Response to Objection

January 4, 2024

Ms. Esther Atam
13621 Arcturus Avenue
Gardena, CA 90249
Date: August 1, 2022
Ryan Marcroft
Deputy Director, Legal Affairs
1625 North Market Blvd., Suite S- 309
Sacramento, CA 95834
RE: Response to Objection to Civil Subpoena (Duces Tecum) for Personal Appearance
and Production of Documents and Things at Trial or Hearing;
Esther Atam v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, et al
Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. 21STCV41538
Dear Ryan,
This correspondence serves as my response to your objection to my Subpoena.

Background

I served a Subpoena (duces tecum) for personal appearance and production of documents and
things at trial or hearing (hereinafter “subpoena”) to the Department of Consumer Affairs’
Division of Investigation (hereinafter “Division”).
On or about June 15, 2022, the Division filed an Objection to my subpoena. In the objection, the
Division argued that the subpoena is defective for several reasons inter alia, it seeks privileged
documents; the subpoena is improperly issued; the subpoena was not properly served; and that
the subpoena was delivered without a witness fee.
On or about July 27, 2022, I received an email from Kevin Narine, a discipline analyst from the
Board of Registered Nursing. The email stated that in the event I did not undergo the 820
examination, Plaintiff’ license would be subjected to disciplinary action up to and including
revocation.
On or about July 28, 2022, I received a notice of the scheduling of my appointment for
September 8, 2022, at 1 p.m.

Arguments

1. The subpoenaed information is not subject to the official information privilege
According to California Government Code section 6250, “[t]he Legislature, mindful of the right
of individuals to privacy, finds and declares that access to information concerning the conduct of
the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state.”

(Emphasis added). See also California Constitution, Article I, Section 3(b). Further, the 2004
California Proposition 59 that was approved by the State Legislature as Senate Constitutional
Amendment 1 of the 2003–2004 Regular Session, provides for a presumption favoring disclosure
of public record. Accordingly, if a record is a “public record” as defined, then there is a
presumption that the public has a right of access to that record. Public records are broadly
defined in California Government Code § 6252(e) to include "any writing containing information
relating to the conduct of a public’s business prepared, owned, used or retained by any state or
local agency regardless of physical form or characteristic.”
A further broader definition of public records was adopted in Gabriel Tribune v. Superior Court,
143 Cal. App. 3d 762, 774; 192 Cal. Rptr. 415, 422 (1983), where the court held that public
records include “every conceivable kind of record that is involved in the governmental process
and will pertain to any new form of record-keeping instrument as it is developed.” The court
further stated that “[o]nly purely personal information unrelated to ‘the conduct of the public’s
business’ could be considered exempt from this definition.” See also Versaci v. Superior Court,
127 Cal. App. 4th 805, 813, 26 Cal. Rptr. 3d 92 (2005) (quoting Coronado Police Officers Ass’n
v. Carroll, 106 Cal. App. 4th 1001, 1006, 131 Cal. Rptr. 2d 553 (2003) (citing with approval
same definition)).
Here, the information requested in the subpoena amounts to public records. Accordingly, I have
a fundamental and necessary right to get access to the subpoenaed information. The Board’s
alleged official information privilege does not therefore apply to the information I subpoenaed
for the aforesaid reasons. Besides, the need for the interest of justice outweighs any alleged
confidentiality of the public records.
2. The Plaintiff is entitled to be held to a less stringent standard
"Because plaintiff proceeds pro se, his pleading is liberally construed and his [pleadings],
"however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. at 94 as cited in Perdue v. City of Wilmington,
U.S.Dist. Court, D. Delaware 2014".
The same standard is applied by other courts in other jurisdictions. For instance in Blair v.
Maynard, 324 S.E.2d 391, 396 (West Virginia 1984), the court held that trial courts possess “a
discretionary range of control over parties and proceedings” that allows reasonable
accommodations to self-represented litigants. It follows; the scope of the court’s responsibility to
pro se litigants is an expression of careful exercise of judicial discretion. Each case presents a
wholly different set of circumstances which require careful attention so as to preserve the rights
of all parties. See ABA Commission on Standards of Judicial Administration, Standards Relating
to Trial Courts, §2.23 Conduct of Cases Where Litigants Appear Without Counsel
(Commentary) (1976).
Here, the Board avers that the subpoena should be quashed because the judge, court clerk or
attorney of record did not sign the subpoena. I aver that being a Plaintiff in pro per, such an
omission is subject to excuse.

3. The subpoena was properly served; the Board’s argument is frivolous
Plaintiff seeks the truth. Nothing more, nothing less. The assumption(s) and arguments alleged
by the Board are laughable considering Plaintiff is forced to pursue all rights afforded to her
under the law through Subpoenas. Plaintiff has no ulterior motives other than to get the Board
to play by the rules and produce the requested information in their possession, custody and
control responsive to the requests. Accordingly, the Subpoena at issue here is a proper and valid
discovery tool utilized for the purpose of obtaining such records.
4. The Board’s allegations amount to a misuse of the discovery process
Misuses of the discovery process include making, without substantial justification, an
unmeritorious objection to discovery. See Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 2023.010. Frivolous actions or
delay tactics may include the making or opposing of motions. See Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 128.5.
“Frivolous” actions are defined as those which are brought “completely without merit” or for the
sole purpose of harassing another party.” See California Code of Civil Procedure Section
128.5(b)(2).
Here, the Board alleges that I submitted the subpoena without witness fee. By its objection to the
subpoena, the Board seeks to frustrate and oppress me. The Board does all this in a bid to either
avoid producing the requested information, or to delay the discovery process, to my detriment.
For the aforesaid reasons, I find the Board’s actions tantamount to an abuse of the discovery
process.
In light of the foregoing, I respectfully request you to consider my requests in the subpoena and
produce the requested information accordingly.
Dated: August 1, 2022

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