Givens v. County of Sacramento, et al.

Filing 64

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.)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 FRANCOIS P. GIVENS, 12 13 14 15 No. 2:15-cv-0720-KJN PS Plaintiff, v. ORDER COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO, et al., Defendants. 16 17 On May 19, 2017, plaintiff filed a motion to compel defendants to provide supplemental 18 responses to various interrogatories. (ECF No. 62.) For the reasons discussed below, the motion 19 is DENIED without prejudice as premature. 20 The court’s operative scheduling order provides, in part, that “the parties are required to 21 meet and confer in good faith in an attempt to resolve their discovery disputes informally and 22 without court intervention prior to filing a discovery motion. Failure to do so may result in 23 summary denial of a discovery motion.” (ECF No. 51 at 4.) Here, plaintiff’s motion and 24 accompanying declaration indicate that there has been no informal meet-and-confer efforts or 25 discussions between the parties with respect to the issues raised in this discovery motion. 26 Therefore, the motion is plainly premature. 27 28 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 1 1 independent, affirmative obligation to initiate and exhaust informal meet-and-confer efforts 2 before filing a discovery motion. In turn, once plaintiff initiates such efforts, defendants have an 3 obligation to cooperate in such informal meet-and-confer efforts in good faith. That includes, at a 4 minimum, arranging a telephone call or videoconference with plaintiff to discuss the discovery 5 issues in voice-to-voice dialogue; the mere exchange of written letters is insufficient. The court is 6 cognizant that, in light of plaintiff’s incarceration, some delays may be inevitable, but the court 7 expects the parties to cooperate diligently and in good faith with respect to discovery, including 8 the scheduling and logistics of informal meet-and-confer sessions. Finally, as outlined in the 9 scheduling order, the court also encourages the use of informal telephonic discovery conferences 10 with the court in lieu of formal written discovery motions, but only after the parties have 11 exhausted their own informal meet-and-confer efforts.1 Accordingly, plaintiff’s motion to compel (ECF No. 62) is DENIED WITHOUT 12 13 PREJUDICE as premature. 2 14 15 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: May 26, 2017 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 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. 2 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. 2

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