United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL AND MOTION
FOR EXTENSION AND ASSISTANCE
J. BRYAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to
Compel (Dkt. 38) and Plaintiff's Motion to Extend
Pretrial Cutoff Dates, Trial Date, and Court Assistance with
Proceedural [sic] Isses [sic] Regarding
Pierce County and County Employees Named in the Plaintiffs
[sic] Amended Complaint (“Motion for Extension
and Assistance”) (Dkt. 42). The Court has reviewed the
motions and documents filed in support and opposition
thereto, and it is fully advised.
reasons set forth below, the Court should deny
Plaintiff's Motion to Compel (Dkt. 38), and grant, in
part, and deny, in part, Plaintiff's Motion for Extension
and Assistance (Dkt. 42).
12, 2018, Plaintiff Richard Brees apparently filed a claim
with Defendant Pierce County for damages related to an
alleged unlawful search conducted by ferry personnel while
Plaintiff attempted to board the ferry in his vehicle. Pierce
County contracts with Defendant HMS Ferries, Inc.
(“HMS”) to operate Pierce County's ferry
system. Dkt. 46, at 2. Defendant Tiffany Garcia (“Ms.
Garcia”) investigated the claim. Dkts. 35-1; and 46, at
2. As part of the investigation, Ms. Garcia interviewed
Defendant Steve Caputo, HMS Ferries General Manager. Dkt. 46,
at 2. Ms. Garcia prepared a confidential report
(“Report”) that summarized her findings and
recommendations for legal review. Dkts. 46; and 23. On July
6, 2018, Pierce County denied Plaintiff's claim. Dkt. 46,
August 22, 2018, Plaintiff Richard Brees, proceeding pro se,
filed a complaint with this Court, apparently describing the
lawsuit as a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against HMS Ferries,
Inc., HMS Global Maritime, Inc., and Steve Caputo. Dkt. 1-1.
On October 30, 2018, Ms. Garcia emailed a copy of the Report
to HMS Global Maritime, Inc.'s associate counsel, Justin
Walker. Dkt. 46, at 2. On April 19, 2019, Plaintiff filed an
Amended Complaint naming eight additional defendants,
including Pierce County and Ms. Garcia. Dkt. 35-1.
20, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Compel
seeking to obtain the Report. Dkt. 38. Defendants HMS Global
Maritime Inc., HMS Ferries, Inc., Steve Caputo, Mylinda
Miller, Dominich De Lango, Thomas Ripa, Captain Tara
Reynolds, and Derick F. Leenstra (collectively “HMS
Defendants”) filed a response in opposition to
Plaintiff's Motion to Compel. Dkt. 46. Plaintiff filed a
reply in support of his Motion to Compel. Dkt. 60.
6, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Extension and
Assistance, in which Plaintiff requests extended pretrial
deadlines and court assistance pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
4(c)(3). Dkt. 42. HMS Defendants filed a response in
opposition to Plaintiff's motion to extend pretrial
deadlines. Dkt. 49. Plaintiff responded in support of the
instant Motion for Extension and Assistance. Dkt. 59.
the Court first discusses Plaintiff's Motion to Compel
(Dkt. 38). Second, the Court discusses Plaintiff's Motion
for Extension and Assistance (Dkt. 42).
MOTION TO COMPEL
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide:
Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of
discovery is as follows: Parties may obtain discovery
regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any
party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of
the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake
in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties'
relative access to relevant information, the parties'
resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the
issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed
discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Information within
this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 (b)(1).
moves for the Court to compel production of the Report. Dkt.
38. HMS Defendants oppose production on two grounds: first,
Plaintiff failed to comply with meet and confer requirements
as a prerequisite to a motion to compel; and, second, the
Report is protected from disclosure under the work-product
doctrine. Dkt. 46.
Meet and Confer Prerequisite
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide:
On notice to other parties and all affected persons, a party
may move for an order compelling disclosure or discovery. The
motion must include a certification that the movant has in
good faith conferred or attempted to confer with the person
or party failing to make disclosure or discovery in an effort
to obtain it without court action.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(1)
the Local Court Rules provide:
Any motion for an order compelling disclosure or discovery
must include a certification, in the motion or in a
declaration of affidavit, that the movant has in good faith
conferred or attempted to confer with the person or party
failing to made disclosure or discovery in an effort to
resolve the dispute without court action. The certification
must list the date, manner, and participants to the
conference. If the movant fails to include such a
certification, the court may deny the motion without
addressing the merits of the dispute. A good faith effort to
confer with a party or person not making a disclosure or
discovery requires a face-to-face meeting or a telephone
conference. If the court finds that counsel for any party, or
a party proceeding pro se, willfully refused to confer,
failed to confer in good faith, or failed to respond on a
timely basis to a request to confer, the court may take
action as stated in CR 11 of these rules.
Parties disagree about Plaintiff's satisfaction of the
meet and confer requirements concerning a conference on May
15, 2019. Plaintiff certifies that he met with HMS
Defendants' counsel, Charles Jordan and Michelle Buhler,
at a meet and confer conference, but that HMS Defendants'
counsel refused to discuss producing the Report and
“refused further discussions or to schedule a time more
appropriate.” Dkt. 38, at 2. Additionally, ...