Flournoy v. Sacramento County Sheriff Dept et al

Filing 99

ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan on 10/27/15 ordering that plaintiff's motions to quash and motion to compel 84 , 85 , 86 , 91 , and 93 are denied. (Plummer, M)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 JAMES HENRY FLOURNOY, 11 Plaintiff, 12 13 No. 2:11-cv-2844-KJM-EFB P v. ORDER ERIC MANESS, et al., 14 Defendants. 15 Plaintiff , a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action brought under 42 16 17 U.S.C. § 1983, has filed several motions to quash, as well as a “motion for an order compelling 18 discovery from Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones,” who is not a party to this action. For the 19 reasons stated below, the motions are denied. I. 20 Background Plaintiff asserts claims against defendants Sahba, Bauer, and Kinder. He claims that 21 22 Bauer and Sahba were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs by failing to provide him with 23 a wheelchair while he was incarcerated at the Sacramento County Main Jail commencing in 24 October 2009. ECF No. 22, ¶10. He claims that Kinder used excessive force against him in 25 violation of the Eighth Amendment when Kinder removed plaintiff from a courtroom on October 26 29, 2009. He also asserts a § 1983 malicious prosecution claim against Kinder. 27 ///// 28 ///// 1 1 2 II. Plaintiff’s Motions to Quash Plaintiff objects to Bauer and Kinder’s subpoenas requesting production of plaintiff’s 3 medical and psychiatric/mental health records from October 1, 2006, through the present. See 4 ECF Nos. 84, 85, 86, 91.1 Plaintiff argues that the information in these records is privileged, 5 overbroad, and imposes an undue burden. 6 Bauer and Kinder argue that plaintiff waived any privacy rights with respect to his 7 medical and mental health records by putting such privileged information at issue in this case. 8 Specifically, plaintiff claims that Bauer wrongfully confiscated his wheelchair while he was 9 temporarily housed at the Sacramento County Main Jail from approximately October 2009 to 10 June 2010. Further, plaintiff claims that he was thrown down a flight of stairs by defendant 11 Kinder in October 2009, and suffered physical and mental injuries resulting therefrom. Plaintiff 12 testified at his deposition that four different injuries resulted in his need for a wheelchair, 13 including an assault in December 2006, a motor vehicle rollover accident in January 2007, and an 14 injury while climbing a hill at San Quentin State Prison in approximately March 2009. 15 Furthermore, plaintiff testified regarding ongoing physical and mental injuries caused by 16 defendants that he still suffers to date, and he testified that he is claiming these ongoing injuries 17 as present and future damages against the defendants. Plaintiff also made it clear at his deposition 18 that he was claiming specific mental health injuries caused by the defendants, including 19 depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and was pursuing a claim for damages regarding 20 same. Defendants also argue that the records requests place no burden on plaintiff, as the records 21 are sought from plaintiff’s medical/mental health providers and will not result in expense or 22 inconvenience to plaintiff. 23 A party may serve a subpoena commanding a nonparty “to produce documents, 24 electronically stored information, or tangible things . . . .” Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(a)(1)(C). Upon a 25 1 26 27 28 Plaintiff’s initial motion also sought an extension of time to serve discovery responses. ECF No. 84. However, plaintiff filed a notice with that motion asking the court to “just address the requested time [he] need[s] to file an objection to the . . . subpoena” and to “disregard” the request as it pertains to other “discovery discrepancies.” Id. at 6. Accordingly, the court will disregard plaintiff’s request for an extension of time. 2 1 timely motion, the court will quash a subpoena that “requires disclosure of privileged or other 2 protected matter, if no exception or waiver applies.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(c)(3)(A)(iii). A party may 3 waive his right to privacy in his medical records by placing them at issue in a case. Smith v. 4 Solano County, No. 2:11-cv-00142-MCE-EFB P, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120869, at *3-4 (E. D. 5 Cal. Aug. 24, 2012). Any waiver, however, is “limited to the private information that is relevant 6 to the lawsuit.” Enwere v. Terman Associates, L.P., No. C 07-1239 JF (PVT), 2008 U.S. Dist. 7 LEXIS 101901, at *5 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 4, 2008). 8 9 In this action, plaintiff seeks money damages against defendants for causing him to suffer physical and emotional injuries. Thus, plaintiff has placed his medical and mental condition at 10 issue, and thereby waived his privacy rights with respect to his medical and mental health records. 11 Defendants are entitled to discovery of these records to the extent they are relevant to these 12 claims. Defendants’ subpoenas for these records, which encompass a limited and relevant period 13 of time, are reasonable. Accordingly, plaintiff’s motions to quash the subpoenas are denied. 14 III. Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel 15 Plaintiff also moves to compel nonparty Sheriff Jones to respond to plaintiff’s request for 16 production of documents. ECF No. 93. Sheriff Jones, who is not a party to this lawsuit, is under 17 no obligation to respond to plaintiff’s request for production, as such requests may only be served 18 on parties to the lawsuit. See Fed. R. Civ. P 34(a). Therefore, plaintiff’s motion to compel is 19 denied. 20 To the extent plaintiff is requesting permission to subpoena certain documents from 21 Sheriff Jones, the request is also denied. The court previously informed plaintiff of the 22 requirements for obtaining a subpoena to obtain documents from a non-party. See ECF No. 81. 23 Plaintiff has failed to comply with those requirements. 24 ///// 25 ///// 26 ///// 27 ///// 28 ///// 3 1 2 IV. Order Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motions to quash and motion to 3 compel (ECF Nos. 84, 85, 86, 91, 93) are denied. 4 DATED: October 27, 2015. 5 6 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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