United States District Court, D. Nevada
M. NAVARRO, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
before the Court is pro se Defendant Ryan C. Bundy’s
(“Defendant’s”) Objection (ECF No. 1688) to
Magistrate Judge Peggy A. Leen’s Order (ECF No. 1599)
denying his Motion for Disclosure of Informants (ECF No.
1239). The Government filed a Response to the Objection. (ECF
No. 1742). Defendant also filed a Declaration in support of
his Objection subsequent to the Government’s Response.
(ECF No. 1772).
reviewing the order of a magistrate judge, a district judge
should only set aside the order if it is clearly erroneous or
contrary to law. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A); D. Nev. R. IB
3-1(a). A magistrate judge’s order is “clearly
erroneous” if the court has “a definite and firm
conviction that a mistake has been committed.” See
Burdick v. Comm’r IRS, 979 F.2d 1369, 1370 (9th
Cir. 1992). When reviewing the order, however, the magistrate
judge “is afforded broad discretion, which will be
overruled only if abused.” Columbia Pictures, Inc.
v. Bunnell, 245 F.R.D. 443, 446 (C.D. Cal. 2007)
(citation omitted). The district judge “may not simply
substitute its judgment” for that of the magistrate
judge. Grimes v. City & Cty. of San Francisco,
951 F.2d 236, 241 (9th Cir. 1991).
original motion sought disclosure of “the names and
addresses of any and all informants whom the Government has
utilized in the instant case.” (Mot. Disclose
Informants at 3, ECF No. 1239). After thorough consideration
of the full briefing of the motion, Judge Leen denied
Defendant’s motion both on timeliness grounds and on
the merits, explaining that Defendant “fail[ed] to make
[a] minimal threshold showing for disclosure of confidential
informants’ identity and addresses.” (Order
4:20–21, ECF No. 1599). Defendant then filed the
instant objection, asserting four claims of clear error by
Judge Leen. (Obj., ECF No. 1688). First, he argues that
“good cause” excuses his untimeliness.
(Id. at 1–3). Second, Defendant asserts that
during the Government’s case against him in Oregon (a
completely different case based on a separate indictment
alleging different charges and underlying facts), the
Government said that it was not calling confidential
informants but then so did anyway; therefore, the Government
“will attempt to do the same thing in the instant
case.” (Id. at 2–4). Third, Defendant
objects to Judge Leen’s authority “to rule on
pre-trial discovery issues which are dispositive in
nature.” (Id. at 4). Finally, Defendant
objects to Judge Leen’s Order as failing to liberally
construe his pro se pleadings. (Id. at 4–6).
the Court need not examine the timeliness of
Defendant’s motion as Judge Leen also considered his
motion on the merits. (See Order 4:19). Second,
Defendant argues that Judge Leen “failed to consider
the Portland case at all.” (Obj. at 2). The Court
reviewed Defendant’s original motion, which does not
include any information or assertions regarding
Defendant’s separate case in Oregon. (See Mot.
Disclose Informants). Judge Leen’s Order was not
clearly erroneous for failing to address an issue that
Defendant did not raise.
the discovery-related motion was properly referred to Judge
Leen pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). This statute
provides that “a judge may designate a magistrate judge
to hear and determine any pretrial matter pending before the
court.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). The statute also
enumerates several exceptions that cannot be finally
determined by a magistrate judge, such as motions to dismiss
an indictment or suppress evidence; however, none of these
exceptions includes discovery-related motions, such as
Defendant’s original Motion for Disclosure of
Informants. See id Therefore, Judge Leen
appropriately issued a final order on Defendant’s
pro se status does not excuse a criminal defendant from
complying with the procedural or substantive rules of the
Court. Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806, 834 n.46
(1975). “A defendant who knowingly and intelligently
assumes the risks of conducting his own defense is entitled
to no greater rights than a litigant represented by
counsel.” United States v. Flewitt, 874 F.2d
669, 674-75 (9th Cir. 1989). Thus, Defendant’s pro se
status does not absolve him of his duty to comply with legal
standards, like his burden to demonstrate a minimum threshold
showing for disclosure here. Therefore, Court overrules
Defendant’s objection because Judge Leen did not
clearly err in her denial of Defendant’s motion for
failing to demonstrate “a specific need for
informants’ identities and addresses” and that
“the broad information requested is relevant and
helpful to his defense” as required by case law.
(See Order 6:24-28); see also United States v.
Henderson, 241 F.3d 638, 645 (9th Cir. 2001).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant’s
Objection (ECF No. 1688) is OVERRULED
 The Court further notes that even in
Defendant’s objection and declaration, he fails to
demonstrate a connection between the Oregon case and the
instant case in Nevada, such as a confidential informant
testifying in Oregon about something relevant to his Nevada
case. As such, even if the Court were to consider the new
arguments raised by Defendant in his objection, Defendant
would not meet his burden of demonstrating a minimum
threshold showing for disclosure because he does not
articulate any substantial reason why he should be entitled
to the confidential ...