Morrow et al v. City of San Diego, et al

Filing 141

ORDER granting 137 Motion for Determination of Discovery Dispute Re Special Interrogatories. Plaintiffs shall provide defendant with full and complete responses to defendant's Special Interrogatory Nos. 1 through 14 within 15 days of the date this Order is filed. Defendant's request for monetary sanctions is denied at this time. Signed by Magistrate Judge Karen S. Crawford on 3/24/2017. (jah)

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!'. I ··-)1~··I. I ; r\ · -. r r ,, , : · I \,.) t { \~ r\ 1 ' t 2 . 3 I. 4 / ~ •' ' ( I Vt Pl 5 f 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 FLOYD L. MORROW and MARLENE MORROW, 13 14 15 16 Plaintiffs, v. CITY OF SAN DIEGO, et al., Case No.: 1 lcv1497-BAS(KSC) ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF DISCOVERY DISPUTE RE SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES [Doc. No. 137] Defendants. 17 18 Before the Court is defendant's Motion for Determination of Discovery Dispute: 19 Special Interrogatories and Request for Sanctions. [Doc. No. 137.] In the Motion, 20 defendant seeks an order compelling plaintiffs to provide substantive responses to 21 fourteen (14) special interrogatories. Plaintiffs only objected to these special 22 interrogatories and did not provide any substantive responses. Defendant represents that 23 it was unable to obtain plaintiffs' cooperation to file this discovery motion jointly as 24 required by Chambers Rules. [Doc. No. 137, at p. 2.] 25 Background 26 After a lengthy procedural history, the only remaining claim is the second cause of 27 action in the Fourth Amended Complaint. The second cause of action is filed pursuant to 28 Section 1983 and alleges violations of plaintiffs' constitutional rights to equal protection. l lcvl497-BAS(KSC) 1 [Doc. No. 132, at p. 3; Doc. No. 136, at p. 2, 8-9; Doc. No. 47, at pp. 27-30.] Essentially, 2 the second cause of action alleges that defendant's code enforcement practices 3 unconstitutionally targeted and cited plaintiffs for having a manufactured home on their 4 property. [Doc. No. 136, at p. 4.] 5 Discussion 6 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 provides as follows: "Parties may obtain 7 discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or 8 defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the 9 issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative access to 10 relevant information, the parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving 11 the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its 12 likely benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in 13 evidence to be discoverable." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b )(1 ). 14 "[A] party may serve on any other party no more than 25 written interrogatories, 15 including all discrete subparts .... " Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(a)(l ). "An interrogatory may 16 relate to any matter that may be inquired into under Rule 26(b) .... " Fed.R.Civ.P. 17 33(a)(2). "The grounds for objection to an interrogatory must be stated with specificity. 18 Any ground not stated in a timely objection is waived unless the court for good cause, 19 excuses the failure." Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(b )(4). "Boilerplate, generalized objections are 20 inadequate and tantamount to not making any objection at all." Walker v. Lakewood 21 Condominium Owners Ass'n, 186 F.R.D. 584, 587 (C.D. Cal. 1999). Responses such as 22 "[ o]verbroad, unduly burdensome, unduly redundant to other discovery, oppressive, 23 calls for narrative" ... are general or boilerplate objections, which are not proper 24 objections." US. ex rel. O'Connell v. Chapman University, 245 F.R.D. 646, 649-650 25 (C.D. Cal. 2007). "An objection must show specifically how an interrogatory is overly 26 broad, burdensome or oppressive, by submitting affidavits or offering evidence which 27 reveals the nature of the burden." Chubb Integrated Systems Ltd. v. National Bank of 28 Washington, 103 F.R.D. 52, 59-60 (D.D.C. 1984). 2 l lcvl497-BAS(KSC) 1 Here, plaintiff provided only boilerplate objections to defendant's special 2 interrogatories, such as unduly burdensome, vague, ambiguous, unreasonably 3 duplicative, cumulative, and disproportional. [Doc. No. 137, at pp. 2-36.] Plaintiffs 4 made no attempt to support their boilerplate objections with any explanation whatsoever. 5 As a result, the Court finds that defendant is entitled to an order compelling plaintiffs to 6 provide full and complete responses to defendant's special interrogatories without 7 objections. Conclusion 8 9 Based on the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendant's request for 10 an order compelling plaintiffs to provide full and complete responses to special 11 interrogatories is GRANTED. Plaintiffs shall provide defendant with full and complete 12 responses to defendant's Special Interrogatory Nos. 1through14 within fifteen (15) 13 days o(the date this Order is filed. Defendant's request for monetary sanctions is 14 DENIED at this time. 15 Plaintiffs are forewarned that sanctions may be imposed against them under 16 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37 i(they fail to comply with this Order. Sanctions 17 under Rule 37 may include the dismissal ofthis action. 18 19 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: March Zf, 2017 ~~~-----~~- / ~, i 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 l lcvl497-BAS(KSC)

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