Whitely v. CDCR et al
ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan on 11/29/2017 GRANTING 23 Motion for Extension of Discovery Deadline. Defendants to respond to Plaintiff's 10/11/2017 discovery requests within 30 days of the date this order is filed. Plaintiff's motion to compel based on those requests, if any, must be filed within 30 days of his receipt of Defendants' responses. (Henshaw, R)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
No. 2:16-cv-1534-GEB-EFB P
CDCR, et al.,
Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action brought under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, has filed a motion to extend the discovery deadline. ECF No. 23. For the reasons
stated below, the motion is granted.
The scheduling order directed the parties that all requests for discovery pursuant to Fed.
R. Civ. P. 31, 33, 34, or 36 were to be served no later than September 29, 2017, and that
discovery must be completed by December 1, 2017. ECF No. 21 at 4. The court cautioned that
requests to modify the scheduling order would be looked upon with disfavor and must be
supported by good cause as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b). Id.
In his motion, plaintiff explains that despite a modified lockdown and limited access to the
law library, he timely served his first set of discovery requests on August 23, 2017. ECF No. 23
at 2. Plaintiff received defendants’ responses on September 29, 2017 Id. Plaintiff served
additional discovery requests on October 11, 2017, but defendants advised him that they would
not respond to those requests insofar as they were submitted past the September 29 deadline. Id.
The court finds that the circumstances of this case warrant making an allowance for the
tardy service of plaintiff’s second set of discovery requests. As noted above, plaintiff states that
circumstances beyond his control, namely a modified lockdown and limited access to the law
library, interfered with his ability to timely serve all of his requests. Id. at 2. Although plaintiff
should have filed an earlier motion for extension of that deadline, the Ninth Circuit has cautioned
that “strict time limits . . . ought not to be insisted upon where restraints resulting from a pro se
prisoner plaintiff’s incarceration prevent timely compliance with court deadlines.” Eldridge v.
Block, 832 F.2d 1132, 1136 (9th Cir. 1987) (internal quotation marks omitted) (citing Tarantino
v. Eggers, 380 F.2d 465, 468 (9th Cir. 1967)). Moreover, allowing plaintiff to pursue his
discovery requests may facilitate resolution of this action insofar as “[a]n important purpose of
discovery is to reveal what evidence the opposing party has, thereby helping determine which
facts are undisputed--perhaps paving the way for a summary judgment motion--and which facts
must be resolved at trial.” Computer Task Group, Inc. v. Brotby, 364 F.3d 1112, 1117 (9th Cir.
Based on the foregoing, it is ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion to extend the discovery
deadline (ECF No. 23) is GRANTED. The record indicates that defendants have already been
served with plaintiff’s October 11, 2017 interrogatories, requests for production, and requests for
admissions. ECF No. 23 at 2. Thus, defendants shall respond to these discovery requests within
thirty days of the date this order is filed. Plaintiff’s motion to compel based on those requests, if
any, must be filed within thirty days of his receipt of defendants’ responses. Finally, given this
modification to the scheduling order, the court will be receptive to requests from either party to
extend the dispositive motion deadline.
DATED: November 29, 2017.
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