Flowers v. Alameda County Sheriffs et al

Filing 74


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1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 5 6 7 8 JOSEPH J. FLOWERS, ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) v. ) ) ALAMEDA COUNTY SHERIFF GREGORY ) AHERN, et al., ) ) Defendants. ) _______________________________ ) No. C 08-4179 CW (PR) ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS FOR COURT-ORDERED TELEPHONE ACCESS AND TO PROPOUND ADDITIONAL INTERROGATORIES; SETTING DISCOVERY AND BRIEFING SCHEDULES 9 Plaintiff Joseph J. Flowers, a state prisoner, filed this pro United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 13 14 se civil rights action concerning events that took place when he was a pretrial detainee at the Alameda County jail. dated November 24, 2010, the Court ordered Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint (TAC) served on nine Defendants. Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment on May 13, 15 16 17 18 2011. 21 later than sixty days after the filing of Defendants' motion. Now pending before the Court are Plaintiff's discoveryrelated motions for Court-ordered telephone access and to propound additional interrogatories. For the reasons discussed below, the motions are DENIED. 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 According to the briefing schedule previously set by the Court, Plaintiff's opposition to Defendants' motion is due no 19 20 By Order A. Court-Ordered Telephone Access Plaintiff asks the Court to order prison officials at Deuel Vocational Institute, where Plaintiff currently is incarcerated, to provide Plaintiff with one hour per week of telephone access so that Plaintiff may seek the services of a private investigator to find witnesses who have personal knowledge of the events at issue in the instant action. 1 This case has been pending for almost three years, during 2 which Plaintiff has had ample time to write letters to potential 3 private investigators and/or witnesses, and he is not precluded 4 from doing so at this juncture in the proceedings. 5 the Court finds no good cause to order prison officials to provide 6 Plaintiff with telephone access to which he is not entitled 7 otherwise. 8 B. 9 Accordingly, Therefore, Plaintiff's request is DENIED. Additional Interrogatories Plaintiff has filed a motion asking the Court to allow him to United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 propound additional interrogatories on Defendants. 11 his motion, Plaintiff states the following: (1) on March 5, 2011, 12 he served Defendants with 35 interrogatories; (2) on April 21, 13 2011, Defendants served Plaintiff with their responses to the 14 interrogatories; (3) Defendants did not respond fully to the 15 interrogatories, rather, they raised nine different objections to 16 providing the information requested by Plaintiff; (4) in addition 17 to the nine objections, Defendants informed Plaintiff that, in 18 accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 33(a)(1), they 19 would answer no more than 25 interrogatories. In support of 20 In the instant motion, Plaintiff raises the following 21 concerns: (1) the objections raised by Defendants are inadequate 22 and/or inapplicable to Plaintiff's interrogatories, and 23 (2) Plaintiff needs to propound additional interrogatories because 24 in his first set of interrogatories he erroneously used the wrong 25 date concerning one of the incidents at issue in the instant 26 action, and (3) Plaintiff needs to propound additional 27 interrogatories because he has learned new facts not previously 28 available to him that will allow him to request more specific 2 1 2 information from Defendants. Although Plaintiff has not captioned his motion as one to 3 compel discovery, a ruling granting Plaintiff's motion would 4 require Defendants to provide Plaintiff with responses to 5 interrogatories to which Defendants have raised objections. 6 Court does not have before it any of the original interrogatories 7 or responses, however, and there is no indication from the record 8 that the parties have made any attempt to meet and confer, as is 9 required by Civil Local Rule 37-1 prior to a district court’s United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 The consideration of a motion to resolve a discovery dispute. Consequently, the Court will neither grant Plaintiff's motion 12 nor require Defendants to respond thereto. 13 will be DENIED without prejudice and the parties will be required 14 to meet and confer regarding outstanding discovery matters. 15 Where, as here, one of the parties is a prisoner, the Court does 16 not require in-person meetings and instead allows the prisoner and 17 defense counsel to meet and confer by telephone or exchange of 18 letters. 19 changes, the substance of the rule remains the same: the parties 20 must engage in a good faith effort to meet and confer before 21 seeking Court intervention in any discovery dispute. Rather, the motion Although the format of the meet-and-confer process 22 Additionally, in order to ensure that further briefing on 23 Defendants' motion for summary judgment is not delayed unduly, the 24 Court will require the parties to comply with the discovery and 25 briefing schedules set forth below. 26 CONCLUSION 27 For the reasons stated above, the Court orders as follows: 28 1. Plaintiff's motion for Court-ordered telephone access is DENIED. 3 1 2 2. interrogatories is DENIED. 3 4 Plaintiff's motion to propound additional 3. The parties shall abide by the following discovery schedule: 5 a. No later than July 5, 2011, the parties shall 6 complete all discovery and shall meet and confer regarding all 7 outstanding discovery matters that the parties have been unable to 8 resolve. 9 b. If Plaintiff intends to file a motion to compel United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 discovery with respect to any unresolved discovery matters, he 11 shall do so, and serve a copy on Defendants, no later than July 12 15, 2011. 13 14 c. Defendants shall file a response to Plaintiff's motion no later than July 25, 2011. 15 d. 16 the response is filed. 17 18 4. The motion shall be deemed submitted on the date The parties shall abide by the following briefing schedule: 19 a. Plaintiff shall file with the Court and serve on 20 Defendants his opposition to Defendants' motion for summary 21 judgment no later than August 15, 2011.1 22 23 b. September 1, 2011. 24 25 Defendants shall file a reply brief no later than c. The motion for summary judgment shall be deemed submitted on the date the reply is filed. 26 27 28 1 Because of the large number of claims in the instant action, Plaintiff is advised that in order to meet the Court's deadline he should, to the extent possible, begin preparing his opposition even before all discovery matters have been resolved. 4 1 2 5. No extensions of time with respect to the above deadlines will be granted absent compelling circumstances. 3 6. 4 IT IS SO ORDERED. This Order terminates Docket nos. 63 and 68. 5 Dated: 6/23/2011 6 CLAUDIA WILKEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 7 8 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5 1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 2 3 4 JOSEPH J. FLOWERS, Case Number: CV08-04179 CW Plaintiff, 5 6 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE v. 7 ALAMEDA COUNTY SHERIFF et al, 8 Defendant. / 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 13 I, the undersigned, hereby certify that I am an employee in the Office of the Clerk, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. That on June 23, 2011, I SERVED a true and correct copy(ies) of the attached, by placing said copy(ies) in a postage paid envelope addressed to the person(s) hereinafter listed, by depositing said envelope in the U.S. Mail, or by placing said copy(ies) into an inter-office delivery receptacle located in the Clerk's office. 14 15 17 Joseph J. Flowers F82065 DVI Prison P.O. Box 600 Tracy, CA 95378 18 Dated: June 23, 2011 16 19 Richard W. Wieking, Clerk By: Nikki Riley, Deputy Clerk 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 6

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