United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO COMPEL AND MOTION FOR
Richard Creatura United States Magistrate Judge
Ossie Lee Slaughter, proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis, filed this civil rights complaint under
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff requests that the Court
order defendants to provide discovery allegedly not included
in their disclosures and that the Court provide additional
time to file a reply addressing defendants' response to
his motion for injunctive relief. However, plaintiff has not
demonstrated that defendants have not given him the
opportunity to examine all the discovery he has requested.
Further, plaintiff has already filed a reply and the Court
has already entered a report and recommendation on his motion
for injunctive relief. Therefore, the Court denies
plaintiff's motions here.
originally filed this action in July of 2015. Dkt. 1.
Pursuant to an order from this Court, plaintiff filed an
amended complaint in November of 2016. Dkt. 109. Early in his
case, plaintiff filed a motion to compel discovery (Dkt. 56),
which the Court denied (Dkt. 64). Plaintiff has now filed a
motion that this Court interprets as a motion to compel. Dkt.
184. In that motion, he requests that the Court compel
defendants to provide discovery items he has requested but
has allegedly not yet received. Id. at 5.
has also filed a motion for an extension to file objections
to defendants' response to his motion for preliminary
injunction. Dkt. 201. He subsequently filed his reply (Dkt.
206), and this Court has entered a report and recommendation
on his motion for preliminary injunction (Dkt. 208).
addressed both motions in a single response. Dkt. 202.
Motion to Reopen Discovery
titles his motion as a motion to reopen his previous motion
to compel. Dkt. 184. However, because plaintiff appears to
request that the Court reopen discovery and compel defendants
to produce additional documents, the Court treats this motion
as a motion to compel. A motion to compel is appropriate when
a party has failed to permit inspection of documents under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(3).
Rule 34(a)(1) requires the party upon whom the discovery
request was served “to produce and permit the
requesting party or its representative to inspect, copy, test
or sample” the items that are deemed responsive to his
request. However, nothing in Rule 34 requires the producing
party to bear additional costs associated with reproduction
of materials or to provide the requesting party with
additional copies of the responsive materials.
defendants allowed plaintiff the opportunity to inspect
discovery materials. Defendants have established that they
answered plaintiff's request for production by
identifying 217 pages of responsive documents, and
subsequently identifying another 73 pages of responsive
documents. Dkt. 173. They provided plaintiff the option of
sending him copies and providing the first 25 pages free, and
offered to place the documents on a CD to be given to a third
party. Id. Defendants have upheld their discovery
obligations. They have responded to plaintiff's requests
(see Dkt. 184-1), provided him with access to
inspect or copy responsive documents, and have even offered
him a CD containing all the documents and limited free
printing. As noted above, Rule 34 does not require defendants
to incur expenses or provide plaintiff with copies, but only
to provide him the opportunity to examine the materials.
Because defendants have done that, an order compelling
defendants to produce copies of these documents would be
also cites to language from General Order 09-16, alleging
that defendants did not provide initial disclosures as
required by that order. However, that order was a pilot
program intended for cases filed after December 1, 2016.
Because plaintiff's case was filed before this, the Court
did not apply the general order and instead filed a pretrial
scheduling order with a standard discovery schedule and
standard discovery requirements. See Dkt. 148.
Because the Court did not require defendants to provide
initial disclosures, defendants have still upheld their
Motion to Appoint Expert
also requests that the Court appoint a discovery expert.
Federal Rule of Evidence 706 allows the court to appoint a
neutral expert. Students of Cal. Sch. For the Blind v.
Honig, 736 F.2d 538, 549 (9th Cir. 1984),
vacated on other grounds, 471 U.S. 148 (1985). The
determination to appoint an expert rests solely in the
court's discretion, the complexity of the matters to be
determined, and the need for neutral expert review. See
Leford v. Sullivan, 105 F.3d 354, 358-59 (9th Cir.
plaintiff appears to request the Court appoint him an expert
to advocate for him during discovery. Insofar as plaintiff
asks for a non-neutral expert, the Court denies the request