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Slaughter v. Escamilla

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 26, 2018

RICKIE SLAUGHTER, Plaintiff,
v.
SHANE ESCAMILLA, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER RE: ECF NO. 43

          WILLIAM G. COBB UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the court is Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Civil Rights Complaint and Proposed Second Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 43.)

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is an inmate in the custody of the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC), now apparently housed at the Saguaro Correctional Center (SCC) in Arizona. He is proceeding pro se with this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The events giving rise to this action took place while Plaintiff was housed at Ely State Prison. (Id.)

         Plaintiff filed his original complaint, which the court screened and allowed to proceed on: (1) a retaliation claim in Count I against Escamilla based on allegations that Plaintiff asked for photocopies of grievance-related documentation, and Escamilla refused to verify that the copies had been made contrary to prison policy, and when Plaintiff threatened to file a grievance, Escamilla said he was sick of prisoners filing grievances and if Plaintiff did so, he would not get his papers back; (2) a supervisory retaliation claim and conspiracy to retaliate claim in Count II against Rose based on allegations that Rose was advised of Escamilla's retaliation and allowed the retaliation to continue to occur by fabricating reasons for Escamilla's actions and crafting a false memo accusing Plaintiff of refusing the documents. (Screening Order, ECF No. 3; Compl., ECF No. 4.)

         Plaintiff subsequently filed a motion for leave to file a first supplemental and amended civil rights complaint to add claims of retaliation and conspiracy against Rose and a new defendant, caseworker Melissa Travis. (ECF Nos. 14, 14-1.) Plaintiff alleged that Rose retaliated against him again by confiscating his legal papers related to this case and another case in response to Plaintiff's filing of a grievance against Rose and Escamilla. When Plaintiff filed a grievance about that conduct, the grievance responder, Melissa Travis, allegedly threatened to file false disciplinary charges against Plaintiff and have him barred from further access to ESP's law library services. Finally, he claimed that Rose retaliated against him for filing this lawsuit by depriving him of physical access to the law library on several occasions.

         Defendants filed a non-opposition to the motion. (ECF No. 15.) The court granted the motion on September 14, 2017 (ECF No. 16), and the amended complaint was filed (ECF No. 17). Defendants Escamilla, Rose and Travis filed an answer on October 5, 2017. (ECF No. 20.) The court issued a scheduling order on October 6, 2017. (ECF No. 21.) The deadline to join additional parties or seek leave to amend was December 5, 2017. (Id.) Discovery was to be completed by January 4, 2018. (Id.) A motion filed beyond that deadline required a good cause showing. (Id.)

         The parties served discovery, and Defendants were granted several extensions of time to serve their responses. (ECF Nos. 31, 32, 33, 34, 37, 38.)

         On January 8, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion to amend the scheduling order and extend discovery. (ECF No. 40.) Plaintiff represented that almost immediately after the scheduling order issued he began propounding discovery to Defendants, but then on November 25, 2017, all of his personal property, including his legal documents, were taken from him pursuant to administrative orders to transfer him from ESP to a private prison in Arizona. Plaintiff was transferred to SCC on November 28, 2017. (Id. at 2.) He was not given his legal documents until December 28, 2017, so he did not have the pertinent documents so he could file a motion to extend the deadlines. He did not even have the court's address.

         He also represented that he came into possession of information that the decision to transfer him was retaliatory, so he needs more time to conduct discovery, and to file a motion for leave to supplement his complaint to include facts related to the retaliatory transfer. (Id.) He also mentioned that some of the discovery propounded remained outstanding. He asked for a sixty-day extension of all deadlines set forth in the scheduling order.

         On January 9, 2018, the court entered an order finding good cause existed for granting the motion, and extended the discovery completion date, discovery motions, dispositive motions and pre-trial order deadlines. (ECF No. 41.)

         In its order, the court overlooked the component of Plaintiff's motion requesting an extension of the deadline to file a motion for leave to amend.

         Plaintiff filed his motion for leave to file a second amended civil rights complaint and proposed second amended complaint on February 16, 2018. In that motion, he states that after Travis was brought into the case, on November 26, 2017, Plaintiff was informed by Correctional Emergency Response Team (CERT) Officer Stephen Mollet that he was being transferred to a prison facility outside of Nevada due to the lawsuits and grievances he had filed against ESP officials, and that Travis, CERT members at ESP and several ESP Wardens were responsible for transferring Plaintiff. Plaintiff was subsequently labeled one of Nevada's 200 most dangerous prisoners, and was transferred to SCC. Accordingly, he seeks to add Count IV, which asserts a retaliatory transfer claim against Travis, Mollett, John Doe Cert. Officers 1-3, and John Doe Wardens 1-3. The proposed second amended complaint also corrects some dates in Count III. The proposed second amended complaint is set forth at ECF No. 43 at 6-21.

         Defendants oppose the motion, arguing that the claim he seeks to add is wholly unrelated to his complaint, and this case has gone through extensive discovery, and allowing amendment would prejudice defendants, who are already in the process of drafting a motion for summary judgment. Defendants ...


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