United States District Court, D. Arizona
A. Teilborg, Senior United States District Judge.
before the Court are the February 5, 2016, Report and
Recommendation (“R&R”) issued by Magistrate
Judge Deborah M. Fine,  (Doc. 150), three Motion(s) for Leave
to File an Amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 15(a)(2) and Local Rule of Civil Procedure
15.1(a),  (Docs. 175, 180, 183), and one
miscellaneous motion seeking relief. (Doc. 182). The Court
now addresses the R&R, and rules on the pending motions.
Demetrius A. Wilson filed a prisoner civil rights Complaint
and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis on
July 14, 2014. (Docs. 1, 2). Plaintiff subsequently moved for
leave to file an amended Complaint on November 20, 2014.
(Doc. 5). The Magistrate Judge granted Plaintiff leave, (Doc.
8), and on March 2, 2015, Plaintiff moved for leave to amend
a second time. (Doc. 23). The Magistrate Judge issued an
R&R recommending that Plaintiff be granted leave.
30, 2015, this Court accepted the R&R’s
recommendation and granted Plaintiff leave to file a Second
Amended Complaint (“SAC”). (Doc. 64). The
Court’s June 30 Order also adjudicated the following
issues: it dismissed with prejudice Counts One, Three, Five,
Eight, Ten, Eleven, Thirteen, Fifteen, and Seventeen from the
SAC; it dismissed with prejudice Defendant Maricopa County
Correctional Health Services; it dismissed with prejudice the
claims for damages against Defendants “John Doe 2,
” “John Doe 4, ” “John Doe 5, ”
B. Piirinen and Scott Frye; it dismissed Count Four without
prejudice; and it ordered that Plaintiff be allowed to
participate in discovery to determine the identities of
Defendants “[M]edical [N]urse [M]ary, ”
“Officer A8845, ” John Doe 1, John Doe 2, John
Doe 4, John Doe 5, John Doe 7, John Doe 8, John Doe 9, John
Doe 10, John Doe 12, John Doe 13, John Doe 15, John Doe 16,
John Doe 17. (Id. at 21-22).
to this Order, on July 21, 2015, the Magistrate Judge
addressed four separate motions for leave to amend to
identify certain unknown Defendants, and granted
Plaintiff’s motions only to the extent that he could
file an amended Complaint that substituted certain names for
“John/Jane Doe[s].” (Doc. 76 at 4-5). The
Magistrate Judge denied Plaintiff’s motions “to
the extent Plaintiff seeks to add causes of action pursuant
to the motions without complying with LRCiv 15.1, ” and
gave Plaintiff until August 21, 2015, to file an amended
Complaint. (Id. at 3, 5). Plaintiff failed to comply
with the July 21 Order, and on November 24, 2015, the
Magistrate Judge gave “Plaintiff a final opportunity to
amend his . . . Complaint . . . to substitute the names of
the defendants as set forth above, including any new
defendants Plaintiff has identified, and to include all of
Plaintiff’s claims” by December 7, 2015. (Doc.
142 at 3).
December 4, 2015, Plaintiff complied, and filed the proposed
Third Amended Complaint (“TAC”). (Doc. 143).
Subsequent to filing the proposed TAC, and after the December
7, 2015, deadline imposed by the Magistrate Judge, Plaintiff
filed two additional motions for leave to file an amended
Complaint. (Docs. 146, 147). On February 5, 2016, the
Magistrate Judge issued the pending R&R addressing the
three aforementioned motions, (Doc. 150), to which Plaintiff
objected, arguing generally that as a pro se Plaintiff
alleging claims pursuant to Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983
(2012), he is entitled to amend his Complaint. (Doc. 156).
6, 2016, Plaintiff filed an additional motion for leave to
amend. Plaintiff sought to amend the TAC-the subject of the
Magistrate Judge’s R&R-by adding Counts Fifteen,
Sixteen, Seventeen, and Eighteen, as well as adding up to ten
additional defendants to the Complaint. (Doc. 176 at 1-3,
21-31). On June 3, 2016, Plaintiff filed another motion for
leave to amend, which was comprised of documentary evidence
to corroborate Count Eighteen, contained in the May 6 filing.
