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Slaughter v. Glebe

United States District Court, W.D. Washington

March 3, 2017

OSSIE LEE SLAUGHTER, Plaintiff,
v.
PATRICK R. GLEBE, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER VACATING IN PART PREVIOUS ORDER, ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION, AND DENYING RECONSIDERATION

          BENJAMIN H. SETTLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on the Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) of the Honorable J. Richard Creatura, United States Magistrate Judge (Dkt. 133), and Plaintiff Ossie Lee Slaughter's (“Slaughter”) objections to the R&R (Dkt. 135). Also before the Court is Slaughter's motion for reconsideration on the issue of a preliminary injunction (Dkt. 136).

         On 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, he requested a preliminary injunction in his complaint to prevent him from being transferred to another prison. Id. at 8.

         On 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.

         On 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.

         On 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.

         On 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. After considering the objections, the Court nonetheless adopted the R&R. Dkt. 134.

         On February 21, 2017, when the Court adopted the R&R on Defendant's motion to dismiss (Dkt. 124), the Court also adopted the R&R on Slaughter's motion for a preliminary injunction (Dkt. 133). In doing so, the Court erroneously adopted the R&R before it was ripe for consideration. The R&R was not noted for consideration until March 3, 2017, as Slaughter retained the right to object to the R&R until that date pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). Dkt. 133. On March 1, 2017, Slaughter objected to the R&R. Dkt. 135. Accordingly, the Court vacates its previous order (Dkt. 134) to the extent that it addresses Slaughter's motion for preliminary injunction and now considers Slaughter's objections (Dkt. 135).

         Additionally, Slaughter has moved for reconsideration on the denial of his motion for preliminary injunction. Dkt. 136. The Court also considers this motion for reconsideration.

         When 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).

         Although the Court was mistaken in adopting the R&R prior to giving Slaughter the opportunity to object, the Court now adopts Judge Creatura's R&R regarding Slaughter's motion for a preliminary injunction for the same reasons stated in its previous order. See Dkt. 134. 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. Slaughter's objections fail to address the underlying basis for the R&R's conclusion; namely, that the injunctive relief Slaughter seeks against employee defendants at the CRCC is not based upon the claims pled in his complaint. See Dkt. 133 at 4. Therefore, the Court agrees with the R&R that the requested injunction 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.”).

         Motions for reconsideration are governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60 and Local Rules W.D. Wash. LCR 7(h). LCR 7(h) provides:

Motions for reconsideration are disfavored. The court will ordinarily deny such motions in the absence of a showing of manifest error in the prior ruling or a showing of new facts or legal authority which could not have been brought to its attention earlier with reasonable diligence.

         The Ninth Circuit has described reconsideration as an “extraordinary remedy, to be used sparingly in the interests of finality and conservation of judicial resources.” Kona Enters., Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000) (quoting 12 James Wm. Moore et al., Moore's Federal Practice § 59.30[4] (3d ed. 2000)). “[A] motion for reconsideration should not be granted, absent highly unusual circumstances, unless the district court is presented with newly discovered evidence, committed clear error, or if ...


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