United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
JOE J.W. ROBERTS, JR., Plaintiff,
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, et al., Defendants.
ORDER RE: PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR AN INDEPENDENT
COURT REPORTER AND OTHER PENDING MOTIONS
P. DONOHUE Chief United States Magistrate Judge
a civil rights action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
This matter comes before the Court at the present time on
plaintiff's motions for appointment of an independent
court reporter (Dkt. 67), for an order compelling defendants
to release all videos of the incident on May 8, 2015 (Dkt.
68), for copies of lost or destroyed legal documents (Dkt.
69), and for reconsideration of the Court's Order denying
in part plaintiff's motion for leave to amend his
complaint (Dkt. 70). The Court, having reviewed the pending
motions, and the balance of the record, hereby finds and
ORDERS as follows:
Plaintiff's motion for appointment of an independent
court reporter (Dkt. 67) is DENIED. Plaintiff asks that the
Court provide an impartial court reporter for purposes of his
deposition, scheduled for May 17, 2017, because he
doesn't trust defendants to produce an accurate
transcript of the deposition. It is conceivable that this
motion is now moot given that the scheduled date for the
deposition has now passed. The Court nonetheless addresses
the merits of plaintiff's motion in the event that the
deposition was postponed for some reason.
in their response to plaintiff's motion, make clear that
the court reporter who has been retained for purposes of
plaintiff's deposition is not an employee of Snohomish
County but is, instead, an independent contractor provided by
a court reporting service in Olympia, Washington which is in
no way affiliated with Snohomish County or the Snohomish
County Prosecutor's Office. (See Dkt. 72.)
Moreover, as defendants correctly note, Fed.R.Civ.P. 30
provides ample protections to address the types of abuses
posited by plaintiff in his motion. Plaintiff's motion
for appointment of an independent court reporter is frivolous
and is therefore rejected.
Plaintiff's motion for an order compelling discovery
(Dkt. 68) is DENIED. Plaintiff asks that defendants be
directed to comply with a request to produce Snohomish County
Jail videos of the incident on May 8, 2015 which gave rise to
the claims asserted in this action. The jail video has been
the subject of previous motions, including defendants'
recent motion for a protective order. Because there is a page
missing from plaintiff's motion, the Court cannot discern
the precise nature of plaintiff's complaint at this
point. However, it appears plaintiff may be arguing that
there are multiple videos of the incident in question and not
just the single video referenced by defendants in their
motion for a protective order. Plaintiff asks that defendants
be ordered to produce “any and all” videos of the
incident. (Id. at 3.)
have not filed a response to plaintiff's motion so the
Court has no way to gauge the accuracy of plaintiff's
statements regarding apparent discrepancies in the number of
reported videos. The Court would be inclined to direct
defendants to file a response to the motion but for the fact
that the motion appears to be procedurally deficient.
Plaintiff's motion to compel was not accompanied by the
requisite certification that plaintiff conferred, or
attempted to confer, with defendants' counsel regarding
the video prior to filing his motion. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 37(a)(1); LCR 37(a)(1). Accordingly, plaintiff's
motion must be denied, though this denial is without
prejudice to plaintiff renewing his motion at a later date
with the requisite certification.
Plaintiff's motion re: lost or destroyed legal documents
(Dkt. 69) is GRANTED in part. Plaintiff asserts in the
instant motion that some of his legal materials were
misplaced, or possibly destroyed, when he was transferred
from the Washington Corrections Center to the Clallam Bay
Corrections Center in April 2017. He asks that the Court send
him copies of all of his previously filed motions, and that
defendants re-send their discovery requests.
the pendency of this case, plaintiff has filed numerous
motions, many of which were irrelevant to these proceedings
and/or redundant. The Court is willing to provide plaintiff
copies of a limited number of his previous filings, but sees
no purpose in providing plaintiff copies of motions that,
arguably, should never have been filed in the first place.
Plaintiff may review the docket and provide the Court with a
list of the documents he wishes to receive copies of. The
Court will review the list and provide copies of documents it
deems necessary and appropriate.
respect to defendants' discovery requests, it would be
prudent for defendants to re-send any recent discovery
requests which could have been lost when plaintiff was
transferred between institutions in mid-April, and the Court
Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration (Dkt. 70) is
DENIED. Plaintiff seeks reconsideration of a portion of this
Court's May 4, 2017 Order denying plaintiff leave to
amend his complaint to add a Public Records Act claim to this
action. The Court based its ruling on the fact that any such
claim would have been barred by the statute of limitations.
(See Dkt. 63 at 3.)
for reconsideration are disfavored and will ordinarily be
denied “in the absence of a showing of manifest error
in the prior ruling or a showing of new facts or legal
authority which could not have been brought to its attention
earlier with reasonable diligence.” LCR 7(h)(1).
Plaintiff has not demonstrated any error in the Court's
prior ruling. In the Public Records Act claim set forth in
plaintiff's proposed second amended complaint, plaintiff
alleged that he made a public records request “sometime
between May 21st, 2015 and November 19th, 2015” seeking
video footage of the May 8, 2015 incident, and was told the
video didn't exist. (See Dkt. 66 at 15.)
Defendants, in their response to plaintiff's motion to
amend, submitted evidence demonstrating that plaintiff made
his Public Records Act request on May 25, 2015, and that the
request was denied on June 5, 2015. (See Dkt. 58 at
5.) This Court concluded, based on defendants' evidence,
that any Public Records Act claim would be barred by the one
year statute of limitations set forth in RCW 42.56.550. (Dkt.
63 at 3.)
asserts in his motion for reconsideration that he sent an
email to the Snohomish County Jail Public Records
Administrator in October or November of 2015, and that the
administrator refused to even acknowledge the request.
(See Dkt. 70 at 7-8.) Assuming plaintiff did, in
fact, submit a duplicate public records request on a date
later than that reflected in defendant's evidence, the
original rejection of the request would likely still govern
the statute of limitations calculation. Plaintiff offers
nothing by way of evidence or argument to demonstrate that
the Court's rejection of his attempt to add a Public
Records Act claim to this action was erroneous and, thus, his
motion for reconsideration is properly denied.
Clerk is directed to send copies of this Order to plaintiff,
to counsel for defendants, and ...