United States District Court, D. Idaho
MICHAEL T. HAYES, Plaintiff,
RACHEL NETTLES; MICHAEL MONTGOMERY; and CHARLES JOHANNESSEN, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
J. Lodge United States District Judge.
Michael T. Hayes, a prisoner in the custody of the Idaho
Department of Correction (IDOC), is proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis in this civil rights action. Pending before
the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, or in the
Alternative, Motion for Additional Screening Pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915, 1915A. (Dkt. 17.) Also pending are
a Motion to Stay and two Motions for Sanctions filed by
Plaintiff. (Dkt. 13, 27, 31.)
fully reviewed the record, the Court finds that the facts and
legal arguments are adequately presented in the briefs and
record and that oral argument is unnecessary. Accordingly,
because the Court conclusively finds that the decisional
process would not be significantly aided by oral argument,
this matter shall be decided on the record before this Court
without oral argument. D. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1.
Accordingly, the Court enters the following order denying all
initial pleading in this case was entitled “Felony
Criminal Complaint.” Because a private citizen does not
have the authority to institute a federal criminal action,
the Court has construed the pleading as a civil rights
complaint against prison officials under 42 U.S.C. §
claims that, while he was incarcerated at Idaho Maximum
Security Institution, Defendant Correctional Officers
Nettles, Montgomery, and Johannessen severely beat Plaintiff,
causing serious injuries. According to Plaintiff, the beating
continued even after Plaintiff was “on the concrete
floor with his hands and arms handcuffed behind his
back.” (Compl., Dkt. 1, at 2.) Plaintiff was allowed to
proceed on his Eighth Amendment excessive force claims based
on this incident.
MOTIONS TO STAY AND FOR SANCTIONS
Plaintiff's Motion to Stay
asks that the Court stay this action “until a proper
civil rights complaint and demand for jury trial can be filed
in this case.” (Dkt. 13 at 1-2.) However, because the
Court has already construed Plaintiff's initial pleading
as a civil rights complaint, the Motion to Stay is moot.
Plaintiff's Motions for Sanctions
support of their Motion to Dismiss or for Additional
Screening, Defendants attached what is purportedly a copy of
a printout from Ada County's iCourt online database;
Defendants later submitted what is purportedly an updated
printout when the submitted their reply brief in support of
their Motion. Both of these printouts included
Plaintiffs' date of birth and social security number, in
violation of Rule 5.2 of the Fede Rules of Civil Procedure.
(Dkt. 17, 23.) Counsel for Defendants states that
counsel's failure to redact these items of information
was a result of inadvertence and unfamiliar with the
relatively new iCourt Database. (Dkt. 30 at 2-3.)
then filed his first Motion for Sanctions under Rule 11(b).
(Dkt. 27.) When the Motion was filed, Defendants' counsel
realized for the first time that the printouts had been filed
in violation of Rule 5.2, and counsel immediately took steps
to remedy the situation. Upon counsel's request, the
Clerk of Court sealed the documents that contained
Plaintiff's personal information, and counsel for
Defendants refiled redacted versions of the printouts. (Dkt.
25, 26.) Plaintiff filed a second Motion for Sanctions, again
based on Defendants' failure to redact Plaintiff's
personal informatio from the exhibits to Defendant's
Motion to Dismiss and their reply brief in support of that
undisputed that Defendants' filings violated Rule 5.2.
However, the Court finds that sanctions are not appropriate.
Rule 11(b)(1) provides that, by signing any document filed
with the Court, counsel (or an unrepresented party) certifies
that the document “is not being presented for any
improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay,
or needlessly increase the cost of litigation.”
Defendants' counsel acknowledges that the failure to
redact the information was improper, but there is no evidence
that including the information was a result of anything other
than mistake or neglect. Although a review of the exhibit
prior to filing should have alerted counsel to the problem,
counsel did not intentionally file the document in violation
of Rule 5.2 or for any other improper purpose. Therefore, the
Court declines to impose sanctions under Rule 11.
MOTION FOR ...