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Lopez-Aguirre v. Board of County Commissioners

United States District Court, Tenth Circuit

December 20, 2013

LAURA LOPEZ-AGUIRRE, Individually, as Administrator of the Estate of Julio C. Aguirre, deceased, and as Next Friend for her Minor Children Em. A. and El. Al, Plaintiffs,
v.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

KENNETH G. GALE United States Magistrate Judge

Now before the Court is Plaintiff’s “Motion to Compel Responses to Plaintiff’s First Set of Requests for Production of Documents to Defendant Corizon Health, Inc., F/K/A Prison Health Services, Inc.” (Doc. 156.) Having reviewed the submissions of the parties, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff’s motion.

BACKGROUND

In the present action, Plaintiff brings various state law, federal law, and federal Constitutional claims against Defendants resulting from the death of her husband following his arrest in December 2010. The factual background of this case was summarized in the District Court's Order granting in part and denying in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. (See Doc. 75, at 2-4.) That summary is incorporated herein by reference.

Following this Order from the District Court, Plaintiff filed her Second Amended Complaint on May 5, 2013. (Doc. 76.) A revised Scheduling Order was entered on June 7, 2013. (Doc. 94, at 6.)

Following the parties’ efforts at conferring – as well as a recent hearing before the Court and resulting communications between the parties – Requests Nos.5, 6, 7, 48, and 49 remain at issue. The Requests for Production at issue seek certain categories of documents from Defendant Corizon Health relating to Plaintiff’s care and/or other inmates who died or committed suicide.

DISCUSSION

A. Standards for Motions to Compel.

Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b) states that “[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party’s claim or defense . . . . Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” As such, the requested information must be both relevant and nonprivileged to be discoverable. Defendant does not raise the issue of relevance. Rather, it’s first category of objections focus on the issue of privilege.

B. Claim of Privilege.

Federal Rule of Evidence 501 governs the application of privilege in federal courts, and states that [t]he common law – as interpreted by United States courts in the light of reason and experience – governs a claim of privilege unless any of the following provides otherwise:

• the United States Constitution;
• a federal statute;
• or rules prescribed by the ...

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