(Doc. 180). And on June 14, Plaintiff filed his most recent
motion for leave to amend, seeking to supplement Count Two of
the proposed TAC. (Doc. 183).
set forth the pertinent factual and procedural background,
the Court turns to the Magistrate Judge’s R&R and
Plaintiff’s pending motions.
Standard of Review
Court “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in
part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate
judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). It is “clear
that the district judge must review the magistrate
judge’s findings and recommendations de novo if
objection is made, but not otherwise.” United
States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir.
2003) (en banc); accord Schmidt v.
Johnstone, 263 F.Supp.2d 1219, 1226 (D. Ariz. 2003)
(“Following Reyna-Tapia, this Court concludes
that de novo review of factual and legal issues is
required if objections are made, ‘but not
otherwise.’”); Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands
Ctr. v. U.S. Bureau of Land Mgmt., 589 F.3d 1027, 1032
(9th Cir. 2009) (the district court “must review de
novo the portions of the [magistrate judge’s]
recommendations to which the parties object.”).
District courts are not required to conduct “any review
at all . . . of any issue that is not the subject of
an objection.” Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140,
149 (1985) (emphasis added); see also 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1) (“A judge of the court shall make a
de novo determination of those portions of the
[R&R] to which objection is made.”).
Motion for Leave to File a Third Amended Complaint
has already amended his Complaint once as a matter of course,
(Doc. 9), and was given leave by the Court to file a SAC
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). (Doc. 64). Plaintiff now
seeks leave from the Court to file the proposed TAC.
Court should freely give leave to amend “when justice
so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). “In exercising
its discretion[, ] . . . ‘a court must be guided by the
underlying purpose of Rule 15-to facilitate decision on the
merits rather than on the pleadings or
technicalities.’” Eldridge v. Block, 832
F.2d 1132, 1135 (9th Cir. 1987) (citation omitted).
“Thus, ‘Rule 15’s policy of favoring
amendments to pleadings should be applied with extreme
liberality.’” Id. (citations omitted);
accord Morongo Band of Mission Indians v. Rose, 893
F.2d 1074, 1079 (9th Cir. 1990) (stating that leave to amend
is generally allowed with “extraordinary
liberality”). “This liberality . . . is not
dependent on whether the amendment will add causes of action
or parties.” DCD Programs, LTD. v.
Leighton, 833 F.2d 183, 186 (9th Cir. 1987).
“[T]he ‘rule favoring liberality in amendments to
pleadings is particularly important for the pro se
litigant. Presumably unskilled in the law, the pro
se litigant is far more prone to making errors in
pleading than the person who benefits from the representation
of counsel.’” Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d
1122, 1131 (9th Cir. 2000) (quoting Noll v. Carlson,
809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir. 1987)). This leniency is
amplified in civil rights cases. Eldridge v. Block,
832 F.2d 1132, 1136 (9th Cir. 1987).
R&R recommends that Plaintiff be granted leave to file
the proposed TAC. (Doc. 150 at 12). Defendants did not object
to this recommendation. Thus, the Court need not review
de novo this portion of the R&R.
Reyna-Tapie, 328 F.3d at 1121; Schmidt, 263
F.Supp.2d at 1226. Plaintiff is granted leave to file an
Statutory Screening of Prisoner Complaints
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against “a governmental entity or an
officer or an employee of a governmental entity.” 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or
portion thereof if a plaintiff has raised claims that are
legally frivolous or malicious, that fail to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1)-(2). Section 1915A incorporates the
12(b)(6) standards to determine whether a claimant has failed
to state a claim. Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113,
1121 (9th Cir. 2012).
motion for leave to amend, (Doc. 143), includes a proposed
TAC that is comprised of fourteen claims against Defendants.
