Woodstock v. Larimer County Sheriff et al
ORDER That Defendant S. [Shad] Jones [sic] Motion To Clarify Courts Order Overruling Objections to and Adopting Recommendation of Magistrate Judge ECF No. 124 , # 125 , filed January 28, 2016, is granted; That the effect of my prior order is clarified as stated herein; and That Defendant S. [Shad] Jones [sic] Motion To Stay Outstanding Discovery Issues Re: Defendant Jones 126 , filed January 28, 2016, is denied, by Judge Robert E. Blackburn on 2/1/2016.(evana, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Judge Robert E. Blackburn
Civil Action No. 15-cv-00041-REB-KMT
JONATHAN (LANE) WOODSTOCK,
LT. S. SHAFFER,
CHAPLAIN BRET RICKARD,
CAPTAIN PALMER, and
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT SHAD JONES’S
MOTION TO CLARIFY AND DENYING MOTION TO STAY
The matters before me are (1) Defendant S. [Shad] Jones’ [sic] Motion To
Clarify Court’s Order Overruling Objections to and Adopting Recommendation of
Magistrate Judge (ECF No. 124) [#125],1 filed January 28, 2016; and (2) Defendant S.
[Shad] Jones’ [sic] Motion To Stay Outstanding Discovery Issues Re: Defendant
Jones [#126], filed January 28, 2016. I exercise my prerogative to rule on the motion
without awaiting the benefit of a response, D.C.COLO.LCivR 7.1(d).
“[#125]” is an example of the convention I use to identify the docket number assigned to a
specific paper by the court’s case management and electronic case filing system (CM/ECF). I use this
convention throughout this order.
Defendant professes confusion as to the effect of my Order Overruling
Objections to and Adopting Recommendation of Magistrate Judge [#124], filed
January 14, 2016 on the claims remaining against him.2 More specifically, he appears
to be under the impression that I may have dismissed all claims in this lawsuit in which
he is implicated, mooting his still-pending dispositive motion. He therefore seeks to stay
ruling on currently pending discovery motions until that confusion is resolved. Although
my order is perfectly clear, especially read in conjunction with the recommendation
which it approved and adopted, I nevertheless will grant the motion to clarify and
reiterate the operative language of the order. There is thus no need for a stay.
My order dismissed the following claims as against all defendants (to include Mr.
Jones): (1) under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000
(“RLUIPA”) as against defendants in their individual capacities; (2) under RLUIPA as
against defendants in their official capacities insofar as plaintiff would seek injunctive
relief and compensatory damages; (3) under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons
Act of 1980 (“CRIPA”); (4) under § 17-4-101(1), C.R.S.; and (5) under Article II, Section
4 of the Colorado Constitution. (See Order ¶¶ 4 & 5 at 5-6 [#124], filed January 14,
2016.) Thus, the only claims that have been dismissed in their entirety as against all
defendants (to include Mr. Jones) are those asserted under (1) CRIPA; (2) § 17-4101(1), C.R.S.; and (3) the Colorado Constitution. (See Recommendation at 11-13
[#80], filed September 24, 2015 (demonstrating lack of private right of action under any
of these rubrics).)
However, my decision left intact plaintiff’s claims for nominal and punitive
Defendant Jones was not a party to the motion which was the subject of the recommendation.
damages under RLUIPA, which claims the magistrate judge properly noted were not
barred by the PLRA:
Nevertheless, although § 1997e(e) bars recovery for mental
or emotional injury damages absent an allegation of physical
injury, it does not bar recovery of nominal damages, punitive
damages, or declaratory or injunctive relief. See Searles v.
Van Bebber, 251 F.3d 869, 878–79, 880-881 (10th Cir.
2001) (nominal and punitive damages available absent a
showing of actual injury); Perkins v. Kansas Dep’t of
Corrs., 165 F.3d 803, 808 and n. 6 (10th Cir. 1999) (nominal
damages and equitable relief not barred by PLRA).
Thus, Plaintiff’s claims for compensatory damages are
barred by the PLRA. However, he may still pursue nominal
and punitive damages.
(Id. at 10 (emphasis added).)
In addition, plaintiff has asserted federal constitutional claims against Mr. Jones
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Indeed, Mr. Jones has addressed these claims in his own
motion for summary judgment. (See Defendant S. [Shad] Jones’ [sic] Motion To
Dismiss Amended Complaint Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) at 4-6 [#46], filed
June 5, 2015.)3 Nothing in my order adopting the recommendation addressed plaintiff’s
section 1983 claims against anyone other than the movants, Captain Palmer and
Lieutenant Shaffer. Those claims insofar as they implicate Mr. Jones therefore also
remain for determination and adjudication.4
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED as follows:
Although the motion putatively was filed as a motion to dismiss under Rule 12, the magistrate
judge (to whom the motion was referred for recommendation) converted it into a motion for summary
judgment based on the fact that Mr. Jones submitted evidence in support of the motion. (See Courtroom
Minutes [#81], filed September 24, 2105.)
All of this analysis should have been rather obvious from a thorough and careful reading of the
recommendation and order. I have done nothing more here than merely reiterate the content of the
magistrate judge’s recommendation and my order. Asking for clarification under these circumstances
wastes judicial resources and imposes an undue burden on the court. I expect and require counsel to be
more judicious in making such requests in the future.
1. That Defendant S. [Shad] Jones’ [sic] Motion To Clarify Court’s Order
Overruling Objections to and Adopting Recommendation of Magistrate Judge
(ECF No. 124) [#125], filed January 28, 2016, is granted;
2. That the effect of my prior order is clarified as stated herein; and
3. That Defendant S. [Shad] Jones’ [sic] Motion To Stay Outstanding
Discovery Issues Re: Defendant Jones [#126], filed January 28, 2016, is denied.
Dated February 1, 2016, at Denver, Colorado.
BY THE COURT:
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