United States District Court, D. Nevada
CHRISTOPHER A. JONES, Plaintiff,
BRUCE BANNISTER, et al., Defendants.
MIRANDA M. DU UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Christopher A. Jones initiated this action under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 to assert claims based on alleged events that
occurred while he was incarcerated at the Northern Nevada
Correction Center. Plaintiff filed two objections to Judge
Cooke's pretrial rulings. (ECF Nos. 100, 103.) The Court
has reviewed Defendants' responses to these objections.
(ECF Nos. 102, 105.) For the reasons discussed herein,
Plaintiff's objections are overruled.
screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court permitted
Plaintiff to proceed on the five claims alleged in the
initial complaint-deliberate indifference to serious medical
needs (Counts I, II), due process violations (Counts III,
IV), and retaliation (Count V). (ECF No. 4.) Plaintiff then
twice moved to amend his complaint-the first motion was to
assert an additional retaliation claim (Count VI) and the
second motion was to add an additional defendant. (ECF Nos.
34, 55.) The Court granted both motions. (ECF Nos. 36, 63.)
April 12, 2018, about a month after the Court granted
Plaintiff's second motion to amend and after close of
discovery,  Plaintiff filed a third motion to amend
(“Motion to Amend”) to add Karen Gedney, who was
inadvertently omitted as a named defendant, and to assert a
claim for discrimination under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”).(ECF No. 86.) Defendants did
not oppose Plaintiff's Motion to Amend as to Gedney, but
opposed the Motion to Amend as it relates to the addition of
an ADA claim. (ECF No. 91.) Plaintiff also filed a Motion for
Court Appointed Expert that Defendants opposed. (ECF Nos. 59,
Cooke held a hearing on May 24, 2018,  and issued oral
rulings denying the Motion for Court Appointed Expert and
denying Plaintiff's Motion to Amend in part. (ECF No.
97.) Judge Cooke granted leave to amend to add Karen Gedney
as a named defendant but denied leave to amend to assert an
ADA claim. (Id.)
judges are authorized to resolve pretrial matters subject to
district court review under a “clearly erroneous or
contrary to law” standard. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a); LR IB
3-1(a) (“A district judge may reconsider any pretrial
matter referred to a magistrate judge in a civil or criminal
case pursuant to LR IB 1-3, where it has been shown that the
magistrate judge's ruling is clearly erroneous or
contrary to law.”). “This subsection would also
enable the court to delegate some of the more administrative
functions to a magistrate judge, such as . . . assistance in
the preparation of plans to achieve prompt disposition of
cases in the court.” Gomez v. United States,
490 U.S. 858, 869 (1989). “A finding is clearly
erroneous when although there is evidence to support it, the
reviewing body on the entire evidence is left with the
definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been
committed.” United States v. Ressam, 593 F.3d
1095, 1118 (9th Cir. 2010) (quotation omitted). A magistrate
judge's pretrial order issued under 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A) is not subject to de novo review, and
the reviewing court “may not simply substitute its
judgment for that of the deciding court.” Grimes v.
City & Cty. of S.F., 951 F.2d 236, 241 (9th Cir.
ECF NO. 100
Plaintiff's Motion for Court Appointed Expert (ECF No.
has not demonstrated how Judge Cooke's decision to deny
his request to appoint an expert is clearly erroneous or
contrary to law. In fact, there is no legal mechanism for the
Court to appoint an expert for Plaintiff. Plaintiff's
in forma pauperis status does not extend to cover
professional fees of an expert. See LSR 1-7
(“The granting of an application to proceed in
forma pauperis does not relieve the applicant of the
responsibility to pay the expenses of litigation that are not
covered by 28 U.S.C. § 1915.”)
argues that Judge Cooke made a clear error when she failed to
consider the complexity of the deliberate indifference to
medical needs claim in Count I. Plaintiff cites to
Griffin v. Aranas, et al., No.
3:16-cv-00309-MMD-VPC, as an example of the complexity of
cases raising Hepatitis C issues. (ECF No. 100 at 6.)
However, Griffin is distinguishable because the
Court did not appoint an expert for plaintiff in that
Motion to ...