United States District Court, W.D. Washington
ORDER DENYING OBJECTIONS AND ADOPTING REPORTS AND
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court on the Report and
Recommendation (“R&R”) of the Honorable J.
Richard Creatura, United States Magistrate Judge (Dkt. 124),
and Plaintiff Ossie Lee Slaughter's
(“Slaughter”) objections to the R&R (Dkt.
125). Also before the Court is Judge Creatura's R&R
(Dkt. 133) on Slaughter's motion for a preliminary
injunction (Dkt. 128).
August 7, 2015, Slaughter filed a prisoner civil rights
complaint, alleging claims under the First, Fifth, Eighth,
and Fourteenth Amendments. Dkt. 12 at 5-9. Although Slaughter
did not file a motion for a preliminary injunction, Slaughter
requested a preliminary injunction in his complaint to
prevent him from being transferred to another prison.
Id. at 8.
October 8, 2015, Defendants moved to dismiss Slaughter's
complaint for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Dkt. 44. On December 9, 2015, Judge
Creatura recommended denying Defendants' motion as to
Slaughter's First Amendment claim. Dkt. 61 at 14-17.
Judge Creatura also recommended granting Defendants'
motion with regard to Slaughter's remaining claims, but
with leave to amend his Eighth Amendment claim and the
personal participation of certain individual defendants.
Id. at 7-14. Finally, Judge Creatura recommended
denying Slaughter's request for preliminary injunctive
relief as moot. Id. at 19-20.
January 4, 2016, Slaughter filed objections to the R&R.
Dkt. 66. On January 21, 2016, Defendants responded. Dkt. 69.
On February 23, 2016, the Court adopted Judge Creatura's
recommendations, dismissing numerous claims and granting
Slaughter leave to amend his complaint as to his Eighth
Amendment claim by March 18, 2016. Dkt. 73.
November 7, 2016, Slaughter filed his amended complaint. Dkt.
109. Despite numerous extensions, Slaughter filed the amended
complaint months after his latest extended deadline of August
19, 2016. See Dkts. 91, 84, 103. On November 18,
2016, Defendants moved to dismiss Slaughter's complaint
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b) for failure to timely file his
amended complaint. Dkt. 110. In the alternative, Defendants
requested an extension to answer the amended complaint.
Id. On December 13, Slaughter responded to the
motion to dismiss. Dkt. 117. On December 15, 2016, Defendants
replied. Dkt. 119.
January 11, 2017, Judge Creatura issued the R&R denying
Defendants' motion to dismiss under Rule 41(b). Dkt. 124.
Judge Creatura also recommended granting Defendants'
request for an extension to answer Slaughter's amended
complaint. Id. On August 22, 2016, Slaughter
objected to the R&R. Dkt. 125. On February 1, 2017,
Defendants responded to Slaughter's objections. Dkt. 132.
considering a nondispositive order from a magistrate judge,
the district judge must consider timely objections and modify
or set aside any part of the order that is clearly erroneous
or is contrary to law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a).
objects to the R&R on three grounds. First, he objects to
Judge Creatura's analysis on whether Defendants suffered
prejudice from his unreasonable failure to timely amend his
complaint. See Dkt. 125 at 3-4. Second, he objects
to the extension to file an answer. See Dkt. 125 at
3-4. Third, he objects to Judge Creatura's recommendation
to strike the claims that the Court has already dismissed on
Defendant's previous Rule 12 motion. See Dkt.
73. The Court rejects Slaughter's objections because he
has failed to show that the R&R is clearly erroneous or
contrary to law.
Judge Creatura generously ruled in Slaughter's favor when
he refused to dismiss the amended complaint, despite the fact
that it was filed months after the twice extended deadline.
Because the issue of dismissal was decided in favor of
Slaughter, his objection to the R&R's analysis on the
third Moran factor for involuntary dismissal serves
no purpose, see Dkt. 125 at 2-5, and the Court need
not address it.
the Court rejects Slaughter's objection to Judge
Creatura's order granting an extension to answer.
See Dkt. 125 at 3-4. Because Defendants' motion
to dismiss was not made under Rule 12, it did not
automatically toll their time to answer the amended
complaint. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(a)(1), (a)(4).
Therefore, the extension was merited to afford Defendants an
opportunity to receive a ruling on their dispositive motion
prior to incurring potentially unnecessary litigation costs.
Moreover, there is no indication that Slaughter will suffer
any form of prejudice from the extension. The lack of
prejudice is strongly evidenced by the numerous extensions
Slaughter requested and received before filing his amended
complaint, as well as his failure to amend until months after
the extended deadlines had passed.
the Court rejects Slaughter's objection to the
recommendation that the claims previously dismissed by the
Court be stricken from the amended complaint. See
Dkt. 125 at 5-7. Slaughter was not granted leave to amend his
Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment claims or his claims against
defendants Flemming, Presswood, and Casey, see Dkt.
61 at 10-13. Therefore it was inappropriate to include them
in his amended complaint. Regardless, the amended complaint
does not cure the deficiencies in those claims. See
Dkts. 12, 61, 109. They are appropriately stricken. Remaining
before the Court are Slaughter's First and Eighth
Amendment claims. Whether the amended complaint has cured the
pleading deficiencies that warranted the previous dismissal
of Slaughter's Eighth Amendment claim remains to be seen,
as the issue was not raised in the dispositive motion
addressed by the R&R.
the Court adopts Judge Creatura's R&R regarding
Slaughter's motion for a preliminary injunction.
See Dkts. 128, 133. While Slaughter's lawsuit
brings claims against employees at Stafford Creek Corrections
Center (“SCCC”), see Dkt. 103, his
motion for preliminary injunction seeks relief from nonparty
employees at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center
(“CRCC”). Dkt. 128. While Plaintiff claims that
the conduct of the nonparties at CRCC is somehow related to
the conduct of Defendants at SCCC, he has failed to set forth
any facts supporting such an allegation. See Dkt.
128. Therefore, the Court agrees with the R&R that the
requested prospective relief must be denied. See De Beers
Consol. Mines v. United States, 325 U.S. 212, 220 (1945)
(denying the requested prospective relief when “[i]t is
not an injunction in the cause, and it deals with a matter
lying wholly outside the issues in the suit.”).
the Court having considered the R&Rs, Slaughter's
objections, and the remaining ...