United States District Court, D. Nevada
AUBREY U. LEWIS, SR., Plaintiff,
RENO POLICE DEPARTMENT, et. al. Defendants.
WILLIAM G. COBB UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
submitted his application for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis (IFP) and pro se complaint on August 11, 2016.
(Electronic Case Filing (ECF) Nos. 1, 1-1.) On August 23,
2016, the undersigned issued an order granting the
application to proceed IFP (subject to the requirements of
the Prison Litigation Reform Act). (ECF No. 3.) The court
also screened Plaintiff's complaint, which he brought
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against a John Doe Reno
Police Department officer, a John Doe Washoe County Detention
Facility deputy, and a John Doe medical staff member at the
Washoe County Detention Facility. The court concluded
Plaintiff stated colorable claims for unlawful seizure,
unlawful arrest and excessive force under the Fourth
Amendment, as well as a claim under the Fourteenth Amendment
for denial of medical care as a pretrial detainee.
further ordered that Plaintiff should be allowed to conduct
limited pre-service discovery in an effort to ascertain the
identity of the defendants. To that end, the court directed
the City of Reno and Washoe County to enter a limited
appearance for the purpose of responding to the discovery,
which was limited to three interrogatories each to the City
and Washoe County. (Id.) The City and Washoe County
were given thirty days to enter their limited appearance;
Plaintiff then had fifteen days to serve the interrogatories;
and, the City and Washoe County had thirty days to serve
responses. (Id.) Plaintiff then had fifteen days to
file an amended complaint identifying the named defendants
and a motion requesting service by the U.S. Marshal.
court prospectively extended the ninety-day deadline for
service under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m) to 120
days in light of the need to conduct pre-service discovery to
identify the defendants. (Id.) Plaintiff was advised
that if he needed additional time to conduct discovery or to
effectuate service, he needed to file a motion supported by
good cause prior to the expiration of the 120 days.
court advised that it would set the matter for a status
conference in approximately ninety days; however, the court
later discovered that this was not done.
County entered its notice of limited appearance on September
13, 2016. (ECF No. 5.) The City of Reno entered its notice of
limited appearance on September 22, 2016. (ECF No. 6.)
timely served the interrogatories by mail on September 27,
2016. Instead of serving three interrogatories each on the
City and Washoe County, Plaintiff appears to have served a
single set of seven interrogatories on each. (ECF No. 17.)
The first four interrogatories are directed to Washoe County,
while interrogatories five through seven are directed to the
City of Reno. (Id.) Washoe County provided responses
to interrogatories one through three on October 17, 2016,
identifying the Washoe County Detention Facility employees
involved in his booking and property inventory, as well as a
list of deputies assigned to intake that day, and identifying
the contractor, Armor Correctional Services, that was
involved in medically evaluating Plaintiff. (ECF Nos. 12.
12-1; see also ECF Nos. 15, 15-1.) The City of Reno
provided responses on November 2, 2016. (ECF No. 16.) The
City of Reno only responded to interrogatories one through
three, even though those interrogatories were clearly
directed to Washoe County. (Id.) It objected to
having to respond to the interrogatories, and then responded
that it did not have responsive information. (Id.)
January 4, 2017, the court set this matter for a case
management conference on February 8, 2017. (ECF No. 7.) That
order was returned by the Washoe County Detention Facility as
undeliverable, indicating Plaintiff was not at the facility.
(ECF No. 8.)
January 17, 2017, the court vacated the case management
order, and directed Plaintiff to provide a notice of change
of address or face a recommendation of dismissal of his
action. (ECF No. 9.)
January 23, 2017, Washoe Legal Services, who is not
representing Plaintiff, but has a program assisting inmates
in the Washoe County Detention Facility with civil legal
matters, informed the court that Plaintiff was released for a
period of time and then was returned to jail for sentencing,
and expected to be there through February 16, 2017. (ECF No.
10.) After that time, he provided an alternative address.
February 1, 2017, Washoe County filed the discovery responses
it had previously provided to Plaintiff in October of 2016.
(ECF Nos. 12, 12-1.)
February 8, 2017, the court set a status conference for
February 13, 2017, requesting that Washoe County and the City
make a limited appearance. (ECF No. 13.)
City and Washoe County made a limited appearance at the
February 13, 2017 status conference, and Plaintiff appeared
by telephone from the Washoe County Detention Facility.
(See ECF No. 18.) The court discussed the status of
the pre-service discovery and Plaintiff's failure to file
an amended complaint or motion seeking an extension of time
to conduct discovery or effectuate service, took the matter
under submission, and issues the instant order on that topic.