Holt v. Brown, et al

Filing 228

ORDER Upon Stipulation Regarding Petitioner's Medical and Pyschiatric Records, signed by Magistrate Judge Stanley A. Boone on 03/24/15. (Gonzalez, R)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 JOHN LEE HOLT, 12 13 14 15 16 Case No. 1:97-cv-06210-AWI-SAB DEATH PENALTY CASE Petitioner, v. ORDER UPON STIPULATION REGARDING PETITIONERS MEDICAL AND PYSCHIATRIC RECORDS KEVIN CHAPPELL, Warden Of San Quentin State Prison, Respondent. 17 18 Before the Court is the stipulation of Petitioner’s counsel, Robert M. Myers and Assistant 19 Federal Defender Jennifer Mann, and Respondent’s counsel, Deputy Attorneys General Sean M. 20 McCoy and Peter W. Thompson, to an order directing Respondent Warden of San Quentin State 21 Prison to provide copies of Petitioner’s medical and psychiatric records, dated March 1, 2014 to 22 the present, to Petitioner’s counsel, who shall then provide copies to Respondent’s counsel 23 subject to in camera review of any documents withheld pursuant to privilege log. 24 A district court has discretion to grant and limit discovery under the Federal Rules of 25 Civil Procedure in federal habeas corpus proceedings. Rule 6 of the Rules Governing 28 U.S.C. 26 § 2254 Cases; Bracy v. Gramley, 520 U.S. 899, 903-05 (1997); Rich v. Calderon, 187 F.3d 1064, 27 1068 (9th Cir. 1999) (discovery by habeas petitioner is available in the court’s discretion for 28 1 1 good cause shown). This includes discretion to order the department of corrections to turn over 2 medical records to counsel. See Horne v. Tennis, 2014 WL 6656233, at *3 n.2 (E.D. Pa. 3 November 24, 2014). 4 Counsel may be entitled to access prison health records of a habeas petitioner. 5 Petitioner’s appointed counsel are directed to represent him in every stage of the judicial 6 proceeding, 18 U.S.C. § 3599(e), without regard to petitioner’s competence to authorize 7 counsel’s decisions. Ryan v. Gonzales, 133 S.Ct. 696, 702 (2013). Proceedings are not stayed 8 when habeas petitioners are found incompetent. Id. “Attorneys are quite capable of reviewing 9 the state-court record, identifying legal errors, and marshaling relevant arguments, even without 10 their clients' assistance.” Id., at 705. 11 California’s prison regulations and procedures are in accord. Petitioner’s counsel, and 12 counsel for the attorney general may access prison health and psychiatric records. See Cal. Code 13 Regs. tit. 15 § 3370; California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Adult Institutions, 14 Programs, and Parole – Operations Manual (Revised January 1, 2015), §§ 91070.8.1, 91070.8.3, 15 91070.8.5, 91070.8.8. Especially so here, as competency claims are included in the petition and 16 the evidentiary hearing set for March 14, 2016. Review of Petitioner’s medical and psychiatric 17 records, limited to counsel in this action and their designated representatives, could reasonably 18 assist at the evidentiary hearing and related settlement discussions. 19 Accordingly, for good cause shown, it is HEREBY ORDERED that: 20 1. Respondent Warden is directed to provide to Petitioner’s counsel, Assistant 21 Federal Defender Jennifer Mann, within 45 days of the filed date of this order, 22 copies of medical and psychiatric records dated March 1, 2014 to the present for 23 Petitioner, John Lee Holt, CDC # E-58200. 24 2. Petitioner’s counsel, Ms. Mann, within 30 days of receipt of the records, is 25 directed to provide Respondent’s counsel with copies thereof, provided that if 26 there are any records that Petitioner’s counsel withholds, Petitioner’s counsel will 27 submit copies of those records to the Court under seal with a privilege log, a copy 28 of which Petitioner’s counsel also will provide to Respondent’s counsel. 2 3. 1 The records covered by this order shall be provided only to counsel for the parties 2 and their designated representatives and solely for purposes incident to this 3 proceeding. Not later than 30 days following the conclusion of this action, all 4 copies of records provided hereunder shall be returned to the Warden, or their 5 destruction certified in a writing served on the Warden, unless otherwise ordered 6 by the Court. 7 8 9 IT IS SO ORDERED. 10 Dated: March 24, 2015 UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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