Ahdom v. Lopez et al

Filing 218

ORDER GRANTING 216 Plaintiff's Third Motion for Extension of Time to File Discovery Responses Nunc Pro Tunc and DENYING Motion for Counsel Without Prejudice; ORDER GRANTING IN PART 217 Plaintiff's Fourth Motion for Extension of Time to File Discovery Responses; and ORDER Setting Telephonic Status Conference signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe on 12/6/2017. Discovery Responses due within thirty (30) days. Telephonic Status Conference set for 12/14/2017 at 10:30 AM in Courtroom 8 (BAM) before Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe. (Jessen, A)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 BILAL AHDOM, 12 Plaintiff, 13 14 Case No. 1:09-cv-01874-AWI-BAM (PC) v. LOPEZ, et al., 15 Defendants. ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S THIRD MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE DISCOVERY RESPONSES NUNC PRO TUNC AND DENYING MOTION FOR COUNSEL WITHOUT PREJUDICE (ECF No. 216) 17 ORDER GRANTING IN PART PLAINTIFF’S FOURTH MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE DISCOVERY RESPONSES (ECF No. 217) 18 THIRTY (30) DAY DEADLINE 19 ORDER SETTING TELEPHONIC STATUS CONFERENCE 16 20 Date: Tuesday, December 14, 2017 Time: 10:30 a.m. 21 22 Plaintiff Bilal Ahdom (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma 23 24 pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action proceeds on 25 Plaintiff’s claims against Defendants Schaefer, Araich, Chen, Shittu, and Ashby for deliberate 26 indifference to serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. 27 /// 28 /// 1 1 I. 2 Background On August 17, 2017, the Court issued three orders resolving various pending discovery 3 motions. (ECF Nos. 199, 200, 201.) Within thirty (30) days from service of those orders, 4 Plaintiff was ordered to: (1) serve amended answers to Defendant Shittu’s Requests for 5 Admissions, Set One, Numbers 1–9 and 12–18; (2) serve responses, without objections, to 6 Defendant Shittu’s Request for Admissions, Set Two, and Interrogatories, Set Two; (3) serve 7 supplemental responses to Defendants Chen, Araich, and Schaefer’s Interrogatories Nos. 3–12; 8 (4) serve supplemental responses to Defendant Shittu’s Interrogatories Nos. 1–9, and 12–18; and 9 (5) serve supplemental responses to Defendants’ Request for Production of Documents 3–10 and 10 13–21. (Id.) 11 On August 22, 2017, the Court issued an order requiring Plaintiff, within thirty (30) days 12 from service of that order, to serve Defendant Ashby with supplemental responses to 13 Interrogatories 1, 2, 5–8, and 10–15, without objections, and supplemental responses to Requests 14 for Production of Documents 1–7 and 9. (ECF No. 202.) Following two extensions of time, Plaintiff’s responses to Defendants Shittu, Chen, and 15 16 Araich were due on or before November 20, 2017, and Plaintiff’s responses to Defendant Ashby 17 were due on or before November 27, 2017. (ECF Nos. 209, 211.) Currently before the Court are the parties’ responses to the Court’s order requiring the 18 19 parties to notify the Court whether a settlement conference would be beneficial. (ECF Nos. 213– 20 216.) In his response, Plaintiff also seeks a third extension of time to file his discovery responses 21 to Defendants Shittu, Schaefer, Araich, and Chen, as well as appointment of counsel to represent 22 him during settlement negotiations. (ECF No. 216.) On December 4, 2017, Plaintiff filed a 23 motion for a fourth extension of time to file his discovery responses to Defendants Shittu, 24 Schaefer, Araich, and Chen. (ECF No. 217.) Defendants have not had an opportunity to file 25 responses to Plaintiff’s motions, but the Court finds responses unnecessary. The motions are 26 deemed submitted. 27 /// 28 /// 2 1 II. 2 Motions for Extension of Time In his motions for extension of time, Plaintiff states that he is unable to timely file his 3 discovery responses for Defendants Shittu, Schaefer, Araich, and Chen due to inadequate 4 resources in the prison law library, inadequate time provided to Plaintiff on the ADA resource 5 equipment, Plaintiff’s inability to access his legal papers from the ADA equipment without 6 CDCR staff authorization, law library closures, and Plaintiff’s status as a layman trying to 7 provide proper and sufficient responses to Defendants’ discovery requests. (ECF Nos. 216, 217.) 