United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
Richard Creatura United States Magistrate Judge.
the Court is Defendants' Motion Regarding Sufficiency of
Answers and Motion for Protective Order. Dkt. 76. Defendants
request an order deeming defendants' Requests for
Admission (“RFA”) Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 13, 14, 15,
19, and 20 admitted by plaintiff. Id. Defendants
also seek a protective order wherein defendants request an
order limiting discovery. Id. Plaintiff responded to
the motion. Dkt. 78. Defendants filed a reply. Dkt. 79.
case, the parties dispute the proportionality and relevancy
of their propounded discovery requests. The Court finds that
defendants' motion for sufficiency regarding
defendants' RFA Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 13, 14, 15, 19, and 20
is granted in part as the RFAs will narrow the scope of
issues in dispute and avoid the need for unnecessary
litigation. At this time, the Court declines to deem the
matters admitted. With respect to the motion for protective
order, defendants' motion for protective order is denied
in part, and granted in part.
complaint, plaintiff alleges that defendants, medical
providers with the Department of Corrections, violated his
Eighth Amendment rights to adequate medical treatment when
they stopped his Gabapentin treatment, a nerve pain
medication for multiple sclerosis. Dkt. 61. Plaintiff alleges
that defendants relied on inferior medical opinions and
against the recommendations of plaintiff's treating
neurologist. Id. Plaintiff seeks damages and
injunctive relief. Id.
parties met on March 7, 2017 to agree on a discovery plan.
Dkt. 74. On April 13, 2017, the parties had a Rule 26(c)(1)
discovery conference and were able to make progress on
several issues, but were unable to reach an agreement on the
issues contained in defendants' motion. Dkt. 78 at ¶
Motion regarding Sufficiency of Answers to Defendants'
Requests for Admission Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 13, 14, 15, 19 and
“A party may serve on any other party a written request
to admit, for purposes of the pending action only, the truth
of any matters within the scope of Rule 26(b)(1)
relating to: (A) facts, the application of law to fact, or
opinions about either; and (B) the genuineness of any
described documents.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(a) (1). Requests
for admission are not intended to be used to obtain
discovery, but to narrow the issues for trial. Safeco of
America v. Rawstron, 181 F.R.D. 441, 443 (C.D. Cal.
1998). See also Asea, Inc. v. Southern Pacific
Transportation Co., 669 F.2d 1242, 1245 (9th Cir.1981)
(“The purpose of Rule 36(a) is to expedite trial by
establishing certain material facts as true and thus
narrowing the range of issues for trial.”); Advisory
Committee Note to 1970 Amendment to Fed.R.Civ.P. 36, 48
F.R.D. 531-532 (1970) (“Rule 36 serves two vital
purposes, both of which are designed to reduce trial time.
Admissions are sought, first to facilitate proof with respect
to issues that cannot be eliminated from the case, and
secondly, to narrow the issues by eliminating those that can
matter is not admitted, the answer must specifically deny it
or state in detail why the answering party cannot truthfully
admit or deny it. A denial must fairly respond to the
substance of the matter; and when good faith requires that a
party qualify an answer or deny only a part of a matter, the
answer must specify the part admitted and qualify or deny the
rest. The answering party may assert lack of knowledge or
information as a reason for failing to admit or deny only if
the party states that it has made reasonable inquiry and that
the information it knows or can readily obtain is
insufficient to enable it to admit or deny. See
grounds for objecting to a request must be stated, ”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(a)(5), and with other forms of discovery, it
is well established that boilerplate objections do not
suffice, e.g., Thompson v. Yates, No.
1:06-cv-00763-RCC, 2011 WL 5975469, at *2-3 (E.D. Cal.
Nov.29, 2011). Rather, a party resisting discovery must make
some showing as to how each discovery request is not relevant
and/or is overly broad or unduly burdensome. See id.
“[t]he requesting party may move to determine the
sufficiency of an answer or objection, ” Fed.R.Civ.P.
36(a)(6). “Unless the court finds an objection
justified, it must order that an answer be served. On finding
that an answer does not comply with this rule, the court may
order either that the matter is admitted or that an amended
answer must be served.” Id.
the requests for admission propounded to plaintiff were the
following related to ...