Dutcher #067784 v. Ryan
ORDER the parties, Ryan, and Centurion shall attend the status conference on June 24, 2019, prepared to discuss who should be added as a party for purposes of Plaintiff's request for permanent injunctive relief. See attachment for details. Signed by Senior Judge Roslyn O Silver on 6/21/19. (CLB)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
Robert William Dutcher,
Charles L Ryan, et al.,
In the operative complaint, Plaintiff alleged Defendant Corizon had been
deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs by repeatedly failing to provide
appropriate treatment for his chronic conditions. At the end of that complaint, Plaintiff
stated the relief he was seeking:
The Plaintiff requests preliminary relief of immediate treatment of his serious
health care needs, without respect to costs and ask for a jury trial for the
settling of punitive and compensatory damages for harms, caused to the
Plaintiff as a result of unwarranted denials and delays of constitutionally
adequate health care . . . .
(Doc. 40 at 26). The Court noted in screening the complaint that Plaintiff was seeking
“injunctive and compensatory relief.” (Doc. 42 at 4). At that time, the Court did not
specify Plaintiff was seeking permanent injunctive relief. But the Court read the complaint
as seeking such relief, as evidenced by the Order issued on June 13, 2019, calling for
briefing on the appropriate nature of permanent relief. (Doc. 238).
Because Plaintiff is an inmate who filed the operative complaint pro se, that
“complaint must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). In the context of Plaintiff’s
claims, his request for “preliminary relief of immediate treatment” must be construed as a
request for permanent injunctive relief. That is especially true given Federal Rule of Civil
Rule 54(c) provides every final judgment “should grant the relief to which each
party is entitled, even if the party has not demanded that relief in its pleadings.” According
to the Ninth Circuit, that language means “[s]o long as a party is entitled to relief, a trial
court must grant such relief despite the absence of a formal demand in the party’s
pleadings.” In re Bennett, 298 F.3d 1059, 1069 (9th Cir. 2002). The only exception to this
rule is when the opposing party would be prejudiced by the failure to identify the requested
relief in the complaint. California Ins. Guarantee Ass’n v. Burwell, 227 F. Supp. 3d 1101,
1116 (C.D. Cal. 2017). In this case, all possible defendants have now been put on notice
that permanent injunctive relief might be ordered. Therefore, no possible defendant will
suffer cognizable prejudice should Plaintiff be awarded such relief after trial. See In re
Jodoin, 196 B.R. 845, 852 (Bankr. E.D. Cal. 1996) (“In this context, prejudice refers to
lack of opportunity to present additional evidence to meet the unpleaded issue.”).
IT IS ORDERED the parties, Ryan, and Centurion shall attend the status
conference on June 24, 2019, prepared to discuss who should be added as a party for
purposes of Plaintiff’s request for permanent injunctive relief.
Dated this 21st day of June, 2019.
Honorable Roslyn O. Silver
Senior United States District Judge
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