JOHN M. BERMAN, DAMON J. PETTICORD, Tigard, OR, Attorneys for Plaintiff.
FRANK S. HOMSHER, JOHN M. GRAHAM, JOHN J. TOLLEFSEN, Tollefsen Law PLC, Lynnwood, WA, Attorneys for Defendants.
ANNA J. BROWN, District Judge.
Special Master Stephen J. Joncus issued a Finding and Recommendation (#167) on the Parties' Motions to Compel (F&R) on January 3, 2014, in which he recommended the Court grant Plaintiff's Motion (#128) to Compel; deny Defendants' Motion (#129) to Compel Responses to Requests for Production Nos. 7 and 11; deny Defendants' Motion (#139) to Compel Responses to Requests for Production Nos. 8, 17, and 18; and deny Defendants' Motion (#144) to Compel Responses to Request for Production No. 6. The Special Master also recommended the Court dismiss Plaintiff's request for sanctions with leave to renew "at this time, at the close of the case, or not at all."
On January 13, 2014, Defendants filed Objections to the Special Master's Findings and Recommendations as to their Motions to Compel. The matter is now before this Court pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 53(f).
The district court has discretion to appoint a special master and to decide the extent of his duties. See Jaros v. E.I. Dupont (In re Hanford Nuclear Reservation Litig.), 292 F.3d 1124, 1138 (9th Cir. 2002). Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 53(f), the special master must report to the court as required by the appointing order. Parties may file objections to or motions to adopt or to modify the master's order, report, or recommendations no later than 21 days after a copy is served. Fed.R.Civ.P. 53(f). The court reviews all objections to the special master's findings and recommendations of facts and conclusions of law de novo. Id.
I. The Special Master's F&R and Defendants' Objections
The Special Master's recommendations are based on the following grounds:
1. Requests for Production Nos. 8, 17, and 18 are frivolous.
2. Request for Production No. 7 is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, is overbroad as to time and subject matter, and is unreasonably cumulative.
3. Request for Production No. 11 is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, and Defendants have not met their burden to show these documents are within Plaintiff's control.
4. Request for Production No. 6 is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, is ...