Lindberg v. Mabus

Filing 38

ORDER denying 31 Plaintiff's Motion for Disclosure; denying 32 Plaintiff's Motion for Disclosure; denying 33 Plaintiff's Motion to Withdraw Document; denying 34 Plaintiff's Motion to Compel; signed by Judge Ronald B. Leighton.(DN)

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HONORABLE RONALD B. LEIGHTON 1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 7 8 CASE NO. C16-5671RBL ANNE LINDBERG, 9 Plaintiff, 10 11 ORDER v. RICHARD SPENCER, Secretary of the Navy, 12 Defendant. 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 THIS MATTER is before the Court on the following: pro se Plaintiff Lindberg’s Motions for Disclosure of all case records [Dkt. #s 31 and 32]; Lindberg’s Motion to Terminate the Stipulated Protective Order [Dkt. #33] and Lindberg’s Motion to Compel [Dkt. #34]. Lindberg seeks from the Defendant’s attorney records and documentation of the details of all ‘communications” “calls” and “documents” between her former attorneys [two sets, Dkt. #s 31 and 32] and the US Attorneys’ office, and details of communications between that office and the attorney for non-party Dr. Tinker: 21 22 23 24 ORDER - 1 1 2 3 4 5 [Dkt. # 31] There is no basis for such a request; Lindberg has the right to her file from her prior 6 attorneys, and she can seek discovery (consistent with the Civil and Local Rules) to the 7 defendant through his attorney. But she has no ability to propound discovery to, or demand 8 documents or other information from, opposing counsel. She has no ability to force opposing 9 counsel to create records of communications and provide them to her. She has not articulated any 10 basis for demanding every detail of any conversations between the US Attorneys’ office and a 11 non-party’s attorney. Plaintiff is now pro se, but she is still bound by the Federal Rules of Civil 12 Procedure. Her Motions for Disclosure are DENIED. 13 Lindberg’s Motion to Compel is based on a Request for Production sent by her prior 14 attorney. Defendant Spencer claims he responded, and that the demands made in the current 15 motion are not the same as those in the prior discovery request. Lindberg concedes as much, 16 calling her motion a “clarification” of the prior discovery request. She also makes new demands, 17 including a broad request for information relating to attorney Alison McKay. For example: 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 ORDER - 2 1 [Dkt. #34]. This sounds a lot like a similar line of attack pursued by Plaintiff JoAnn West in a 2 series of unrelated cases. See, for example, West v. Spencer, Cause No. 17 – cv – 5246RBL. The 3 common denominator appears to be the involvement of “support assistant” Ceu Alves, who is 4 not a party and is not an attorney admitted to practice in this Court. [See Dkt. #39 in that case] 5 Alves is not going to run this case from the shadows, any more than she did the West cases. The 6 Motion to Compel is DENIED. The Defendant and his attorneys are encouraged to provide discovery to Lindberg 7 8 without the need for motions practice, and Lindberg is similarly encouraged to articulate what 9 she wants and why in a manner that is understandable and reasonable. If and when discovery 10 disputes are presented to the Court, the Rules will be followed notwithstanding the plaintiff’s pro 11 se status. This includes the rules of discovery and the requirement that parties meet and confer 12 before filing discovery motions, and the requirement that a non-attorney can represent only 13 herself. 14 Finally, Lindberg seeks to terminate the Stipulated Protective Order [Dkt. #16] that was 15 executed on her behalf by her prior attorney. Her reasoning is unclear, but she claims the 16 Protective Order is acting as a “gag order.” Spencer surmises that Lindberg wants to share not 17 only her own confidential information but the confidential information of other federal 18 employees with her “assistant” (who is unnamed), and with her potential (third) attorney, also 19 not yet identified. Her attorney has or will have access to the information under the terms of the 20 (standard) Protective Order. Her non-attorney “assistant” (presumably, Alves) does not have that 21 right, and should not have the right to access non-parties’ confidential medical or other records. 22 23 24 ORDER - 3 1 The Motion to Terminate the Protective Order as it relates to the defendant’s and third parties’ 2 confidential medical and other records is DENIED. 3 IT IS SO ORDERED. 4 Dated this 28th day of November, 2017. 6 A 7 Ronald B. Leighton United States District Judge 5 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 ORDER - 4

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