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Mubita v. Moscow City Police Dep't

July 28, 2010


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable B. Lynn Winmill Chief U. S. District Judge


Before the Court are Plaintiff's Request for Discovery (Docket No. 34), Motion to Appoint Counsel (Docket No. 35), and Motion for Clarification (Docket No. 42). The Court finds that oral argument is not necessary to the deicisonal process in this case, and will thus consider the motions without a hearing. For the following reasons, the Court will deny Plaintiff's motions.


Plaintiff Kanay Mubita is an inmate with the Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC), currently incarcerated at the Idaho Correctional Center (ICC) in Boise.

Plaintiff's initial complaint, filed December 31, 2007, alleged unauthorized access to his confidential medical information, wrongful investigation and arrest, and improper use of his private medical information. The Court determined that most of Plaintiff's claims were indirect challenges to Plaintiff's criminal conviction, and thus stayed the claims until such time as Plaintiff's conviction is overturned. See Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994); (Order, Docket No. 12 at 1, entered February 23, 2009). The Court permitted Plaintiff to proceed on one claim -- alleging violation of Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy, against Defendants Weaver and Duke. (Docket No. 33 at 5.)

According to Plaintiff, Weaver and Duke created and hung posters around Moscow, Idaho, where Plaintiff resided. These posters included Plaintiff's name and photograph, and stated that Plaintiff was suspected of having HIV and having multiple sexual relationships with other adults. Plaintiff alleges that Duke unlawfully disclosed Plaintiff's private health information to persons who called the number listed on the poster.


1. Motion to Compel Discovery

On October 22, 2009, Plaintiff filed a motion to compel Defendants to produce responses to discovery requests made in September of 2009. (Docket No. 34.) In the motion, Plaintiff identifies requests for production numbered 3, and 4-8. Number 3 is a request for documentation provided by the Latah County Prosecutor's Office, to which Defendant responded with a redacted document pursuant to Local Civil Rule 5.5 and I.C. § 9-335. The Court issued a Protective Order (Docket No. 43) on December 14, 2009, providing that the records provided by Defendants in response to request number 3 are to remain redacted; Plaintiff's request to compel regarding number 3 is therefore moot.

Plaintiff's requests numbered 4 and 6 seek documents giving Defendants access to Plaintiff's health information, and authorization to disclose it to third parties. Requests numbered 5 and 7 seek documents signed by Plaintiff, that gave permission to Defendants to access and disclose Plaintiff's health information. Defendants indicate that all documents responsive to the requests were provided to Plaintiff. (See Docket No. 36-1, Exhibits B.017, B.028, B.029.) Defendants further indicate that request number 8 was new and that Defendants would produce the document requested. (Response, Docket No. 36 at 7). It appears that Defendant has complied with Plaintiff's requests. Absent evidence to the contrary, the Court finds that Plaintiff's requests to compel production of requests numbered 4-8 are also moot.

Finally, Plaintiff asks that Defendant Weaver be compelled to respond to interrogatory number 10, asking if Weaver and Duke swore under oath, when appointed to their posts, that they "never violated the United States Constitution and served the citizens of the United States faithfully and honorably." Whether Weaver's and Duke's oaths of office included the language identified by Plaintiff is immaterial to Plaintiff's case. In other words, whether Weaver's and Duke's responses are yes or no is not relevant to Plaintiff's claims. The Court thus finds that interrogatory number 10 is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence in Plaintiff's case. Plaintiff's motion to compel regarding interrogatory number 10 will be denied.

2. Defendant's Request for Attorney Fees

Defendants here request attorney fees incurred in responding to Plaintiff's motion to compel. An award of attorney's fees in a civil rights case should be made to a defendant only in "exceptional circumstances." Barry v. Fowler, 902 F.2d 770, 773 (9th Cir. 1990). The Court here finds that such exceptional ...

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