United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER CONSOLIDATING CASES AND DENYING MOTION TO AMEND
Richard Creatura, United States Magistrate Judge.
District Court has referred this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil
rights action to United States Magistrate Judge J. Richard
Creatura pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and (B)
and local Magistrate Judge Rules MJR1, MJR3, and MJR4.
See Dkt. 9. This matter is before the Court on
defendant's motion to consolidate (Dkt. 13) and
plaintiff's motion to amend his complaint to remove
federal claims and to remand the matter to state court (Dkt.
10). Because plaintiff's four cases pending before the
Court and against defendant Grays Harbor County present
common questions of law and fact and because consolidation
would avoid duplication of effort, the Court grants the
request to consolidate and orders that plaintiff file a
consolidated amended complaint. Because plaintiff must file a
consolidated amended complaint, the Court denies his motion
to amend and remand this matter as moot.
filed this action in state court. See Dkt. 1-1. He
alleged that defendant's failure to provide him with any
form of outdoor exercise for more than nine weeks during his
incarceration that began in September 2016 constituted cruel
and unusual punishment and negligence and violated due
process and the Washington State Constitution's cruel
punishment clause. See Dkt. 1-1. After defendant
removed the matter to federal court, plaintiff requested that
he be allowed to amend his complaint to remove all federal
claims and that this Court remand the matter to state court.
See Dkt. 10.
also filed three other actions in state court regarding the
conditions of his confinement in Grays Harbor County Jail: a
complaint alleging that defendant committed contempt of court
by failing to timely provide a competency evaluation
(see Dkt. 1-1, 3:19-cv-05216-RBL-JRC), a complaint
alleging that defendant allowed plaintiff to be burned by
scalding hot shower water in November 2016, constituting
negligence, cruel and unusual punishment, and violations of
due process and the state cruel punishment clause
(see Dkt. 1-1, 3:19-cv-05218-RBL-JRC), and a
complaint alleging that defendant failed to provide access to
a shower with handrails during plaintiff's confinement,
violating the Americans with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”), due process, and the state cruel
punishment clause and constituting negligence and cruel and
unusual punishment. See Dkt. 1-1,
3:19-cv-05219-RBL-JRC. Defendants removed each case to
federal court and now request that the Court consolidate the
cases. See Dkt. 13.
actions before the court involve a common question of law or
fact, the court may . . . consolidate the actions[.]”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 42(a)(2). Under Rule 42, the Court has broad
discretion regarding whether to consolidate cases. Pierce
v. Cty. of Orange, 526 F.3d 1190, 1203 (9th Cir. 2008).
The Court must “weigh 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).
each of plaintiff's cases involves identical parties and
events that occurred during the same period of incarceration.
Most of these cases also involve the same substantive legal
issues-whether certain allegations amount to negligence,
cruel and unusual punishment, due process violations, and
cruel punishment under the Washington State Constitution. In
addition to these common legal and factual questions
presented, consolidation of these matters would avoid
duplicating time and effort across four cases. Consolidation
will also ensure speedy and consistent resolution of these
opposes consolidation on the basis that consolidation is
premature and that the cases involve different legal issues.
See Dkt. 18, at 1. Regarding timeliness,
consolidation at this early stage is not
“premature” but is preferable to consolidating at
a later stage, as it will serve to avoid duplicative motions
practice and discovery. Regarding the legal issues, although
plaintiff correctly points out that two of his cases involve
unique claims-failure to timely provide a competency
evaluation and failure to provide a reasonable accommodation
under the ADA-Rule 42 requires simply “a common
question of law or fact” and not that common legal and
factual questions predominate. See 8 Moore's
Federal Practice § 42.10(2)(a), quoted in Nelson v.
Paulson, CO8-1034-JCC, 2008 WL 11347440, at *1 (W.D.
Wash.. Sept. 25, 2008).
the Court orders that these cases be consolidated and that
plaintiff file a consolidated amended complaint. Because
plaintiff must file a consolidated amended complaint, his
motion to amend his complaint in this matter and to remand
the matter to state court is denied as moot. Plaintiff's
consolidated amended complaint will act as a complete
replacement for the original complaints and should contain
any claims from these four consolidated cases that plaintiff
wishes to bring in federal court. The Court also denies
without prejudice all remaining pending motions in Cause Nos.
19-cv-5216-RBL-JRC, 19-cv-5218-RBL-JRC, and
19-cv-5219-RBL-JRC. The parties may, if necessary, refile
their motions after plaintiff has filed his consolidated
amended complaint, containing all of his claims.
reasons discussed above, it is hereby
Defendant's motion to consolidate (Dkt. 13) is
This action, No. 19-cv-5215-RBL-JRC, shall remain the lead
case and is hereby consolidated with Nos. 19-cv-5216-RBL-JRC,
19-cv-5218-RBL-JRC, and ...