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Picozzi v. Clark County Detention Center

United States District Court, D. Nevada

January 8, 2018

MARK PICOZZI, Plaintiff,

          ORDER (Mots. to Compel - ECF Nos. 99, 107)

          Peggy A. Leen, United States Magistrate Judge

         This matter is before the court on Defendant Amanda Vertner's Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Responses to Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents (ECF No. 99) and Plaintiff Mark Picozzi's Motion to Compel High Desert Medical to Release Medical Records (ECF No. 107). These Motions are referred to the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and LR IB 1-3 of the Local Rules of Practice.


         Mr. Picozzi is a pro se prisoner currently in the custody of the Nevada Department of Corrections at the High Desert State Prison (“HDSP”). He has received permission to proceed in this case in forma pauperis. This case arises from Picozzi's allegations, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1983, regarding his treatment while he was incarcerated at the Clark County Detention Center. The court screened the Amended Complaint (ECF No. 14), found that Picozzi stated plausible claims against 13 defendants: Sergeant Judd, Officers Hightower, Daos, Goins, Hans, Brooks, Phillips, Carr, Razzo, Jolley, Coker, Garcia, and Nurse Amanda Vertner.[1] See Screening Order (ECF No. 15).

         On June 1, 2016, the court entered a Scheduling Order (ECF No. 28) for discovery to proceed as to defendants Coker, Daos, Goins, Hightower, Judd, and Phillips setting various discovery and motion deadlines. The parties later requested an extension of the discovery deadlines, and the court found good cause to extend the deadlines by 90 days. Oct. 31, 2016 Order (ECF No. 52) (setting deadlines of January 30, 2017, for discovery and February 13, 2017, for discovery motions). In a separate scheduling order entered October 16, 2017, the court set an additional 90 days of discovery for the recently-served defendants Brooks, Hans, Garcia, Razo, Jolly, and Vertner. Scheduling Order (ECF No. 97). Discovery was not re-opened for defendants Coker, Daos, Goins, Hightower, Judd, and Phillips. Id.


         I. Legal Standard

         “Discovery is supposed to proceed with minimal involvement of the Court.” Cardoza v. Bloomin' Brands, Inc., 141 F.Supp.3d. 1137, 1145 (D. Nev. 2015). Litigants and their counsel should strive to be cooperative, practical, and sensible, and should seek judicial intervention “only in extraordinary situations that implicate truly significant interests.” Id. (citing In re Convergent Techs. Securities Litig., 108 F.R.D. 328, 331 (N.D. Cal. 1985)).

         As explained in a prior order, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure[2] allow for discovery requests from one party to another in the case. See Order (ECF No. 96) at 4 n.4 (noting that Rule 34 requires requests for production to be addressed to a party, and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is not a party to this case). In addition, discovery with newly served defendants does not begin until the defendants have appeared by filing an answer or other responsive pleading, and the parties have met and conferred and submitted a proposed discovery plan and scheduling order which the court approves. Id. at 4:14-17 (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 26).

         Pursuant to Rule 37, a motion to compel discovery materials may only be filed when a timely discovery request has been served, the opposing party has not responded or has inadequately responded, and the moving party has attempted in good faith to resolve any dispute about the adequacy of the discovery responses without the court's intervention. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a). The Local Rules of Practice state that discovery motions will not be considered unless the movant (1) has made a good-faith effort to meet and confer before filing the motion, and (2) includes a declaration setting forth the details and results of the meet-and-confer conference about each disputed discovery request. See LR 26-7(c). The “meet and confer” process requires the parties “to communicate directly and discuss in good faith the issues required under the particular rule or court order.” See LR IA 1-3(f).

         II. Vertner's Motion to Compel

         The motion (ECF No. 99), filed October 20, 2017, indicates that Ms. Vertner served Mr. Picozzi with special interrogatories and a request for production of documents on August 3, 2017. Declr. of Chad C. Chochot (ECF No. 99-1), Ex. A. Picozzi sent a letter to counsel for Vertner on August 15, 2017, requesting an indefinite extension to respond to the discovery requests, pending resolution of a dispute with Vertner's codefendants. Id., Ex. B. Counsel advised Mr. Picozzi that an indefinite extension was not acceptable, but counsel offered him an additional two weeks to respond. Id., Ex. C. On September 19, 2017, Picozzi sent a letter to defense counsel indicating he was not willing to respond to the discovery requests. Id., Ex. D.

         In his Response (ECF No. 104), filed November 3, 2017, Mr. Picozzi states that he will comply with the court's Scheduling Order (ECF No. 97) and answer Vertner's discovery requests. Thus, Picozzi stated that defense counsel could withdraw the motion.

         In the single-sentence Reply (ECF No. 105), filed November 7, 2017, Ms. Vertner requests an order compelling Mr. Picozzi to ...

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