giving an 27 opportunity to be heard, require the party or deponent whose conduct necessitated the motion, 28 the party or attorney advising that conduct, or both to pay the movant’s reasonable expenses -2- 1 incurred in making the motion, including attorney’s fees.” Here, because Plaintiff is 2 representing himself, he is not entitled to attorney’s fees. However, to the extent Plaintiff 3 incurred reasonable expenses in bringing the motion to compel, he may seek an order requiring 4 Defendant to pay those expenses. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(5)(A). 5 Regarding Plaintiff’s Motion to Extend Discovery Deadlines, the requested extension 6 of the discovery deadline appears to based on Defendant’s failure to timely answer Plaintiff’s 7 discovery requests. As discussed above, however, Defendant has since responded to the 8 discovery requests. As far as the Court is aware, there are no other outstanding discovery 9 requests, nor has Plaintiff argued a need to conduct additional discovery. Under these 10 circumstances, the Court finds no basis to extend the discovery deadline, which expired on July 11 26, 2013. The motion will be denied. 12 III. Defendant’s Motion to Extend Dispositive Motion Deadline 13 Defendant seeks a forty-five day extension of the dispositive motion deadline, which 14 expired on September 27, 2013.1 (Doc. 70) Defendant claims the requested extension “is 15 necessitated by discovery which should lead to a complete record in this action to warrant 16 summary judgment and avoid trial.” (Id. at 1) Defendant, however, has already filed a summary 17 judgment motion, which the assigned District Judge denied on August 16, 2013. (Doc. 65) 18 The Rule 16 scheduling and discovery order, issued on February 8, 2013, permitted a 19 motion to dismiss or motion for summary judgment “based solely on a defense of absolute or 20 qualified immunity,” to be filed by March 22, 2013. (Doc. 27 at 1) Defendant filed a Motion 21 for Summary Judgment on March 21, 2013. (Doc. 34) The motion, however, was not “based 22 solely on a defense of absolute or qualified immunity,” and argued Defendant was entitled to 23 summary judgment on the merits of Plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment claim. (Id.) As noted above, 24 the assigned District Judge disagreed and denied the motion. Defendant now seeks a second bite 25 at the apple, claiming additional discovery warrants a second summary judgment motion. 26 27 28 1 Defendant’s Motion to Extend Dispositive Motion Deadline was not properly filed in textsearchable format and violates LRCiv 7.1(c), 5.5(b), and the definition of “.pdf,” in the District Court’s ECF Manual, at I(A), p. 2. -3- 1 The Court disagrees. Defendant chose to file its Motion for Summary Judgment in 2 March 2013, before discovery had been completed. Moreover, Defendant’s instant motion 3 contains only vague assertions that additional discovery justifies another summary judgment 4 motion. Defendant points to nothing specific obtained during discovery that would likely 5 produce a different result on a second summary motion. The February 8, 2013 scheduling order 6 gave the parties fair warning that “[t]hese deadlines are real, firm, and, consistent with the 7 Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990, 28 U.S.C. § 471 et seq., will not be altered except on a 8 showing of good cause and by leave of the assigned District or Magistrate Judge.” (Doc. 27 at 9 1) (emphasis in the original) Finally, pursuant to Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 10 F.2d 604, 608 (9th Cir. 1992), a district court may modify a pretrial scheduling order upon a 11 showing of “good cause,” i.e., a case management deadline “[c]annot reasonably be met despite 12 diligence of the party seeking the extension.” Defendant has not demonstrated the requisite 13 good cause and diligence for extending the dispositive motion deadline. Although “district 14 courts have discretion to entertain successive motions for summary judgment,” Hoffman v. 15 Tonnemacher, 593 F.3d 908, 911 (9th Cir. 2010), this Court finds no basis to allow one here. 16 Defendant’s motion will be denied. 17 Accordingly, 18 IT IS ORDERED as follows: 19 1. Plaintiff’s Motion to Extend Discovery Deadlines, doc. 66, is DENIED. 20 2. Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Discovery, doc. 67, is DENIED as moot. To the extent 21 Plaintiff incurred reasonable expenses in bringing the Motion to Compel, he may seek an order 22 requiring Defendant to pay those expenses. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(5)(A). 23 3. Defendants’ Motion to Extend Dispositive Motion Deadline, doc. 70, is DENIED. 24 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, except as set forth herein, all pleadings, motions, 25 memoranda, or other filings by Defendant and its counsel shall be created via personal computer 26 with a word processing application, e.g., Microsoft Word® or Corel WordPerfect®, then 27 converted to portable document format (.pdf). See LRCiv 7.1(c) and definition of “.pdf”, ECF 28 Manual, at I(A), p. 2. (“[E]lectronic documents must be converted to .pdf directly from a word -4- 1 processing program (e.g., Microsoft Word® or Corel WordPerfect®) and must be text 2 searchable.”). Such filings shall not be printed to paper and then scanned and saved as portable 3 document format (.pdf). Documents which exist only in paper form, like exhibits or certain 4 attachments to pleadings or briefings may, however, be scanned from a paper copy and saved 5 in a portable document format (.pdf). 6 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that counsel and any unrepresented party must comply 7 with the Rules of Practice for the United States District Court for the District of Arizona (“Local 8 Rules” or “LRCiv”). The District’s Rules of Practice may be found on the District Court’s 9 internet web page at www.azd.uscourts.gov/. All other rules may be found at 10 11 www.uscourts.gov/rules/. Dated this 15th day of October, 2013. 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -5-

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