8 Plaintiff initially sought a fourteen (14) day extension of time, and in anticipation that the Court 9 would grant that extension, now seeks an additional forty-five (45) day extension of time. (Id.) 10 Having considered Plaintiff’s moving papers, and in light of the parties’ desire to proceed 11 with a settlement conference, as discussed below, the Court finds good cause and Plaintiff’s third 12 request for extension of time to file discovery responses for Defendants Shittu, Schaefer, Araich, 13 and Chen, (ECF No. 216) is granted. Plaintiff’s fourth request for extension of time is granted in 14 part.1 15 III. 16 Motion for Appointment of Counsel As Plaintiff previously has been informed, he does not have a constitutional right to 17 appointed counsel in this action, Rand v. Rowland, 113 F.3d 1520, 1525 (9th Cir. 1997), and the 18 court cannot require an attorney to represent plaintiff pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). Mallard 19 v. United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 298, 109 S.Ct. 20 1814, 1816 (1989). However, in certain exceptional circumstances the court may request the 21 voluntary assistance of counsel pursuant to section 1915(e)(1). Rand, 113 F.3d at 1525. 22 Without a reasonable method of securing and compensating counsel, the court will seek 23 volunteer counsel only in the most serious and exceptional cases. In determining whether 24 “exceptional circumstances exist, the district court must evaluate both the likelihood of success 25 on the merits [and] the ability of the [plaintiff] to articulate his claims pro se in light of the 26 27 28 1 Plaintiff has not requested an extension of time with respect to the discovery responses to Defendant Ashby, which were due on or before November 27, 2017. Therefore, the extension of time granted here does not extend the deadline for Plaintiff’s responses to Defendant Ashby. 3 1 complexity of the legal issues involved.” Id. (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). 2 Here, Plaintiff argues that appointment of counsel is appropriate to assist him in 3 negotiating a settlement agreement because he is not qualified in many areas of the settlement 4 process, or authorized to make certain decisions in legal settlements. Plaintiff states that he is a 5 layman and does not know the requirements of the PLRA, nor does he know how to legally or 6 properly prepare required settlement briefs. (ECF No. 216.) 7 The Court has considered Plaintiff’s moving papers and supporting documents. Despite 8 Plaintiff’s alleged limitations, the pleadings and motions on file at this juncture indicate that he 9 can adequately articulate his claims and negotiate a settlement on his own behalf. Further, at this 10 stage of the proceedings, the Court cannot make a determination that Plaintiff is likely to succeed 11 on the merits. Rand, 113 F.3d at 1525. Plaintiff notes that his Court has found he stated 12 cognizable claims against the Defendants, (ECF No. 158, p. 5), but the fact that he has passed this 13 low bar has not yet shown the Court that he is likely to succeed on the merits. 14 IV. Telephonic Status Conference In light of Plaintiff’s outstanding discovery responses to Defendants Shittu, Schaefer, 15 16 Chen, and Araich, the Court finds it appropriate to set a telephonic status conference in this case. 17 Plaintiff shall be prepared to address the efforts that have been made to timely complete discovery 18 responses, and Defendants shall be prepared to address which discovery responses are necessary 19 for their meaningful preparation for a settlement conference. 20 V. 21 Based on the foregoing, the Court HEREBY ORDERS as follows: 1. Plaintiff’s third motion for extension of time to file discovery responses, (ECF No. 216) is 22 23 GRANTED NUNC PRO TUNC; 2. Plaintiff’s motion for appointment of counsel, (ECF No. 216) is DENIED without 24 25 prejudice; 3. Plaintiff’s fourth motion for extension of time to file discovery responses, (ECF No. 217) 26 27 28 Conclusion and Order is GRANTED IN PART; /// 4 1 2 4. Plaintiff’s discovery responses to Defendants Shittu, Schaefer, Chen, and Araich are due within thirty (30) days from the date of service of this order; and 3 5. This matter is set for a telephonic status conference on Thursday, December 14, 2017, at 4 10:30 a.m. before the undersigned. The parties shall appear telephonically by using the 5 following dial-in number and passcode at the time set for the hearing: dial-in number 1- 6 877-411-9748; passcode 3190866. Counsel for Defendants is required to arrange for 7 Plaintiff’s participation by contacting the litigation coordinator at the institution where 8 Plaintiff is housed. 9 10 11 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: /s/ Barbara December 6, 2017 A. McAuliffe _ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5

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