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Jackson v. City of Reno

United States District Court, D. Nevada

December 4, 2019

RENO, CITY OF, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER Re: ECF Nos. 40, 45, 47, 48

          William G. Cobb United States Magistrate Judge.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff, who was an inmate at the Washoe County Detention Facility (WCDF), filed his application to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP) and pro se complaint on March 22, 2019. (ECF Nos. 1, 1-1.) The crux of Plaintiff's complaint is that he was trying to send information to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) regarding a possible invention and patent from the WCDF, but was advised he could not do so because of the WCDF policy that with the exception of legal mail, incoming and outgoing mail must utilize a postcard. Plaintiff was told by deputies that the mail he sought to send to the USPTO was not legal mail.

         The undersigned issued a report and recommendation that Plaintiff's IFP application be granted (and because he is an inmate, that he be required to pay the $350 filing fee over time), and that he be allowed to proceed with claims under the First and Fourteenth Amendments against Washoe County based on the above-allegations. (ECF No. 10.) District Judge Du considered Plaintiff's objections to the report and recommendation, overruled them, and adopted and accepted the report and recommendation. (ECF No. 19.) The complaint was filed on August 12, 2019, and a summons issued to Washoe County the same day. (ECF Nos. 20, 21.) Washoe County filed its answer on September 10, 2019. (ECF No. 28.)

         On September 11, 2019, the court entered a scheduling order setting the discovery deadline for December 10, 2019, and the motions deadline for January 9, 2020. (ECF No. 29.)

         On October 7, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion for a court order to receive a copy of grievances from the jail kiosk system. (ECF No. 36.) He asked for a copy of his grievance related to his lawsuit regarding the mail from May 2019. He also sought two other grievances, stating that he was placed in lock down and his phone/address book was taken. He claims this book contains the information he needs to contact people who were going to help him pay for the patents. He asked a deputy about the book and was told it was given to classification, but classification told him that they never received it. He contends he was deprived of his property without due process. He states that he filed grievances for this on May 14, 2019. He asked for a court order that the defendants provide him the copies of the grievances so he could "submit the appropriate discovery" on time as requested by the court.

         Defendant filed a response stating that Plaintiff had not submitted any discovery, so the motion was premature. In any event, Washoe County was still undertaking an effort to locate the grievances to produce if a proper discovery request was made. (ECF No. 37.)

         Since Plaintiff had not made a formal request for production of documents to Defendant requesting these documents, the court denied the motion without prejudice. (ECF No. 38.)

         The court's order was returned as undeliverable. (ECF No. 39.)

         On October 28, 2019, Defendant filed a partial motion to dismiss arguing that when Plaintiff filed his action he was an inmate in the WCDF awaiting resolution of pending criminal charges, but his criminal charge was since resolved with the State court accepting his guilty plea and suspending his sentence, and he was no longer housed at WCDF. Defendant argued that his release from detention extinguished his legal interest in an injunction or declaratory relief since they would no longer have an effect on him since he was not housed at WCDF. Therefore, Defendant asked the court to dismiss the requests for injunctive and declaratory relief for lack of jurisdiction. (ECF Nos. 40, 40-1, 40-2.)

         On November 4, 2019, Defendants requested an extension of the scheduling order deadlines because they had propounded discovery on Plaintiff and he had not responded, and a scheduled deposition was cancelled due to Plaintiff's unavailability, and Plaintiff had not kept the court informed of his change of address since being released from WCDF. (ECF Nos. 42, 42-1, 42-2.) The court granted the motion and extended the discovery deadline to January 10, 2020, and the dispositive motions deadline to February 10, 2020. (ECF No. 43.) The order was returned as undeliverable to Plaintiff. (ECF No. 44.)

         On November 13, 2019, Defendant filed another motion to dismiss, seeking dismissal of this action without prejudice based on Plaintiff's failure to keep the court apprised of his current address and letting this case languish. (ECF No. 45.)

         Plaintiff has not filed a response to the motion.

         On November 27, 2019, Plaintiff filed a "motion of discovery." (ECF No. 47.) He states that he sent letters to the USPTO from the WCDF, and they were returned to him with a statement that only legal mail could be sent out in letter form and his letters were not legal mail. He filed his lawsuit. He was advised he could proceed against Washoe County, and filed a grievance and was denied. He states that this was recorded in a jail kiosk on May 18, 2019. He also mentions again that the jail took away his address book in violation of his Fourteenth Amendment rights. He reiterates his claim that this book had the contact information for people who were going to help him patent and build his invention. He states that he filed a grievance about this, on May 14, 2019, and was told they could not do anything about it. He also discusses settlement ...

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