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Torres v. Ryan

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 6, 2013

Robert P. Torres, Plaintiff,
v.
Charles Ryan, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

JAMES A. TEILBORG, Senior District Judge.

Pending before the Court are Plaintiff's Appeal of Magistrate Judge's Decision (Doc. 94) and Plaintiff's Motion Requesting an Enlargement of Time (Doc. 95). Plaintiff has also filed a supporting Memorandum of Points and Authorities (Doc. 96). Finally, Defendants have filed a response to Plaintiff's Appeal. (Doc. 97).

I. Background

Plaintiff Robert P. Torres, who is confined in the Arizona State Prison Complex (ASPC), Lewis Complex, Eagle Point Unit, in Buckeye, Arizona, filed a pro se civil rights Complaint on January 3, 2012 against Defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1). The Court dismissed the Complaint for failure to state a claim with leave to amend. (Doc. 9). On March 19, 2012, Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint with this Court. (Doc. 10). On September 28, 2012, the Court dismissed Count I, ordered Defendants Ryan, Greeley, Lewis, King, Echeverria and Clausen to respond to Counts II and III, and dismissed the remaining Defendants. (Doc. 17 at 18).

On October 12, 2012, Plaintiff filed a "Request for Reconsideration" of the Court's order dismissing the remaining defendants. (Doc. 20). On December 12, 2012, the Court denied Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration. (Doc. 31). In the order denying Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration the Court stated:

Plaintiff otherwise seeks reconsideration to supplement or amend his First Amended Complaint in an attempt to state a claim against the dismissed Defendants. A motion for reconsideration is not the appropriate means to seek leave to supplement or amend a complaint. Instead, Plaintiff must seek leave to amend pursuant to Rule 15 of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and LRCiv 15.1.

(Doc. 31 at 3). On February 13, 2013, in an attempt to comply with the Court's directions and file an amended complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15, "[P]laintiff filed document 68 and attached a pre-written order granting leave to amend and simply provided information of who Plaintiff intended to include in his amended complaint." (Doc. 94 at 4). On February 27, 2013, Plaintiff filed his actual proposed second amended complaint. (Doc. 72).

On May 1, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to File a Supplemental Complaint. (Doc. 74). In this document, Plaintiff requested leave to file a supplemental complaint because "information (medical records) has been received by the Plaintiff" and the occurrence of "events which are similar in nature to the violations alleged in the complaint" since the Plaintiff filed his complaint. ( Id. at 1).

On April 18, 2013, Plaintiff filed a "Motion Requesting Court Order or Directive." (Doc. 81). In this document, Plaintiff requested that; (1) the Court "direct counsel for Defendants to ensure Plaintiff receive a complete and accurate copy of any and all document(s) filed on behalf of client(s), " and that (2) the Court order the clerk of the court to provide an updated docket sheet to the Plaintiff every thirty (30) days. (Doc. 81).

On May 10, 2013, Plaintiff filed a document titled "Plaintiff's Supplemental Complaint" alleging "ongoing deprivations of his constitutional rights." (Doc. 85).

On June 5, 2013, Magistrate Judge Duncan issued an order addressing Plaintiff's Motions for Leave to File an Amended Complaint (Docs. 68, 72), Motion for Leave to File a Supplemental Complaint (Doc. 74), and Motion Requesting Court Order or Directive (Doc. 81). (Doc. 93 at 1). The order denied Plaintiff's Motions for Leave to file an Amended Complaint (Docs. 68, 72) and denied Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File a Supplemental Complaint (Doc. 74). (Doc. 93 at 3). The order also struck Plaintiff's Supplemental Complaint (Doc. 85). (Doc. 93 at 3). Further, the order denied Plaintiff's Motion Requesting Court order or Directive (Doc. 81) as moot.

On June 17, 2013, Plaintiff filed a "Motion of Objection to the 6/5/13 Court Order" appealing the Magistrate Judge's Order (Doc. 94). Plaintiff's Appeal (Doc. 94) requests this Court's de novo determination of the Magistrate Judge's order denying (1) Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint (Doc. 72), (2) Plaintiff's Supplemental Complaint (Doc. 85), and (3) Plaintiff's Motion for Court Order or Directive (Doc. 81). Plaintiff argues that his proposed amended complaint and supplemental complaint are "by law to be reviewed and screened by the District Court Judge overseeing the case." (Doc. 94 at 6). Plaintiff also argues that the Magistrate Judge's order was based on the "misapprehension of the facts and issues and misstatements of the record." ( Id. ). In response to Plaintiff's June 17, 2013 Motion, Defendants Ryan, Clausen, Greeley, and King (the "Defendants") have filed a response to Plaintiff's Appeal. (Doc. 97).

On June 21, 2013 Plaintiff filed a Motion Requesting an Enlargement of Time (Doc. 95) and a supporting Memorandum of Points and Authorities (Doc. 96).

II. Standard of Review

The Federal Magistrates Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 631-639, "distinguishes between nondispositive matters under 287 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and dispositive matters heard pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(B)." United States v. Abonce-Barrera, 257 F.3d 959, 968 (9th Cir. 2001). "Under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A), a district judge may designate a magistrate judge to hear any nondispositive pretrial matter pending before the court." Estate of Connors v. O'Connor, 6 F.3d 656, 658 (9th Cir. 1993) (emphasis in original).

Generally, when the challenged order is non-dispositive, the standard of review used by the District Court to review the Magistrate Judge's decision is "clearly erroneous or contrary to law." Morgal v. Maricopa Cnty. Bd. Of Supervisors, 284 F.R.D. 452, 458 (D. Ariz. 2012), recons. denied, CIV 07-0670-PHX-RCB, 2012 WL 2368478 (D. Ariz. June 21, 2012. However, legal conclusions of the Magistrate Judge are ...


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