Ford v. California Health Care Facility et al.

Filing 67

ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Deborah Barnes on 7/11/2017 DENYING 60 Motion for Extension of Discovery Cut-Off; DENYING 64 Motion to Appoint Counsel; and GRANTING 63 Motion for Extension of Time. Plaintiff to file response to 61 Motion for Summary Judgment by 8/18/2017. (Henshaw, R)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 DARREN VINCENT FORD, 11 Plaintiff, 12 13 14 No. 2:15-cv-2588 GEB DB P v. ORDER CALIFORNIA HEALTH CARE FACILITY, et al., Defendants. 15 16 Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with a civil rights 17 18 action. Plaintiff alleges defendant Jahangiri violated plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment rights when 19 Jahangiri failed to take any protective measures after plaintiff threatened to commit suicide. 20 Before the court are plaintiff’s requests for discovery, for the appointment of counsel, and for an 21 extension of time to file a response to defendant’s summary judgment motion. For the reasons set 22 forth below, plaintiff’s requests for discovery and counsel will be denied and his request for an 23 extension of time will be granted. 24 25 I. Request for Discovery Here, plaintiff asks that he be permitted to serve one more set of interrogatories on 26 defendant. (ECF No. 60.) Essentially, plaintiff asks again for an extension of the deadline for 27 conducting discovery. The court’s Discovery and Scheduling Order was issued in November 28 2016 and set a deadline of March 10, 2017 for conducting discovery. (ECF No. 27.) In an order 1 1 dated February 9, 2017, the court granted defendant’s request for an extension of the discovery 2 cut-off to April 14, 2017. (ECF No. 44.) On June 13, 2017, the court denied plaintiff’s request 3 for an extension of the discovery cut-off because plaintiff failed to explain what additional 4 discovery he required and why he was unable to seek that information during the discovery 5 period. (ECF No. 54.) 6 In his current motion, plaintiff argues that he should be permitted to serve one more set of 7 interrogatories because defendant’s responses to his prior sets of interrogatories were objections 8 and plaintiff thought the discovery cut-off had passed. For a variety of reasons, plaintiff’s motion 9 will be denied. Plaintiff does not explain what prior interrogatories he propounded or why he 10 never sought to compel defendant to respond to those prior sets of interrogatories. Plaintiff had 11 opportunities to do so and should have been aware that such motions were available because 12 defendant moved to compel plaintiff to respond to discovery. 13 Plaintiff also fails to explain what information he now seeks and why he was unable to 14 seek it previously. Finally, plaintiff’s motion is untimely. Plaintiff waited until June 16, over two 15 months after the close of discovery, to file his motion. Plaintiff fails to establish good cause for 16 an extension of the discovery cut-off. 17 18 II. Request for Appointment of Counsel Plaintiff requests the appointment of counsel because he is experiencing difficulties 19 understanding defendant’s motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 64.) “The United States 20 Supreme Court has ruled that district courts lack authority to require counsel to represent indigent 21 prisoners in § 1983 cases. Mallard v. United States Dist. Court, 490 U.S. 296, 298 (1989). In 22 certain exceptional circumstances, the district court may request the voluntary assistance of 23 counsel pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1). Terrell v. Brewer, 935 F.2d 1015, 1017 (9th Cir. 24 1991); Wood v. Housewright, 900 F.2d 1332, 1335-36 (9th Cir. 1990). 25 The test for exceptional circumstances requires the court to evaluate the plaintiff’s 26 likelihood of success on the merits and the ability of the plaintiff to articulate his claims pro se in 27 light of the complexity of the legal issues involved. See Wilborn v. Escalderon, 789 F.2d 1328, 28 1331 (9th Cir. 1986); Weygandt v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983). Circumstances 2 1 common to most prisoners, such as lack of legal education and limited law library access, do not 2 establish exceptional circumstances that would warrant a request for voluntary assistance of 3 counsel. In the present case, the court does not find the required exceptional circumstances. 4 III. Request for Extension of Time 5 Plaintiff states that he requires additional time to respond to the summary judgment 6 motion because he is waiting for defendant’s responses to discovery. (ECF No. 63.) This reason 7 does not establish good cause because, as described above, plaintiff is not entitled to further 8 discovery. Nonetheless, the court recognizes that responding to a summary judgment motion is a 9 time-consuming task. The court will grant plaintiff’s request for an extension of time. 10 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 11 1. Plaintiff’s motion for an extension of the discovery cut-off (ECF No. 60) is denied; 12 2. Plaintiff’s motion for the appointment of counsel (ECF No. 64) is denied; 13 3. Plaintiff’s motion for an extension of time (ECF No. 63) is granted; and 14 3. By August 18, 2017, plaintiff shall file his response to defendant’s June 27, 2017 15 motion for summary judgment. Any reply shall be filed and served in accordance with Local 16 Rule 230(l). 17 Dated: July 11, 2017 18 19 20 DLB:9 DLB1/prisoner-civil rights/ford2588.31+36opp 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?