Givens v. County of Sacramento, et al.
ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman on 5/26/2017 ORDERING that plaintiff's 62 Motion to Compel is DENIED without prejudice as premature. (Zignago, K.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
FRANCOIS P. GIVENS,
No. 2:15-cv-0720-KJN PS
COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO, et al.,
On May 19, 2017, plaintiff filed a motion to compel defendants to provide supplemental
responses to various interrogatories. (ECF No. 62.) For the reasons discussed below, the motion
is DENIED without prejudice as premature.
The court’s operative scheduling order provides, in part, that “the parties are required to
meet and confer in good faith in an attempt to resolve their discovery disputes informally and
without court intervention prior to filing a discovery motion. Failure to do so may result in
summary denial of a discovery motion.” (ECF No. 51 at 4.) Here, plaintiff’s motion and
accompanying declaration indicate that there has been no informal meet-and-confer efforts or
discussions between the parties with respect to the issues raised in this discovery motion.
Therefore, the motion is plainly premature.
Even if, as plaintiff suggests, defendants had not previously met and conferred with him
with respect to other issues in the case, plaintiff, as the moving party, nonetheless has an
independent, affirmative obligation to initiate and exhaust informal meet-and-confer efforts
before filing a discovery motion. In turn, once plaintiff initiates such efforts, defendants have an
obligation to cooperate in such informal meet-and-confer efforts in good faith. That includes, at a
minimum, arranging a telephone call or videoconference with plaintiff to discuss the discovery
issues in voice-to-voice dialogue; the mere exchange of written letters is insufficient. The court is
cognizant that, in light of plaintiff’s incarceration, some delays may be inevitable, but the court
expects the parties to cooperate diligently and in good faith with respect to discovery, including
the scheduling and logistics of informal meet-and-confer sessions. Finally, as outlined in the
scheduling order, the court also encourages the use of informal telephonic discovery conferences
with the court in lieu of formal written discovery motions, but only after the parties have
exhausted their own informal meet-and-confer efforts.1
Accordingly, plaintiff’s motion to compel (ECF No. 62) is DENIED WITHOUT
PREJUDICE as premature. 2
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: May 26, 2017
At that point, upon agreement of the parties that informal efforts have been exhausted,
defendants’ counsel may contact the undersigned’s courtroom deputy clerk to coordinate an
informal telephonic discovery conference, with arrangements to be made for plaintiff’s
appearance by telephone or videoconference.
To the extent that plaintiff suggests that his appearance at the settlement conference is
conditioned upon defendants’ discovery responses, he is mistaken. Both parties are ordered to
appear at the settlement conference before Magistrate Judge Barnes, and that appearance is not
contingent on other case events.
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