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Friedman v. Baca

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 20, 2019

ISIDRO BACA, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER RE: ECF NOS. 66, 66-1

          William G. Cobb United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff has filed a motion for leave to amend the supplemental complaint and file an amended supplemental complaint (ECF No. 66), along with a proposed first amended supplemental complaint (ECF No. 66-1). Defendants filed a response. (ECF No. 78.) Plaintiffs motion is granted in part and denied in part.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is an inmate in the custody of the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC), and has brought a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), for conduct that occurred while he was housed at Northern Nevada Correctional Center (NNCC) and High Desert State Prison (HDSP).

         A. Original Complaint & Screening

         Plaintiff filed his original complaint, which the court screened. (ECF Nos. 10, 11.) Plaintiff was allowed to proceed in Count I with an Eighth Amendment claim for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need based on allegations that defendants Harris and Woods stopped providing treatment for a number of his mental health disorders. The other claims were dismissed with leave to amend. (ECF No. 10.)

         B. Amended Complaint & Screening

         Plaintiff filed an amended complaint, which the court also screened. (ECF Nos. 15, 16.) Plaintiff was allowed to proceed with an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to serious medical needs claim against NNCC Psychiatrist Harris, NNCC Psychologist Nathaniel Woods, NNCC Psychologist Kyle, and (now former) Medical Director Romeo Aranas. He alleges that these defendants stopped providing him treatment for psychological issues. He alleges that he was previously provided psychiatric services at Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services (SNAMHS) prior to his incarceration in Nevada, and then at HDSP, for long-term psychiatric issues including paraphilia, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (VA diagnosed), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), severe chronic dysthymia, clinical depression and bipolar disorder. Specifically, he claims he is being deprived of adequate psychotherapy, counseling and rehabilitation, which causes him physical and psychological suffering.

         He was also allowed to proceed with a claim under RLUTPA, based on allegations that Woods, Kyle and Aranas would not allow him to obtain therapy unless he cut his hair and beard, in violation of his orthodox Jewish faith tenets.

         C. Supplemental Complaint

         Plaintiff subsequently moved to file a supplemental complaint. (ECF No. 26.) The court granted the motion, noting it would screen the proposed supplemental complaint. (ECF No. 30.) The court screened the supplemental complaint. (ECF No. 36.)

         Plaintiff was allowed to proceed with a retaliation claim in Count IV, based on allegations that he learned in April of 2018 that an October 2017 disciplinary charge received from psych nurse Richards was a typical form of retribution by Richards. He claims that Ownsby advised him that Kyle, Pence and Wing created deliberate misdiagnoses after learning of grievances and a lawsuit to evade the need for PTSD treatment, and Plaintiff has been denied PTSD treatment because of this. He alleged that Ownsby was in a position to prevent this, but did nothing.

         He also alleged in Count IV, that he was put in the "hole" by Does 1 and 2 and was threatened with a retaliatory transfer to ESP over grievances and litigation. This claim was dismissed without prejudice because Plaintiff did not identify the particular defendants.

         He was allowed to proceed with Eighth Amendment and retaliation claims in Count V against Woods and Kyle. These claims were based on allegations that they restricted his access to mental health services to only a male mental health personnel to retaliate against him for filing grievances and lawsuit. He alleges that they were trying to alter or suppress his sexuality and to keep him from seeking mental health services and to discourage litigation.

         Finally, Plaintiff asserted a retaliation claim against Does 1 and 2 in Count VI, which was dismissed without prejudice because Plaintiff failed to identify the defendants. There, Plaintiff alleged that on July 16, 2018, these defendants contrived a need to send Plaintiff to Ely State Prison (ESP) as a security risk and placed him in ad-seg based on an incorrect classification score. In addition, they threatened a retaliatory transfer for his complaints and grievances at NNCC. He was then placed in a housing unit with less access to calls, religious activities and yard time. This occurred days after he refused a settlement offer. ///

         D. Current Status of Defendants

         Harris was dismissed without prejudice as Plaintiff failed to timely serve him under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m). (ECF No. 33.) District Judge Du issued a notice of intent to dismiss Ownsby, who has yet to be served. (ECF No. 76.) Therefore, currently the defendants are: Psychologist Nathaniel Woods, Psychologist B. Kyle, (former) Medical Director Romeo Aranas, Mental Health Social Worker Pence, Psychologist Wing, and Psych Nurse Richards.

         E. Scheduling Order & Motion to Re-Set Scheduling Order Deadlines

         A scheduling order was issued on December 28, 2018, setting, among other things, a deadline to add or join parties or ...

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