Estate of Antonio Thomas et al v. County of Sacramento et al

Filing 166

ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Deborah Barnes on 5/10/2022 DENYING Without Prejudice 137 Motion for Protective Order, DENYING Without Prejudice 138 Motion for Protective Order, DENYING Without Prejudice 144 Motion to Modify Protective Orders, and VACATING 5/13/2022 Hearing.(Perdue, C.)

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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 ESTATE OF ANTONIO THOMAS, et al., 12 No. 2:20-cv-0903 KJM DB Plaintiffs, 13 v. 14 ORDER COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO et al., 15 Defendants. 16 “The discovery process in theory should be cooperative and largely unsupervised by the 17 18 district court.” Sali v. Corona Regional Medical Center, 884 F.3d 1218, 1219 (9th Cir. 2018). 19 That theory has certainly been disproven in this action, which has again and again come before 20 the undersigned for resolution of discovery disputes. The most recent disputes include three 21 motions noticed for hearing before the undersigned on May 13, 2022: defendants’ renewed 22 motion for a protective order, defendants’ motion for a protective order, and plaintiffs’ motion to 23 modify the protective order. (ECF Nos. 137, 138, & 144.) As the parties are well aware, the undersigned’s Standard Information re discovery 24 25 disputes set forth on the court’s web page explains that a joint statement filed before the 26 undersigned shall not exceed twenty-five pages, excluding exhibits. 1 See 27 28 1 The parties are advised that title pages, tables of contents, tables of citations, etc., all count toward the twenty-five-page limit. 1 1 2 judge-deborah-barnes-db. The parties have filed a joint statement for each of the three pending 3 motions, numbering between 20 and 26 pages each. (ECF Nos. 156, 157, & 160.) The 4 undersigned will not permit the parties to exceed the page limitation by filing multiple joint 5 statements for hearing on the same calendar when they could not do so if the briefing was 6 contained in a single joint statement. 7 Accordingly, the parties’ motions will be denied without prejudice to renewal. The parties 8 may elect to re-notice each motion of a different available law and motion calendar. And in an 9 effort to aid the parties in trimming the length of their joint statements and perhaps narrow their 10 disputes, the undersigned provides the following helpful information. Discovery in this action 11 has closed. (ECF No. 143.) Therefore, with respect to discovery that has not been produced there 12 is nothing for the undersigned to compel, and thus nothing for the undersigned to protect from 13 production. 14 More generally, while the parties’ briefing should allege specific facts from which the 15 undersigned can determine that the parties have complied with the applicable meet and confer 16 requirements, the undersigned does not require a lengthy recounting of the history of the parties’ 17 conferences. Nor is resolution of the parties’ dispute served by global arguments, supported by 18 boilerplate law, and vague reference to various discovery items. 19 Instead, the parties briefing should focus on addressing with particularity an identified 20 document or category of documents at issue. The parties should then tailor their arguments to 21 addressing the specific document at issue. If the parties cannot do so within the given page 22 limitation, then they should either narrow their dispute, or notice another motion for hearing on 23 another day. 24 Finally, the undersigned notes that one joint statement makes reference to documents that 25 were “logged with the Court for in-camera review.” (ECF No. 160 at 4.) “In Camera review is 26 not generally favored” and “the court should not conduct such a review solely because a party 27 begs it to do so.” Nishika, Ltd. v. Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., 181 F.R.D. 465, 467 (D. Nev. 1998). 28 “In camera review should not replace the effective adversarial testing of the claimed privileges 2 1 and protections.” Diamond State Ins. Co. v. Rebel Oil Co., Inc., 157 F.R.D. 691, 700 (D. Nev. 2 1994). The undersigned has no intention of reviewing a document in camera in the absence of the 3 parties’ satisfying their obligations. 4 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 5 1. Defendants’ March 29, 2022 renewed motion for protective order (ECF No. 137), is 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 denied without prejudice to renewal; 2. Defendants’ March 30, 2022 motion for a protective order (ECF No. 138) is denied without prejudice to renewal; 3. Plaintiffs’ April 8, 2022 motion to modify protective orders (ECF No. 144) is denied without prejudice to renewal; and 4. The May 13, 2022 hearing of these motions is vacated. DATED: May 10, 2022 13 /s/ DEBORAH BARNES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 DLB:6 DB/orders/orders.civil/thomas0903.mulit.js.ord 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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