United States District Court, D. Nevada
MIRANDA M. DU UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
summary judgment proceedings, the Court permitted Plaintiff
to proceed to trial on counts I, I-A, V, and V-A for First
Amendment retaliation based on Defendant's handling of an
emergency and refusal to provide Plaintiff with a copy of
Disciplinary Form III in September 2011 while Plaintiff was
housed at the Southern Desert Correctional Center
(“SDCC”). (ECF No. 313 at 11-12; ECF No. 5 at 2-6
& 14-15.) Trial was scheduled for November 14, 2017, but
has been continued to December 5, 2017, pursuant to the
parties' stipulation. (ECF No. 474.) Motions in limine
must be fully briefed and submitted for decision at least
fifteen (15) days before trial or on November 20, 2017. (ECF
No. 419 at 1.) This means that motions in limine must be
filed by November 7, 2017, in light of the 14-day deadline to
respond to motions established in LR 7-2(b). This deadline is
set to allow the Court adequate time to consider motions that
have been fully briefed before trial. However, Plaintiff has
filed nine (9) motions after the deadline. Nevertheless, the
Court will address these motions except for motions filed on
or after November 20, 2017. For those motions, the deadline
to respond is the day before trial. Accordingly, all motions
filed on or after November 20, 2017 (ECF Nos. 488, 489, 490,
492) are denied, except for Plaintiff's emergency motion
requesting that the Court direct NDOC to allow Plaintiff to
interview and prepare witnesses (“Motion to
Interview”) (ECF No. 487). The Court will address the
Motion to Interview at calendar call set for November 27,
2017. Defendant may file a response to the Motion to
Interview before then or address the issues raised in that
motion during calendar call.
Motion for Plaintiff to Wear Restraints (ECF No.
United States v. Sanchez-Gomez, the Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals found that in all criminal proceedings,
“[b]efore a presumptively innocent defendant may be
shackled, the court must make an individualized decision that
a compelling government purpose would be served and that
shackles are the least restrictive means for maintaining
security and order in the courtroom.” United States
v. Sanchez-Gomez, 859 F.3d 649, 651 (9th Cir. 2017). The
court observed that in cases where it has approved shackling,
“there has been evidence of disruptive
courtroom behavior, attempts to escape from custody,
assaults or attempted assaults while in custody, or a
pattern of defiant behavior toward corrections
officials and judicial authorities.” Id. at
661 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted)
(emphasis in original). “Although criminal case
precedents do not necessarily apply in a civil proceeding,
[the Ninth Circuit has applied them where the court] finds
them persuasive.” See Tyars v Finner, 709 F.2d
1274, 1285 (1983) (applying the standard for placing a
criminal defendant in restraint to a state involuntary
commitment hearing). The Court finds the
Sanchez-Gomez standard should apply to civil cases
such as this one where a prisoner asserts § 1983 claims.
As the Sanchez-Gomez court explained, the right to
be free from restraints is “not just about the
defendant [;] [t]he right also maintains courtroom decorum
and dignity.” Sanchez-Gomez, 859 F.3d at 662.
this standard here, the Court finds that Defendant has
demonstrated that a compelling government purpose would be
served and the proposed restraints are the least restrictive
means for maintaining security and order in the courtroom.
Defendant offers evidence of Plaintiff's criminal
history-Plaintiff is serving sentences of life with the
possibility of parole for first degree kidnapping with use of
a deadly weapon, along with consecutive sentences for other
violent offenses. (ECF No. 404 at 2.) Defendant offers
evidence of Plaintiff's history of violence towards other
inmates, his confrontations with NDOC staff, and his
disciplinary history while in custody. (Id.)
Defendant also points out that Plaintiff exhibited aggressive
behavior towards counsel and the Court. (Id.)
Plaintiff responded that where he disagreed with Court
personnel, he has sought to “remove” himself from
the situation. (ECF No. 486 at 3.) However, Plaintiff
neglects to point out that those situations involved video or
telephone hearings where he was set up to be in an isolated
conference room. In fact, in such hearings before this Court,
Plaintiff exhibited defiant behavior where he disagrees with
the Court's rulings.
these reasons, Defendant's motion for Plaintiff to be
placed in restraints (ECF No. 464) is granted. Plaintiff will
be placed in leg shackles and will be required to wear an
electronic stun belt (to be provided by NDOC). The Court will
take other measures to ensure that Plaintiff's leg
restraints are not visible to jurors during the trial. These
measures include placement of Plaintiff at a different table
during jury selection and placement of panels to cover the
openings of counsel table during the trial.
Motion to Seal (ECF No. 466)
has offered compelling reasons to support its motion to seal.
Defendant's motion to seal (ECF No. 466) is granted.
Motion Requesting Additional Exhibits (ECF No. 445)
asks to include a copy of two cases as additional exhibits.
(ECF No. 445 at 2.) These cases are not evidence in this case
and will not be admitted as exhibits. Plaintiff's motion
(ECF No. 445) is denied.
Motion to Take Judicial ...