Doe 1 et al v. Nielsen et al

Filing 246

Order Discharging 235 Order to Show Cause. Signed by Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi on 10/4/2019. (vkdlc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/4/2019)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 SAN JOSE DIVISION 7 8 JANE DOE 1, et al., Plaintiffs, 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 Case No.18-cv-02349-BLF (VKD) v. KEVIN K. MCALEENAN, et al., Defendants. ORDER DISCHARGING ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE SANCTIONS FOR NON-COMPLIANCE WITH COURT ORDER Re: Dkt. No. 235 On September 23, 2019, the Court issued an order directing defendants to show cause why 14 the Court should not impose sanctions for defendants’ failure to comply with the Court’s 15 September 6, 2019 order regarding defendants’ assertion of the law enforcement and deliberative 16 process privileges (Dkt. 223). Dkt. No. 235. As ordered, defendants filed a response the order to 17 show cause on September 27, 2019, and the Court held a hearing on the matter on October 1, 18 2019. Dkt. Nos. 239, 242. Defendants represent that they have now produced the documents that 19 are the subject of the Court’s September 6 order. Dkt. No. 236. 20 This Court has authority under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(b) and inherent 21 authority to issue sanctions for failure to comply with a discovery order. Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(b)(2); 22 Chambers v. NASCO, Inc., 501 U.S. 32, 45 (1991). Here, defendants provide no substantial 23 justification for their failure to comply with the Court’s September 6 order. Defendants previously 24 represented to the Court that the documents submitted for review in connection with the privilege 25 dispute were not classified. Defendants’ explanation for why that earlier representation was not 26 accurate and why the documents would not be produced as ordered does little to persuade the 27 Court that the failure to comply was justified or in good faith. 28 The Court has carefully considered whether sanctions are warranted here. On the one 1 hand, defendants’ failure to comply with the September 6 order comes after repeated and 2 unreasonable delays by defendants in providing the jurisdictional discovery the Court first ordered 3 over a year ago. Dkt. No. 102. Defendants did not move for relief from the deadlines set in the 4 September 6 order or for review on the merits; they simply chose not to comply and so advised the 5 Court. They have no good explanation for that course of conduct. On the other hand, plaintiffs 6 were not materially prejudiced by defendants’ failure to comply with the September 6 order, as 7 defendants promptly produced the disputed documents following the Court’s further order. 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 In these circumstances, and in the exercise of its discretion, the Court will not sanction defendants for their failure to comply with the September 6 order. Defendants are cautioned that the Court will not tolerate deliberate non-compliance with discovery orders in the future. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: October 4, 2019 13 14 VIRGINIA K. DEMARCHI United States Magistrate Judge 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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