United States District Court, W.D. Washington
W. Christel United States Magistrate Judge
District Court has referred this action, filed pursuant to 42
U.S.C. §1983, to United States Magistrate Judge David W.
Christel. Plaintiff Michael Denton has filed an
“Emergency Motion for an Evidentiary Hearing, ”
“Motion for Evidentiary Hearing, ” and
“Motion to Review Jail Conditions”
(“Motions for Hearing), and Defendants have filed a
Motion to Consolidate Pursuant to Civil Rule 42
(“Motion to Consolidate”). Dkt. 104, 108, 111,
121. After review of the relevant record, the Court denies
Plaintiff's Motions for Hearing (Dkt. 104, 108, 121) and
denies Defendants' Motion to Consolidate (Dkt. 111).
Motions for Hearing (Dkt. 104, 108, 121)
Motions for Hearing, Plaintiff requests the Court set
hearings on his requests for injunctive relief and to
determine whether the Pierce County Jail is violating his
rights. Plaintiff moved for injunctive relief when Defendants
allegedly confiscated Plaintiff's legal materials when he
was temporarily transferred to Western State Hospital for a
mental evaluation. See Dkt. 106, 109. The Court has
reviewed Plaintiff's requests for injunctive relief and
finds the requests are mooted by his transfer to a different
facility. As Plaintiff's requests for injunctive relief
are moot, the Court finds his requests for a hearing on his
motions for injunctive relief are moot. Further,
Plaintiff's request for a hearing to determine if the
conditions at Pierce County Jail are constitutional are at
issue in this lawsuit. See Dkt. 121. There are
currently no dispositive motions pending in this action and
the Court finds Plaintiff's request for a hearing
regarding his conditions at Pierce County Jail unnecessary at
this time. Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motions for Hearing
(Dkt. 104, 108) are denied.
Motion to Consolidate (Dkt. 111)
move to consolidate this action with a separate action filed
by Plaintiff on February 2, 2017. See Dkt. 111,
Denton v. Pastor, , Case No. 3:17-cv-5075-BHS-TLF
(W.D. Wash.). Plaintiff filed a Response stating he opposes
consolidation of the two cases. Dkt. 124.
actions before the court involve a common question of law or
fact, the court may: (1) join for hearing or trial any or all
matters at issue in the actions; (2) consolidate the actions;
or (3) issue any other orders to avoid unnecessary cost or
delay.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(a). Under Rule
42, the Court has “broad discretion” to
consolidate cases pending in the same district either upon
motion by a party or sua sponte. In re Adams
Apple., Inc. 829 F.2d 1484, 1487 (9th Cir. 1987). In
exercising this discretion, the Court “weighs the
saving of time and effort consolidation would produce against
any inconvenience, delay, or expense that it would
cause.” Huene v. United States, 743 F.2d 703, 704
(9th Cir. 1984).
is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis
in two separate civil actions, both filed pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 and alleging violations of his civil
rights. Denton v. Pastor,, Case No.
3:16-cv-5314-RJB-DWC (“Denton I”);
Denton v. Pastor, , Case No. 3:17-cv-5075-BHS-TLF
(“Denton II”). The instant action,
Denton I, was filed on April 28, 2016. Denton
I at Dkt. 1. Plaintiff is challenging his conditions of
confinement while housed at Pierce County Jail. Id.
at Dkt. 99. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges Defendants
Lieutenant Charla James-Hutchinson and Sergeant Caruso denied
Plaintiff due process when they revoked his good time credits
and Defendants Pastor and Spencer created a policy which
denied Plaintiff access to publications. Id. The
Court has ruled on a motion to dismiss, dismissing several
defendants and claims, and issued a pretrial scheduling
order. See Dkt. 41, 44, 49, 100. Discovery was
completed on August 28, 2017 and dispositive motions are due
on or before September 27, 2017. Dkt. 100.
filed his second action, Denton II, on February 2,
2017. Denton II at Dkt. 1. In Denton II,
Plaintiff alleges claims against Defendants Pastor, Spencer,
James-Hutchinson, Caruso, Jackson, White, Lee, Shannah,
Jones, Davis, Balderrama, Smith, Alexander, and Pero. See
id. at Dkt. 11. Plaintiff alleges Defendants violated
his constitutional rights when they: used excessive force
against Plaintiff, failed to protect Plaintiff, retaliated
against Plaintiff, denied Plaintiff access to his legal mail,
and acted with deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's
serious medical needs. See id. A motion to dismiss
has been filed, but neither an answer nor pretrial scheduling
order has been filed in Denton II. Discovery has not
the two cases require application of § 1983 law, they do
not involve the same set of facts or legal issues and
Denton II names 10 additional defendants. Moreover,
the cases are at different procedural postures. In Denton
I, discovery has been completed and the Court is
awaiting dispositive motions and, in Denton II, an
answer has not been filed and discovery has not begun. If the
Court were to consolidate the two cases, resolution of
Denton I would be delayed considerably because the
Court would require Plaintiff to file an amended complaint
and litigation for both cases would be essential restarted.
The Court finds the inconvenience and delay that will be
caused by consolidation outweighs any time and effort saved
by consolidation. Accordingly, Defendants' Motion (Dkt.
111) is denied.
Plaintiff has been filing documents which do not clearly
indicate whether it applies to Denton I or
Denton II, the Court finds it appropriate to provide
Plaintiff with the following filing directions:
• On the top right side of each document submitted to
the Court, Plaintiff must clearly indicate the case number.
• Plaintiff cannot file the same document in both cases;
therefore, each filing should indicate only one case number
on the top right side.
• As the two cases involve different facts and different
defendants, Plaintiff must only file documents which relate
to the specific facts of the case ...