United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
C. NYE, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
before the Court is Defendant Idaho Department of Fish and
Game Director Virgil Moore, Lucas Swanson, Josh Stanley, and
Brian Johnson's (“IFG”) Motion for Protective
Order. Dkt. 51. Having reviewed the record and briefs, the
Court finds that the facts and legal arguments are adequately
presented. Accordingly, in the interest of avoiding
further delay, and because the Court finds that the
decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral
argument, the Court will decide the Motion without oral
argument. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1(d)(1)(B).
September of 2019, Plaintiff Steve Tanner began unilaterally
setting and vacating depositions. The notice provided for the
depositions was short-11 days. Bentley Stromberg, counsel for
IFG, happened to be available for the depositions and did not
object. However, Tanner vacated the depositions 5 days before
they were set to take place.
October 1, 2019, Tanner again set depositions on short
notice-10 days and 13 days-and again did so unilaterally.
This time, Stromberg was unavailable for those dates.
Stromberg emailed Tanner and the two began discussing
alternative dates for depositions when Stromberg would be
available. It appeared that the two were working things out
when suddenly, late in the evening on October 8, 2019, Tanner
informed Stromberg that the depositions were going to go
forward, despite previous discussions and Stromberg's
promptly filed this Motion for a Protective Order, seeking to
vacate the currently scheduled depositions.
discovery is ordinarily ‘accorded a broad and liberal
treatment, '” because “wide access to
relevant facts serves the integrity and fairness of the
judicial process by promoting the search for the
truth.” Shoen v. Shoen, 5 F.3d 1289, 1292 (9th
Cir. 1993) (quoting Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495,
507 (1947)). “Under Rule 26, however, ‘[t]he
court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party
or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue
burden or expense.'” In re Roman Catholic
Archbishop of Portland in Oregon, 661 F.3d 417, 424 (9th
Cir. 2011) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1)). A court has broad
discretion in deciding whether or not to grant a protective
order. Phillips ex rel. Estates of Byrd v. General Motors
Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1211 (9th Cir. 2002).
Court is required “to secure the just, speedy, and
inexpensive determination of every action and
proceeding.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 1. In the District of Idaho,
parties must work together when it comes to setting
depositions. The Court does not approve of parties stooping
to “hard ball” tactics like unilaterally setting
depositions. While Tanner certainly might be doing his best
to pursue his claims pro se, this does not mean he
is immune from playing fair.
Court requires the parties to work together and set
depositions for mutually agreeable times. If the parties
cannot mutually agree, either party may motion the Court for
assistance. Depending on the facts and circumstances
surrounding such a motion, the Court may impose sanctions on
the disruptive party.