Doe v. Mitchell et al
ORDER denying 16 Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings; denying 18 Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings; granting 19 Motion for Leave to File; adopting Report and Recommendations re 24 Report and Recommendations. Signed by Judge James L. Graham on 6/7/21. (ds)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
Case No. 2:20-cv-459
Magistrate Judge Litkovitz
Andrew K. Mitchell, et al.,
This civil rights action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is before the Court on defendants’
objections to the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation (doc. 24). The Magistrate Judge
recommended that the Court grant plaintiff’s motion for leave to proceed pseudonymously on the
grounds that plaintiff, who alleges that she was raped twice by a City of Columbus police officer while
he was on duty as a member of the vice unit, has shown that her privacy interests substantially
outweigh the presumption of open judicial proceedings. See Doe v. Porter, 370 F.3d 558, 560 (6th Cir.
2004) (stating that a court should consider whether the plaintiff seeking anonymity is challenging
governmental activity and whether prosecuting the suit will compel plaintiff to disclose information
“of the utmost intimacy”).
Upon de novo review, the Court fully agrees with the Magistrate Judge’s thorough and wellreasoned Report and Recommendation and hereby adopts her determination that plaintiff should be
granted leave to proceed pseudonymously and that defendants’ motions for judgment on the pleadings
(arguing that the complaint must be dismissed because plaintiff has not provided her true name)
should be denied.
Defendants’ object that plaintiff waited to move to proceed pseudonymously until after she
filed her complaint. According to defendants, the complaint was improperly filed (because it did not
name the parties under Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(a)), which means that this Court is without jurisdiction to
consider plaintiff’s motion. The Magistrate Judge addressed this very argument (doc. 24 at PAGEID
94) and the Court agrees that the case on which defendants rely, Citizens for a Strong Ohio v. Marsh, 123
Fed. App’x 630, 636–37 (6th Cir. 2005), is distinguishable because the anonymous plaintiffs in Marsh
never filed a motion to proceed under a pseudonym. Defendants have not demonstrated any error in
the Magistrate Judge’s conclusions that:: (1) defendants have failed to show that plaintiff’s motion is
untimely, (2) defendants have not been prejudiced by plaintiff’s delay in filing her motion, and (3) the
Court has discretion to grant or deny the relief plaintiff seeks.
Accordingly, defendants’ objections to the Report and Recommendation (doc. 24) are
OVERRULED, plaintiff’s motion to proceed pseudonymously (doc. 19) is GRANTED, and
defendants’ motions for judgment on the pleadings (docs. 16 and 18) are DENIED.
s/ James. L. Graham
JAMES L. GRAHAM
United States District Judge
DATE: June 7, 2021
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