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Edwards v. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

United States District Court, District of Nevada

December 12, 2014

RONNIE EDWARDS, Plaintiff,
v.
LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT, et al. Defendants.

ORDER

C.W. Hoffman, Jr. United States Magistrate Judge

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion for Issuance of Subpoena Duces Tecum (#24), filed August 18, 2014; Defendant Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s (“Metro”) Response (#26), filed August 28, 2014; and Plaintiff’s Reply (#27), filed September 9, 2014. The matter is also before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion for Status Check (#25), filed August 28, 2014, and Plaintiff’s Motion of Concern (#34), filed November 17, 2014.

Plaintiff’s application to proceed in this matter in forma pauperis (#1) was granted on January 14, 2014. See Order (#6). In addition, the Court screened the complaint and held Plaintiff had stated a “colorable claim for deliberate indifference to Plaintiff’s safety” in violation of the Eighth Amendment that should proceed against Defendants Hightower, Reyes, Mitchell, and John Doe.[1] Id. at 5. The Court also held that Plaintiff stated a colorable claim of deliberate indifference to medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment that should proceed against Defendants Dr. Mondora, Nurse Katrina, Reyes, Scott, and several John Does. Id. at 8. As such, the Clerk of Court was ordered to issue summons for Defendants Hightower, Reyes, Mitchell, Scott, Dr. Mondora, and Nurse Katrina and deliver them along with the complaint to the United States Marshal for service. The Clerk was also instructed to send Plaintiff USM-285 forms to fill out and furnish to the U.S. Marshal within 30 days. Plaintiff was instructed to file a notice with the Court within 20 days after receiving a copy of the USM-285 form from the Marshal indicating whether service had been accomplished.

On February 12, 2014, Plaintiff filed a notice indicating that he was unsure whether he was supposed to provide a copy of the summons and complaint to the Marshal. (#9). On May 22, 2014, the USM-285 returns were filed indicating that none of the six named defendants had been served. (#13). Thereafter, on June 6, 2014, Plaintiff filed a notice confirming that none of the named defendants had been served and a motion requesting an extension of time to effectuate service. See Notice (#14) and Motion (#15).

On July 9, 2014, the Court entered an order granting Plaintiff’s motion to extend time to serve and issuing subpoenas duces tecum. (#16). The Court noted the service requirements set forth in its screening order, including the direction for service on Defendants Hightower, Reyes, Mitchell, Dr. Mondora, Nurse Katrina, and Scott. After review of Plaintiff’s motion (#15) and the service return (#13), the Court noted: “[I]t appears Metro refused to comply with the summonses and identify its employees. Instead, it appears Metro refused service because none of the CCDC defendants was identified in the wholly unspecified manner that Metro apparently prefers.” See Order (#16) at 3:4-6. Consequently, the Court issued a subpoena duces tecum pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 45 directed toward the custodian of records at CCDC requiring that the first and last names and last known addresses of all defendants be provided under seal to the United States Marshal. Id. at 4:4-14. Plaintiff was provided an additional 120 days to accomplish service under Rule 4(m).

In response to the Rule 45 subpoena, Defendants, through counsel, filed an emergency motion to quash the subpoena. (#20). The Court set the motion for hearing, which went forward as scheduled on August 11, 2014. During the course of the hearing, the parties agreed that the Rule 45 subpoena was no longer necessary. Counsel for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department indicated that a renewed request by Plaintiff for a Rule 45 subpoena, at least as to the Metro defendants, was not necessary as Defendants are not trying to evade service. Ultimately, the parties agreed that quashing the subpoena was appropriate and that Plaintiff would simply file additional information upon which Metro would be able to adequately identify the Metro Defendants and accept service.

Shortly after the hearing, on August 18, 2014, Plaintiff filed the motion currently under consideration. By way of the motion, Plaintiff requests the issuance of two subpoenas duces tecum. Plaintiff has attached several exhibits which provide additional identifying information regarding Defendants Hightower, Reyes, Mitchell, and Scott that he hopes will aid Metro identify the officers. Also, acknowledging that Defendants Mondora and Simeon were employed by a contracted third-party at the time of the alleged incidents, Plaintiff requests a subpoena duces tecum be issued to the registered agent of Naphcare, Inc.

In response, Metro indicates that it does not oppose the issuance of the requested subpoena as to the Metro officers, but expresses its belief that the issuance of summons with the name of the Metro officer and their identifying number should be sufficient to permit Metro to accept service on behalf of the individual officers.

DISCUSSION

1. Metro Defendants

Plaintiff requests that the Court issues a subpoena duces tecum to the Custodian of Records at Clark County Detention Center requiring production of the names and addresses of the Metro Defendants Hightower, Reyes, Mitchell, and Scott. The undersigned agrees with defense counsel that a Rule 45 subpoena does not appear necessary as to these defendants. As acknowledged by Metro’s counsel, the information contained in the exhibits attached to Plaintiff’s motion should be sufficient to permit Metro to identify and, if appropriate, accept service on behalf of the named officers. Consequently, the Court will instruct the Clerk to issue new summons for Defendants Hightower, Reyes, Mitchell, and Scott as follows:

Officer Hightower, B13600H 330 S. Casino Center Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89101
Officer Reyes, 7766 330 S. Casino Center Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89101
Officer Mitchell, 5069 330 S. Casino Center Blvd. Las ...

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