Gonzalez v. Ahmed et al

Filing 69

ORDER by Judge Lucy H. Koh granting in part and denying in part 63 Motion Request for continuance (Attachments: # 1 certificate of mailing) (mpb, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/21/2011)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 BRENT LUIS GONZALEZ, 11 Plaintiff, 12 v. 13 Z. AHMED, et al., 14 Defendants. 15 16 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. C 10-5654 LHK (PR) ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF’S REQUEST FOR CONTINUANCE Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a second amended civil rights 17 complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to 18 his serious medical needs. On November 14, 2011, Defendants filed a motion for summary 19 judgment. On December 2, 2011, Plaintiff filed a motion for continuance under Rule 56(d). 20 Plaintiff has also filed two letters, requesting an extension of time to file his opposition. For the 21 reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff’s request for an extension of time in which to 22 file his opposition to defendant’s motion for summary judgment, but DENIES it to the extent 23 that he requests additional time to seek further discovery pursuant to Rule 56(d). 24 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d) is a device for litigants to avoid summary 25 judgment when the non-movant needs to discover affirmative evidence necessary to oppose the 26 motion. See Garrett v. San Francisco, 818 F.2d 1515, 1518 (9th Cir. 1987). In making a Rule 27 56(d) motion, a party opposing summary judgment must make clear “what information is sought 28 and how it would preclude summary judgment.” Margolis v. Ryan, 140 F.3d 850, 853 (9th Cir. Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Plaintiff’s Request for Continuance P:\pro-se\sj.lhk\cr.10\Gonzalez654deny56 1 1998); see, e.g., id. at 853-54 (district court correctly denied motion for continuance to engage in 2 further discovery under Rule 56(d) where plaintiff did not provide any basis or factual support 3 for his assertions that further discovery would lead to the facts and testimony he described, and 4 his assertions appeared based on nothing more than “wild speculation”). Rule 56(d) requires that 5 the requesting party show (1) it has set forth in affidavit form the specific facts it hopes to elicit 6 from further discovery, (2) the facts sought exist, and (3) the sought-after facts are essential to 7 oppose summary judgment. Family Home and Finance Center, Inc. v. Federal Home Loan 8 Mortgage Corp., 525 F.3d 822, 827 (9th Cir. 2008). 9 Here, Plaintiff requests an indefinite extension of time in which to file his opposition to 10 Defendants’ motion for summary judgment. He claims that he requested information from 11 Defendants that he believes is “critical” to drafting his opposition. However, he does not 12 demonstrate how this “additional discovery would [] reveal[] specific facts precluding summary 13 judgment,” see Tatum v. City and County of S.F., 441 F.3d 1090, 1101 (9th Cir. 2006), or how 14 the sought-after facts are essential to oppose summary judgment, Family Home and Finance 15 Center, Inc., 525 F.3d at 827. Indeed, he states that “[t]his discovery may allow me to present a 16 much more thorough response . . .” (Dkt. No. 63 at 2) (emphasis added). Thus, Plaintiff is not 17 entitled to a continuance for the purpose of conducting additional discovery pursuant to Rule 18 56(d). 19 However, due to Plaintiff’s assertion that he has little access to the law library, and 20 limited knowledge of the law, the Court will GRANT Plaintiff a thirty-day continuance in which 21 to file his opposition to the motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff is directed to file an 22 opposition to Defendants’ motion for summary judgment no later than thirty days from the 23 filing date of this order. Defendants shall file a reply fifteen days thereafter. 24 IT IS SO ORDERED. 12/20/11 DATED: 25 26 LUCY H. KOH United States District Judge 27 28 Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Plaintiff’s Request for Continuance 2 P:\pro-se\sj.lhk\cr.10\Gonzalez654deny56

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