United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
S. ZILLY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER comes before the Court on the Report and
Recommendation (“R&R”) of the Honorable Mary
Alice Theiler, United States Magistrate Judge, docket no. 65.
Having reviewed plaintiff's objections to the R&R,
docket no. 66, defendant King County's response to
plaintiff's objection, docket no. 67, and the relevant
portions of the record, the Court enters the following order.
Benjamin Andrew Laigo, III commenced this action, asserting
claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against King County, King
County Jail (“KCJ”), and Harborview Medical
Center (“HMC”). The claims against KCJ and HMC
were dismissed because the jail was not a proper defendant
and HMC, as an arm of the state, is immune from suit pursuant
to the Eleventh Amendment. See Order at ¶¶
1 & 2 (docket no. 5). Plaintiff's complaint was
treated as naming, in addition to King County, the following
defendants in their individual capacities: Henry C. Sagi,
M.D., a physician at HMC, and various Does who are KCJ
custody or transport officers, supervisors, or health service
providers. See id. at 2 n.1 & ¶ 3. Dr.
Sagi's motion for summary judgment was granted, and the
claims against him were dismissed with prejudice. Order
(docket no. 35).
respect to plaintiff's remaining claims against King
County, the deadline for completing discovery was extended to
May 31, 2017. See Order at ¶ 2 (docket no. 32).
On May 28, 2017, plaintiff filed a motion to compel
discovery, attached to which were interrogatories, requests
for production (“RFPs”), and requests for
admissions. See Pla.'s Mot. (docket no. 36).
King County filed blanket refusals to respond to
plaintiff's discovery requests on the ground that they
were not served at least thirty (30) days before the
discovery deadline. See Def.'s Resp. (docket
nos. 44, 45, & 46). King County also made specific
objections to some of the RFPs, including several objections
that the requests were “vague, unduly burdensome, and
not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of
admissible evidence.” See Def.'s Resp.
(docket nos. 45 & 46). The latter basis is, of course, no
longer appropriate in light of the 2015 amendments to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b).
Judge Theiler subsequently denied plaintiff's motion to
compel because plaintiff had not provided King County
sufficient time to respond to his discovery requests before
filing his motion and had not certified that he had made a
good faith effort to confer and resolve the discovery dispute
before seeking judicial intervention. Order (docket no. 53).
In the meanwhile, King County filed a motion for summary
judgment. In response to such motion, plaintiff sought an
extension pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d),
although he referred to former Rule 56(f). Pla.'s Resp.
(docket no. 55). Plaintiff also filed a “reply”
in support of his motion to compel, but it was received after
the motion was denied, and it instead reads like a motion for
reconsideration. Pla.'s Reply (docket no. 56). In such
filing, plaintiff explains that he had difficulty serving his
discovery requests because his mail was either
“withheld, distroyed [sic] or altered.”
Id. at 4. Plaintiff also appears to renew his
earlier request for appointment of counsel. See id.
at 12, 15; see also Order (docket no. 27) (denying
motion to appoint counsel). Before any ruling was issued on
plaintiff's motion for an extension, and after the noting
date of King County's motion for summary judgment,
plaintiff filed a substantive response, docket no. 63, as
well as a supplemental response, docket no. 64, to King
R&R suggests that King County is the only remaining
defendant because plaintiff has never identified the Doe
defendants. The R&R further recommends that King County
be relieved of any obligation to respond to the discovery
requests in which plaintiff is seeking the names of Doe
defendants. The Court DECLINES to adopt these portions
of the R&R. Rather, the Court treats plaintiff's
“reply, ” docket no. 56, as a motion for
reconsideration of Magistrate Judge Theiler's Order
denying plaintiff's motion to compel discovery, docket
no. 53, and DIRECTS King County to file, on or before October
27, 2017, a response, not to exceed eight (8) pages in
length, concerning why it should not be required to answer
RFP Nos. 3 & 8 (docket no. 45), as to which King County
offered no objection other than the untimeliness of the
request. See Local Civil Rule 7(h)(3). No
reply shall be filed by plaintiff unless otherwise directed
by the Court.
R&R also recommends that plaintiff's Rule 56(d)
request for extension be denied and that King County's
motion for summary judgment be granted. The Court DEFERS
ruling on these portions of the R&R. The Court, however,
ADOPTS the R&R's recommendation that plaintiff's
renewed motion for appointment of counsel be denied.
foregoing reasons, the Court ORDERS as follows:
(1) The R&R, docket no. 65, is ADOPTED in part, MODIFIED
in part, and DEFERRED in part;
(2) Plaintiff's renewed motion for appointment of
counsel, docket no. 56, is DENIED;
(3) Plaintiff's “reply, ” docket no. 56, is
treated as a motion for reconsideration of Magistrate Judge
Theiler's Order denying plaintiff's motion to compel
discovery, docket no. 53, and King County ...