United States District Court, D. Arizona
HONORABLE JOHN Z. BOYLE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
before the Court are Plaintiff Andres De La Torre's
Motion to Compel Discovery (doc. 16), and two Motions for
Amendment of Scheduling Order (docs. 14, 19). Each motion is
fully briefed. (Docs.16, 18, 20; Docs. 14, 15; Docs. 19, 21.)
seeks an order compelling Defendants to answer discovery
requests. There is a factual dispute as to whether Defendants
received the discovery requests. The Court will order
Defendants to answer the requests. Plaintiff's Motions
for Amendment seek the extension of deadlines and the
increase of limits to discovery. The Court finds that
Plaintiff has been diligent, and has shown good cause to
extend the deadlines, but not the limits, of discovery.
Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motions for Amendment will be
granted in part.
April 26, 2017, Plaintiff filed a pro se Civil Rights
Complaint. (Doc. 1.) In its July 10, 2017, Screening Order
(doc. 6), the Court provided the following relevant summary
of Plaintiff's claims:
In his four-count Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that his
rights under the First Amendment; the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C.
§§ 2000cc-2000cc-5; the Equal Protection Clause;
and the Due Process Clause have been violated. . . Plaintiff
is seeking injunctive, declaratory, and monetary relief.
In Count One,  Plaintiff alleges that his rights under
the First Amendment were violated by Defendants' refusal
to provide him with a Halal diet, a Kosher diet, or
“any diet remotely consistent with Islam's dietary
restrictions.” (Doc. 1 at 3.) Plaintiff asserts that
when he requested a religious diet, Defendant Harris required
him to take a religious test. (Id. at 3-4.) In the
course of administering this test, Harris allegedly
“challenged the legitimacy of Islam, ”
“cast aspersions on [Plaintiff's] religious
sincerity, ” and interrogated Plaintiff about aspects
of his religion irrelevant to dietary restrictions.
(Id. at 4.) At the conclusion of the test, Harris
purportedly told Plaintiff that he would not approve
Plaintiff's diet request, but would provide
Plaintiff's test results to Defendant Kingsland for
further consideration. (Id.) Kingsland subsequently
denied Plaintiff's diet request, claiming that Plaintiff
had not established a religious reason for his request.
(Id.) Plaintiff provided “documentation of the
chaplains' clear violation of his [First] Amendment
rights” and a copy of the Ninth Circuit's decision
in Shakur v. Schriro [514 F.3d 878 (9th Cir. 2008)]
to Defendants Mooney and Ryan, but instead of remedying the
situation, Mooney and Ryan approved the chaplains'
In Count Two, Plaintiff relies on the facts alleged in Count
One to assert a claim under RLUIPA. (Id. at 5.)
In Count Three, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants'
refusal to grant him a religious diet violated his equal
protection rights. (Id. at 6.) He states that
Defendants “singled [him] out for disparate
treatment” because he is “Mexican and newly
converted, rather than Black or Arab and raised
Muslim.” (Id.) According to Plaintiff, there
was no legitimate reason for the denial of his religious diet
request because he is in the same situation and satisfied the
same requirements as other Muslim inmates whose religious
diet requests were approved. (Id.) Specifically, he
claims to have submitted a written request, provided a
written statement setting forth the reason for his request,
specified the scripture verses that set forth the Quran's
dietary requirements, and answered every question posed by
Defendant Harris during the religious test. (Id.)
In Count Four, Plaintiff claims that Defendant Ryan created a
policy intended to “subvert and circumvent” First
Amendment religious protections and that Defendants Mooney,
Kingsland, and Harris made a “calculated choice”
to follow an unconstitutional course of action. (Id.
at 7, 8.) He asserts that the ADC Department Order (DO)
governing religious diets, DO 904.04-1.5, is incomprehensible
and incomplete. (Id.) According to Plaintiff, the
policy does not set forth clear criteria for obtaining a
religious diet, nor does it contain any mention of the
“multi-page questionnaire religious tests” that
are used by prison chaplains to “arbitrarily judge
religious sincerity and discriminate against non-Christian
religions.” (Id.) Plaintiff claims that some
Muslim inmates' requests for a religious diet are denied
even though they cite the same reasons for their requests as
inmates who have been granted a religious diet. In addition,
Plaintiff claims that the unwritten custom of
“interrogating inmates about their religion” and
“attacking [inmates'] beliefs” was approved
by Defendant Ryan and is “so well-settled and
widespread that policymaking officials [and] prison
administrators have actual knowledge of it.”
Plaintiff claims that he has suffered religious suppression,
monetary loss, mental and emotional anguish, and
“physical dete[ri]oration” as a result of
(Doc. 6 at 3-5.)
Pro se parties.
United States Supreme Court has made clear that federal
“judges have no obligation to act as counsel or
paralegal to pro se litigants[, ]” because requiring
trial judges to explain the details of federal procedure or
act as the pro se's counsel “would undermine
[federal] judges' role as impartial
decisionmakers.” Pliler v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225,
226-227 (2004). A pro se litigant “does not have a
constitutional right to receive personal instruction from the
trial judge on courtroom procedure” and that “the
Constitution [does not] require judges to take over chores
for a pro se [litigant] that would normally be attended to by
trained counsel as a matter of course.” Id.
(citing Martinez v. Court of Appeal of Cal., Fourth
Appellate Dist., 528 U.S. 152, 162 (2000)). Although pro
se pleadings may be held to less stringent standards than
those prepared by attorneys, Rand v. Rowland, 154
F.3d 952, 957 (9th Cir.1998) (citing Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 ...