United States District Court, D. Nevada
M. NAVARRO, CHIEF JUDGE
before the Court are Defendants Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Department (“LVMPD”), Detective Rader
(“Det. Rader”), and Lieutenant Smith's
(“Lt. Smith's”) (collectively
“Defendants'”) Objections, (ECF Nos. 36, 43,
46), to the Honorable Magistrate Judge Koppe's Orders,
(ECF Nos. 33, 38, 39). Plaintiff James Kiessling
(“Plaintiff”) filed Responses, (ECF Nos. 37, 47,
50), to Defendants' Objections. Additionally pending
before the Court is Plaintiff's Objection, (ECF No. 45),
to Judge Koppe's Order, (ECF No. 39),  to which
Defendants filed a Response, (ECF No. 51).
case arises from an incident on May 25, 2014, involving an
argument between Plaintiff and his ex-wife during a custody
exchange. (See Compl. ¶¶ 14-18, ECF No.
1). Plaintiff alleges that the incident resulted in the
excessive use of force against him by Defendants Dt. Rader
and Lt. Smith. (See id. ¶¶ 56-63). In
addition to the claims for relief against Dt. Rader and Lt.
Smith, Plaintiff alleges a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against LVMPD for negligent training, supervision, and
retention. (See id. ¶¶ 64-70).
December 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Compel
requesting discovery in three areas: internal affairs
discovery, other instances of excessive force, and personnel
files. (See Mot. to Compel, ECF No. 26). In
conjunction with these discovery requests, Plaintiff sought
attorneys' fees. (Id. at 12-13). Judge Koppe
granted the Motion to Compel with respect to the internal
affairs discovery as well as other instances of excessive
force, and found that attorneys' fees should be awarded.
(See Order 5:9-10, 5:20-21, ECF No. 33). Judge
Koppe, however, deferred ruling on the personnel files
pending review of the documents in camera.
(See id. 5:9- 10). After reviewing the
personnel files, Judge Koppe ordered the production of two
pages in particular and declined to award sanctions with
respect to the dispute regarding the personnel files.
(See Order 2:13-28, ECF No. 38).
February 24, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion to calculate
attorneys' fees, seeking $11, 860.00 for the preparation
of the Motion to Compel, the corresponding Reply, and the
Motion for Attorneys' Fees. (See Motion for
Attorneys' Fees 3:2-3, 3:27-28, ECF No. 34).
Consequently, Judge Koppe ordered that Defendants pay
attorneys' fees in the amount of $3, 761.00 within thirty
days of the issuance of the Order. (See Order
6:17-18, ECF No. 39).
Defendants filed the instant three Objections to Judge
Koppe's Orders where Defendants request that the
Court's ruling on the Motion to Compel, which ordered the
production of the internal affairs discovery, other instances
of excessive force, and two pages of personnel files, be
reversed or modified. (See Objections, ECF Nos. 36,
43). Additionally, Defendants request that the Order granting
attorneys' fees be reversed. (See Obj. 5:11-12,
ECF No. 46).
April 7, 2017, Plaintiff filed his instant Objection to the
amount of attorneys' fees awarded, requesting that the
Order be modified and the fees recalculated. (See
Obj. 8:6-10, ECF No. 45).
reviewing the order of a magistrate judge, the order should
only be set aside if the order is clearly erroneous or
contrary to law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a); LR IB 3-1(a); 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(A); Laxalt v. McClatchy, 602
F.Supp. 214, 216 (D. Nev. 1985). A magistrate judge's
order is “clearly erroneous” if the court has
“a definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been
committed.” See United States v. U.S. Gypsum
Co., 333 U.S. 364, 395 (1948); Burdick v. Comm'r
IRS, 979 F.2d 1369, 1370 (9th Cir. 1992). “An
order is contrary to law when it fails to apply or misapplies
relevant statutes, case law or rules of procedure.”
UnitedHealth Grp., Inc. v. United Healthcare, Inc.,
No. 2:14-cv-00224-RCJ, 2014 WL 4635882, at *1 (D. Nev. Sept.
16, 2014). 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). The
district judge “may not simply substitute its
judgment” for that of the magistrate judge. Grimes
v. City and County of San Francisco, 951 F.2d 236, 241
(9th Cir. 1991) (citing United States v. BNS, Inc.,
858 F.2d 456, 464 (9th Cir. 1988)).
Defendants' First Objection (ECF No. 36)
Defendants' First Objection, Defendants seek reversal or
modification of Judge Koppe's Order compelling the
internal affairs and other instances of excessive force
discovery. (Obj. 14:8-9, ECF No. 36). Defendants argue that
“[o]n the whole of the record, Defendants believe that
the magistrate [sic] findings misapply the law regarding the
official information privilege, fail to apply the law
regarding the deliberate process privilege, and create a
mistake in demanding production of the [Internal Affairs
Bureau (“IAB”)] investigation and
findings.” (Id. 9:15-18). Defendants claim
that Judge Koppe “fails to actually evaluate the motion
to compel under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1).” (Id.
11:2). Additionally, Defendants argue that the
“Court's order does not even consider Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(b)(2)(C)” based on the “lack of specification
in Plaintiff's request” that was granted.
(Id. 12:16-17). Lastly, Defendants aver that it
would be contrary to law to allow the sanctions to stand.
Order, Judge Koppe explains that “[i]f the court finds
that an insufficient threshold showing has been made for
application of the [official information privilege], it will
order the disclosure of the material.” (Order 3:17-20,
ECF No. 33). Judge Koppe determined there was an insufficient
threshold showing because the affidavit was
“bare-bones” and did not meet the necessary
requirements adopted by the District of Nevada. (Id.
3:22); see Carrillo v. Las Vegas Metro. Police
Dep't, No. 2:10-cv-02122-KJD-GWF, 2013 WL 592893, at