Reyes et al v. Horel et al

Filing 30

ORDER by Judge Ronald M. Whyte Granting 18 Motion for Protective Order. (jg, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/22/2009)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 *E-FILED - 5/22/09* IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA REUBEN JOSEPH REYES, Plaintiff, vs. ROBERT A. HOREL, et al., Defendants. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. C 08-4561 RMW (PR) ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER (Docket No. 18) This is a civil rights action brought by a pro se prisoner under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against prison officials. Defendants filed a motion for a protective order, seeking sixty additional days up to and including May 26, 2009 to respond to plaintiff's discovery requests. Plaintiff filed an opposition to their motion, and defendants have filed a reply. For the reasons discussed below, the court GRANTS defendants' motion. DISCUSSION A. Standard of Review Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 states that, in general, any matter relevant to a claim or defense is discoverable. That principle is subject to limitation. Upon a showing of good cause, the court may issue an order "to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense." See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c). Defendants have the burden to show good cause by demonstrating harm or prejudice that will result from the discovery. See Rivera v. NIBCO, Inc., 364 F.3d 1057 (9th Cir. 2004). P:\PRO-SE\SJ.Rmw\CR.08\Reyes561mot.prot.ord.wpd 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 B. Analysis In their motion, defendants request sixty additional days to respond to plaintiff's discovery requests. Defendants claim that in the last two months, plaintiff has propounded thirty-five requests. They contend that it would be unduly burdensome for them to respond to these requests because their counsel is currently preparing a motion for summary judgment, which is due on or before May 18, 2009. Plaintiff opposes the motion on two grounds: (1) defendants have failed to establish good cause, and (2) additional delay in responding to his discovery requests would prejudice him. Plaintiff contends that he has limited access to the law library and will have very little time to review the discovery requests and prepare his opposition to the summary judgment motion given the briefing schedule set by the court. Plaintiff further explains the relevancy of his requests to his claims and their possible relevance to his opposition to the summary judgment motion. "Discovery should be allowed unless the hardship is unreasonable in light of the benefits to be secured from the discovery." Snowdon v. Connaught Labs., Inc., 137 F.R.D. 325, 332 (D. Kan. 1991). While plaintiff has demonstrated the benefits he seeks from the discovery -- the relevancy of his requests to the claims in this action and his need to prepare for an opposition to defendants' summary judgment motion, the hardship imposed on defendants by the extensive nature of the requests and the court-imposed deadline for summary judgment motion is unreasonable. Accordingly, the court finds that defendants have shown good cause for the requested additional time to respond to plaintiff's discovery requests. If plaintiff needs an extension of time to respond to defendants' motion for summary judgment, he must file a request, and the court will provide him with such additional time if he shows additional time is needed. CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, defendants' motion for protective order (docket no. 18) is GRANTED. Defendants' response to plaintiff's discovery is now due May 26, 2009. \\\ P:\PRO-SE\SJ.Rmw\CR.08\Reyes561mot.prot.ord.wpd 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 IT IS SO ORDERED. DATED: 5/22/09 RONALD M. WHYTE United States District Judge P:\PRO-SE\SJ.Rmw\CR.08\Reyes561mot.prot.ord.wpd 3

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