United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO COMPEL
RICHARD CREATURA, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
who proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis, brings this matter
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The matter is before the Court
on defendants' motion to compel. See Dkt. 34. Because
defendants timely filed their motion to compel and because
some of plaintiff's responses to defendants'
interrogatories improperly referred defendants to the
allegations of the first amendment complaint, defendants'
motion to compel responses to those interrogatories is
initiated this matter in October 2018. See Dkt. 1. Plaintiff,
who is a male to female transgender prisoner at the Stafford
Creek Corrections Center (Dkt. 20, at 1) alleges that
defendants, three Department of Corrections employees,
violated her right to be free from cruel and unusual
punishment. See Dkt. 20, at 2.
deadline to complete discovery was June 7, 2019. See Dkt. 24.
On June 6, defendants requested that this Court compel
plaintiff to respond to certain interrogatories. See Dkt. 34,
at 1. Pursuant to Local Civil Rule 37(a)(1), defendants
certify that on June 6, they met and conferred with plaintiff
in good faith, in order to attempt to resolve the dispute
without court action. See Dkt. 34, at 2. The parties have
also filed cross-motions for summary judgment, which this
Court will make a recommendation on at a later date. See
Dkts. 33, 38.
issue is whether this Court should compel plaintiff to
respond to six interrogatories.
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide,
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 be discoverable.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1).
party fails to answer an interrogatory under Rule 33, the
requesting party may move the court for an order compelling
discovery. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(3). For purposes of such a
motion, “an evasive or incomplete disclosure, answer,
or response must be treated as a failure to disclose, answer,
or respond.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(4). Furthermore, a
court must limit the frequency or extent of discovery
“[when] the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative
or duplicative, or can be obtained from some other source
that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less
expensive[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C).
preliminary issue, the Court addresses plaintiff's
argument that defendants' motion to compel is untimely
and therefore should be denied. See Dkt. 36, at 2.
Defendants' motion to compel was filed the day before the
discovery cutoff and was therefore timely under this
Court's local civil rules (see Local Civil Rule 16(b)(3))
and scheduling order. See Dkt. 24. Indeed, defendants filed
their motion to compel nine days after receiving
plaintiff's responses and the same day that the parties
met and conferred. See Dkt. 35, at 1. The undersigned is also
aware of at least one other occasion in which this District
has allowed a motion to compel filed one day before ...