United States District Court, D. Nevada
JOSEPH M. ANDERSON, Plaintiff,
NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS et al., Defendants.
C. JONES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a prisoner civil rights case. Now pending before the Court
are two motions for reconsideration, (ECF Nos. 60, 80), and a
motion for clarification of a prior order, (ECF No. 78).
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
sued Defendants in state court under 42 U.S.C. §§
1983 and 1985, alleging violations of the Free Exercise
Clause of the First Amendment, the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”), the
Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,
retaliation in violation of the First Amendment, and a civil
rights conspiracy. The Court permitted certain claims to
proceed and gave leave to amend certain other claims. Upon
amendment, the Court permitted RLUIPA, First Amendment
retaliation, Equal Protection Clause, and civil rights
conspiracy claims to proceed but dismissed a due process
claim with prejudice.
March 31, 2017, Defendants filed a motion for summary
judgment. The motion argued, first, that Plaintiff had failed
to exhaust administrative remedies as to the claims against
all Defendants other than Ray East, Jonathan Ball, and Jethro
Parks; second, that the statute of limitations had run on the
claims against East and Ball; and third, that the First
Amendment retaliation claim against Parks failed on the
merits. Subsequently, Defendants moved for a stay of
discovery pending the Court's ruling on their summary
judgment motion. (Mot. Stay, ECF No. 41.) Following a motion
hearing, Magistrate Judge William G. Cobb granted the stay.
to the hearing minutes, Judge Cobb initially observed that
the summary judgment motion primarily focused on the
exhaustion of administrative remedies, while discovery
propounded by Plaintiff “focus[ed] on the merits of the
case rather than the specific subject of exhaustion.”
(Hr'g Mins. 2, ECF No. 46.) Judge Cobb then conveyed that
he would nonetheless “allow Plaintiff to undertake
discovery so long as the discovery is targeted to the topic
of exhaustion and defendant Parks. Discovery as to the
general merits of the case will not be allowed.”
(Id.) Next, Judge Cobb reviewed several of
Plaintiff's discovery requests and, finding some of them
to be appropriate, ordered Defendants to provide supplemental
responses to certain specified requests. Judge Cobb
concluded, however, that none of Plaintiff's proposed
discovery “address[ed] the matter of Defendants'
motion for summary [judgment] regarding exhaustion or statute
of limitations.” (Id.) For that reason, Judge
Cobb granted the stay of discovery, with the exception that
Defendants must provide the aforementioned supplemental
responses no later than June 23, 2017. (Id.) On June
29 and July 3, Plaintiff filed objections to Judge Cobb's
order staying discovery under Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a). (Objs., ECF
Nos. 47, 48.) On July 27, the Court overruled Plaintiff's
objections and affirmed Judge Cobb's order granting the
stay. (Order, ECF No. 59.)
August 17, 2017, Judge Cobb entered his report and
recommendation (R. & R.) that summary judgment be granted
for Defendants, except that the motion should be denied as to
the retaliation claim against Defendant Parks. (ECF No. 66.)
Plaintiff and Defendants both filed objections to the R.
& R. (ECF Nos. 69, 70.) Of course, Plaintiff argued that
summary judgment should not be granted on any claim, while
Defendants argued that summary judgment was additionally
appropriate on the retaliation claim against Parks. On
September 20, the Court accepted and adopted the R. & R.
in full, after noting that it had conducted a de
novo review and had considered all relevant matters of
record. (Order, ECF No. 76.) Judgment was then entered for
Defendants consistent with the Court's order. (ECF No.
only claim now remaining in this case is the First Amendment
retaliation claim against Defendant Parks.
Defendants' Motion to Reconsider (ECF No. 60)
citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(a), Defendants ask the Court to
correct mistakes in its order overruling Plaintiff's
objections to Judge Cobb's order granting a stay of
discovery. Defendants argue that some of the language in the
Court's order mischaracterized Judge Cobb's ruling
and the procedural history leading up to it. Because the
Court has ruled on the summary judgment motion and the stay
is no longer in effect, this motion is likely moot. However,
the Court also notes that the legal effect of its order was
merely to overrule Plaintiff's objections and uphold the
magistrate judge's order. See D. Nev. Local. R.
IB 3-1(b) (“The district judge may affirm, reverse, or
modify, in whole or in part, the magistrate judge's
order.”) Nothing in the Court's dicta should be
construed to alter Judge Cobb's underlying order, which
was affirmed in full without modification.
this motion is denied.
Defendants' Motion for Clarification (ECF No.
Defendants ask the Court to clarify its order accepting and
adopting the R. & R. and granting partial summary
judgment. Defendants note that the order specifies that the
Court “fully considered” Plaintiff's
objections to the R. & R., but does not so specify with
respect to Defendants' objection. (See Order,
ECF No. 76.) The Court will grant the motion to offer the
following clarification: All relevant matters of ...