Counts One through Eleven are identical to those included in
Plaintiff’s SAC, previously screened by the Magistrate
Judge and this Court. (Doc. 64). Plaintiff’s TAC adds
new claims in Count Twelve, Thirteen, and Fourteen, and also
incorporates the identity of some previously unknown
Plaintiff’s Objection to the Magistrate Judge’s
R&R (Doc. 156)
forth supra, the Court need only conduct a de
novo review of those portions of the R&R to which
Plaintiff objects. Reyna-Tapie, 328 F.3d at 1121;
Schmidt, 263 F.Supp.2d at 1226. Having reviewed
Plaintiff’s objection liberally, as the Court must,
Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1235 (9th Cir.
1984), the Court finds that Plaintiff objects to one aspect
of the R&R’s screening of claims contained in
Plaintiff’s proposed TAC. Plaintiff objects to the
Magistrate Judge’s recommendation that Count Two be
dismissed without prejudice on the grounds that the TAC
failed to cure the deficiency present in the SAC. (Doc. 150
at 5-6). Plaintiff’s objection specifically contests
the recommendation for this particular Count, and argues why
the Magistrate Judge is incorrect. (Doc. 156 at 1). Nothing
else in Plaintiff’s objection can reasonably be
construed as an objection to the recommendation that Count
Twelve be dismissed without prejudice, or that
Plaintiff’s claims for damages against certain
grievance officers be dismissed with prejudice. Accordingly, the
only aspect of the Magistrate Judge’s screening of the
TAC that is subject to de novo review is the
recommendation that Count Two be dismissed without prejudice.
Counts One, Counts Three Through Eleven of the Proposed
party objected to the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation
with respect to these ten counts. Accordingly, the Court
hereby adopts the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation,
set forth here:
Count One of Plaintiff’s TAC (designated as Count Two
in Plaintiff’s SAC) states a valid claim against
Provider Balaji (previously named John Doe 1 Provider).
(See Doc. 64 at 12)
. . .
Count Three of Plaintiff’s TAC (designated as the first
incident in Count Six in Plaintiff’s SAC) states a
valid claim against Officer Rita Showalter A8845 (previously
named Officer A8845) and Medical Nurse Mary. (See
id. at 12-13.)
Count Four of Plaintiff’s TAC (designated as the second
incident in Count Six of Plaintiff’s SAC) states a
valid claim against Jane Doe 7 Medical Staff (previously
named John Doe 7 Medical Staff). (See id. at 13.)
Count Five of Plaintiff’s TAC (designated as Count
Seven in Plaintiff’s SAC) states a valid claim against
1st Shift Medical Samantha Perez (previously named 1st Shift
Medical Staff Samantha) and John Doe 8 Staff. (See
id. at 14.)
Count Six of Plaintiff’s TAC (designated as Count Nine
in Plaintiff’s SAC) states a valid claim against
Graveyard Shift R.N. Lois Quaid (previously named Graveyard
Shift R.N. Lois) and John Doe Officer 9. (See id.)
Count Seven of Plaintiff’s TAC (designated as Count
Twelve in Plaintiff’s SAC) states a valid claim against
Jane Doe 10 Medical Staff (previously named John Doe 10
Medical Staff), John Doe 11 Officer, and John Doe 12 Medical
Staff. (See id. at 15.)
Count Eight of Plaintiff’s TAC (designated as Count
Fourteen in Plaintiff’s SAC) states a valid claim
against John/Jane Doe 13 Medical Staff (previously named John
Doe 13 Medical Staff) and P.A. Matthew Barker (previously
named John Doe 1 Provider). (See id.)
Count Nine of Plaintiff’s TAC (previously Count Sixteen
of Plaintiff’s SAC) states a valid claim against Jane
Doe 15 Medical (previously named John Doe 15 Medical) and
Medical Deborah Jean Davis (previously named John Doe 16
Medical). (See id. at 16.)
Count Ten of Plaintiff’s TAC (previously the first
incident in Count Eighteen of Plaintiff’s SAC) states a
valid claim against Medical Tatjana Stojikovic CS993
(previously named John Doe 17 Medical). (See id.)
Count Eleven of Plaintiff’s TAC (previously the second
incident in Count Eighteen of Plaintiff’s SAC) states a
valid claim against Officer Graciela Perez A9647 (previously