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Jones v. Zimmer

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 28, 2014

CHRISTOPHER A. JONES, Plaintiff(s)
v.
ALAN ZIMMER, et al., Defendant(s)

ORDER DENYING IN PART AND GRANTING IN PART MOTION TO COMPEL (DKT No. 53)

NANCY J. KOPPE, Magistrate Judge.

Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's motion to compel. Docket No. 53. Defendant filed a response in opposition and Plaintiff filed a reply. Docket Nos. 63, 73.[1] The Court finds the motion properly resolved without oral argument. See Local Rule 78-2. For the reasons discussed below, the motion is hereby DENIED in part and GRANTED in part.

I. Standards

Parties are entitled to discover non-privileged information relevant to any party's claim or defense. See, e.g., Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b). Relevance for discovery purposes is broadly construed, U.S. E.E.O.C. v. Caesars Ent., Inc., 237 F.R.D. 428, 431 (D. Nev. 2006), and encapsulates any "information reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, " Survivor Media, Inc. v. Survivor Prods., 406 F.3d 625, 635 (9th Cir. 2005).

The "party resisting discovery bears the burden of showing why a discovery request should be denied." See, e.g., F.T.C. v. AMG Servs., Inc., 291 F.R.D. 544, 553 (D. Nev. 2013) (quoting Painters Jt. Committee v. Employee Painters Trust Health & Welfare Fund, 2011 WL 4573349, *5 (D. Nev. Sept. 29, 2011)). Broad assertions of harm are insufficient to meet that burden. See, e.g., Caesars Entertainment, 237 F.R.D. at 432. Instead, the "objecting party must specifically detail the reasons why each request is irrelevant and may not rely on boilerplate, generalized, conclusory, or speculative arguments." AMG Servs., 291 F.R.D. at 553 (internal quotation and citation omitted).

II. Analysis

Plaintiff's motion identifies three requests for production to which he contends Defendants failed to properly respond. See Docket No. 53 at 1 (request for production 14), 2 (request for production 16), and 5 (request for production 28). The Court addresses each request for production in turn.

A. Request for Production 14

This request for production seeks "[a] copy of the investigative report generated by the inspector general's office in relation to the excessive use of force charge against B. Wilson." See Docket No. 53 at 1. Defendants responded initially by indicating that "[t]here are no documents that respond to this request." See id. Defendants' response to the motion to compel fails to specifically address Request for Production 14. See Docket No. 63. That response does mention that an amended response to the requests for production was served after the motion to compel had been filed. See id. at 2. Although not entirely clear, it therefore appears that Defendants are arguing that the motion to compel is moot based on that subsequent production.[2] But the Defendants fail to explain how the additional documents provided, which include an "Investigation Detail Report[s] For: AG Office, " see Docket No. 63-1 (Exh. 28), are responsive to this request for investigative reports generated by the inspector general's office. Cf. Docket No. 73 at 7-8 (casting doubt on whether such document is responsive to this document request).

In short, Defendants have failed to meaningfully oppose the motion to compel on this request for production and the Court finds they failed to carry their burden of showing either that the discovery has been produced or that such discovery is not allowed under the applicable rules. Accordingly, the motion to compel is hereby GRANTED as to this request for production.

B. Request for Production 16

This request for production seeks "[a] copy of all documentation that Defendants may or may not use in defense of this matter gathered pursuant to the reasons set out in (#33) as a basis for seeking the enlargement of time to file answer or other responsive pleading." See Mot. at 2. In Defendants' filing at Docket No. 33, they indicated that

there are a number of documents, including grievances, notices of charges, disciplinary forms, etc. that must be gathered and authenticated, so that a proper and accurate responsive pleading can be made. Additionally, Plaintiff has made claims of excessive force that led to an evaluation at the infirmary, and has alleged lingering medical complaints, including pain and numbness that apparently continue to this day. Therefore, Defendants must gather and authenticate Plaintiff's medical records from Southern Desert Correctional Center, and any institutions that he may have been housed in since.

Docket No. 33 at 2-3.

Defendants responded to Request for Production 16 by objecting generally that the "[r]equest seeks documents beyond the scope of Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 34" and that the request was a means to obtain initial disclosures even though this case is exempt from the initial disclosure requirements. See Docket No. 53. at 19. Notwithstanding the objections, however, Defendants indicated that they were producing responsive documents. See id. In their supplemental response served after the motion to compel was filed, Defendants indicate that they provided "all exhibits" with the original response, and further listed other documents they may introduce at trial. See Docket No. 63-1 at 3 (listing, inter alia, Plaintiff's deposition testimony). Defendants have now represented to the Court that "Plaintiff has been given all relevant documents and non-relevant documents he has requested." Docket No. 63 at 2. Accordingly, the motion to compel is hereby DENIED as moot as to this request for production.

C. Request for Production 28

This request for production seeks "[a] copy of the report and any computer entry by Lt. Filson relating to (S&E) bring [sic] Jones to his office on 3-9-12 as relating to the Jones/SC/O Wilson incident." See Docket No. 53 at 22; see also Docket No. 53 at 5-6. Defendants responded initially by indicating that "[t]here are no documents that respond to this request." See id. Defendants' response to the motion to compel fails to specifically address Request for Production 28. See Docket No. 63. That response does mention that an amended response to the request for production was served after the motion to compel had been filed. See id. at 2. Although not entirely clear, it therefore appears that Defendants are arguing the motion to compel is moot based on that subsequent production. But Defendants fail to explain how the additional documents provided, which include an "Investigation Detail Report[s] For: AG Office" by Defendant Zimmer, see Docket No. 63-1 (Exh. 29), is responsive to this request. Indeed, a simple review of that document shows that it relates to a different incident on a different date involving different staff. See Docket No. 63-1 (Exh. 29).

In short, Defendants have failed to meaningfully oppose the motion to compel on this request for production and the Court finds they failed to carry their burden of showing either that the discovery has been produced or that such discovery is not allowed under the relevant rules. Accordingly, the motion to compel is hereby GRANTED as to this request.

III. Conclusion

For the reasons discussed above, the motion to compel is DENIED as moot with respect to Request for Production 16 and is GRANTED with respect to Requests for Production 14 and 28. Defendants shall provide supplemental responses to Requests for Production 14 and 28 within 14 days of the issuance of this order.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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