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Friedman v. Baca

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 18, 2019

KENNETH FRIEDMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
ISIDRO BACA, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER RE: ECF NO. 149

         Before the court is Plaintiff’s Emergency Motion for Protective Order of the Court on Oral Deposition (ECF No. 149).[1] Defendants have responded to Plaintiff’s motion (ECF No. 178) and Plaintiff has replied (ECF No. 187).

         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).

         Because of the myriad of objections Plaintiff has lodged with respect to the scope and legitimate areas of examination (or even the taking of his deposition), the court will first review in some detail the scope and nature of the Plaintiff’s allegations which the court has allowed to proceed in Plaintiff’s pleadings.

         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 broadened the narrow focus on the averments in this original complaint and vastly expanded them in his First Amended Complaint. More specifically, 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, alleging that these Defendants stopped providing him treatment for psychological issues. Specifically, he claims he is being deprived of adequate psychotherapy, counseling and rehabilitation, which causes him physical and psychological suffering.[2]

         He was also allowed to proceed with a claim under RLUIPA, 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) wherein the 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. Plaintiff alleged 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.

         In Count V, he was allowed to proceed with Eighth Amendment and retaliation claims 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. Plaintiff alleges that they were trying to alter or suppress his sexuality and to keep him from seeking mental health services and to discourage litigation.

         Last, Plaintiff asserted a retaliation claim against Does 1 and 2 in Count VI, which was dismissed without prejudice because ...


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