United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER RE: MOTION REQUESTING
LEAVE TO AMEND FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT (DKT. 46)
W. Dale Judge.
before the Court is Plaintiff Jorge Rodriguez's motion
requesting leave to amend the First Amended Complaint and to
substitute the names of four Nez Perce County employees for
the fictitiously described “Doe” defendants
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2) and 15(c)(1). (Dkt. 46.)
Defendants Nez Perce County, Sheriff Rodriguez, and Brown do
not oppose amendment of the First Amended Complaint; however,
they object to substitution of the four “Doe”
defendants. The Court heard oral argument from the parties on
February 14, 2017. (Dkt. 55.) After review of the record,
consideration of the parties' arguments and relevant
legal authorities, and otherwise being fully advised, the
Court issues the following memorandum decision and order
granting Rodriguez's motion.
relevant times to the First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff
Jorge Rodriguez was an inmate at the Nez Perce County Adult
Detention Center. (Dkt. 12.) Rodriguez alleges that, in
September of 2013, FBI Agent Newsome interviewed Rodriguez
about an ongoing murder investigation involving two other
inmates who were housed in the same pod as Rodriguez.
Defendant Erin Brown, an employee of the detention center,
allegedly was present and observed portions of the interview.
Sometime after the interview, Brown allegedly informed one of
the inmates being investigated for the murder that Rodriguez
was a “snitch.”
First Amended Complaint claims further that, on September 28,
2013, inmates who learned of the “snitch”
accusation confronted Rodriguez, threatened to beat him, and
advised Rodriguez that he “better transfer to a
different pod.” Rodriguez immediately advised Defendant
Doe I, a detention center employee, about the threat and
requested an immediate transfer. Doe I instructed Rodriguez
to return to his area because there were no available beds to
facilitate a transfer. Doe I advised Rodriguez “not to
throw the first punch.” Within forty-five minutes after
the threat, two inmates allegedly beat Rodriguez. The beating
took place near the guard station, but Doe I did not
intervene until after the beating ended.
claims he suffered multiple severe injuries from the beating;
however, he was not provided immediate medical care. Instead,
Doe I put Rodriguez in “the hole, ” where he lost
consciousness for an unspecified amount of time. Rodriguez
eventually was taken to the detention center medical unit,
where Doe I and Does XI-XVI took photographs of
Rodriguez's injuries and mocked him for being a
“snitch.” Rodriguez was transported to St.
Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston for follow
up medical care.
31, 2015, due to his prisoner status, the Clerk of the Court
conditionally filed Rodriguez's civil rights complaint.
(Dkt. 3, 4.) The same day, Rodriguez filed also an
application to proceed in forma pauperis. (Dkt. 1.) On
September 9, 2015, the Court denied Rodriguez's
application and ordered him to pay the filing fee; Rodriguez
paid the filing fee on October 2, 2015.
his in forma pauperis application was pending, counsel for
Rodriguez filed a notice of appearance. (Dkt. 8, 9.) On
September 4, 2015, Rodriguez's counsel filed the First
Amended Complaint. (Dkt. 12.) The First Amended Complaint
alleges various claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state
tort violations against Nez Perce County Sheriff Joe
Rodriguez, Nez Perce County, Erin E. Brown, and Does I-XVI.
Nez Perce County was served with the summons and the First
Amended Complaint on November 4, 2015. (Dkt. 20.) Erin Brown
and Sheriff Rodriguez were served on November 6, 2015, and
November 12, 2015, respectively. (Dkt. 15, 19.)
First Amended Complaint, Rodriguez describes the Doe
• Doe I is an employee and/or detention officer at the
Nez Perce County Detention Center. The First Amended
Complaint provides that Doe I's name is “believed
to be Barn or Barne.” (Dkt. 12 at 2.) Doe I is the
detention center employee who informed Rodriguez he could not
be transferred, and advised Rodriguez “not to throw the
first punch.” (Id. at 5.)
• Does II-VI are Nez Perce County Detention Center
employees who supervised Brown and Doe I. (Id. at
• Does VIII-XI are Nez Perce County Detention Center
employees who allegedly “engaged and/or acquiesced
and/or failed to fulfill their duties proscribed by law in
acting with deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's safety
from the attack upon Plaintiff.” (Id. at 3.)
• Does XII-XVI are Nez Perce County Detention Center
employees who allegedly failed to provide medical care to
Rodriguez after the beating. (Id.)
December 22, 2015, the Court issued a Scheduling Order. (Dkt.
18.) Specifically with regard to initial disclosures, the
Court ordered the following:
If the parties have not already done so, within 30
days after entry of this Order, the parties shall
provide each other with relevant information and documents
pertaining to the claims and defenses in this case, including
the names of individuals likely to have discoverable
information, along with the subject of the information, as
well as any relevant documents in their possession,
in a redacted form if necessary for security or privilege
purposes; and, if necessary, the disclosing party shall
provide a security/privilege log sufficiently describing any
undisclosed relevant documents which are alleged to be
subject to nondisclosure.
(Id.) (italics added).
January 22, 2016, Nez Perce County and Sheriff Rodriguez
served their joint initial disclosures on Rodriguez. (Dkt.
54-1.) The initial disclosures included a list of names of
persons likely to have discoverable information. Among that
list, Brian Bonds, Patricia Clark, Jack McGee, and Eric
Blinn, were included. The initial disclosures described these
individuals' knowledge as follows:
Brian Bonds was a corporal at the Nez Perce County Jail and
worked as a jail deputy during the times noted in
Plaintiff's Complaint. Cpl. Bonds may have knowledge of
Plaintiff's actions and behavior prior to and after the
incidents on September 28, 2013, will have knowledge of the
injuries that Plaintiff sustained as a result of the
incidents on September 28, 2013, and will have knowledge of
his personal officer training.
Patricia Clark was a deputy at the Nez Perce County Jail
during the times noted in Plaintiff's Complaint. Deputy
Clark may have knowledge of Plaintiff's actions and
behavior prior to, during and after the incidents on
September 28, 2013, ...