Laigo v. King County, et al

Filing 140

ORDER denying plaintiff's 132 Motion to Bifurcate Trial re 136 Motion for Order; denying defendants' 134 Motion to Strike or Dismiss, signed by Hon. Mary Alice Theiler. **3 PAGE(S), PRINT ALL**(Benjamin Laigo, Prisoner ID: 936632)(SWT)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 7 8 9 BENJAMIN ANDREW LAIGO, Plaintiff, 10 11 CASE NO. C16-1541-TSZ-MAT v. ORDER RE: PENDING MOTIONS 12 KING COUNTY, et al., Defendants. 13 14 15 16 17 Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis in this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights action. Having considered two pending motions, the Court herein finds and ORDERS as follows: (1) Plaintiff filed a Motion Requesting Court Response. (Dkt. 136.) Plaintiff 18 previously submitted, but did not note as a motion for the Court’s consideration, a document 19 captioned: “Objection to Amended Notice of Appearance of the State. And Request to Bifurcate 20 trial Request, pursuant to Fed. R. 42(b).” (Dkt. 132.) In both filings, plaintiff takes issue with the 21 representation of King County and the individual defendants, in their official and individual 22 capacities, by a Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for King County, and asks that the Court 23 bifurcate this case into two separate trials, handling the claims against the individuals separately ORDER PAGE - 1 1 from those against King County. For the reasons set forth in defendants’ opposition to the motion 2 (see Dkt. 138), plaintiff’s contentions regarding defendants’ representation are wholly without 3 merit and frivolous. Nor does the Court see any need or justification for bifurcating plaintiff’s 4 claims. Plaintiff’s motion (Dkt. 132) is DENIED. 5 (2) Defendants filed a 12(f) Motion to Strike or in the Alternative 41(b) Motion to 6 Dismiss plaintiff’s amended complaint. (Dkt. 134.) Defendants object to the inclusion of thirty- 7 nine individual King County employees and to the addition of ninety-five pages beyond the 8 original complaint. Defendants assert that, in his December 5, 2017 Order, Judge Thomas S. Zilly 9 granted leave to amend only with the names of the sixteen King County Department of Adult and 10 Juvenile Detention (DAJD) transport officers identified in defendants’ supplemental discovery 11 responses. (See Dkt. 76.) They argue the addition of the numerous new defendants prejudices 12 their ability to coordinate a defense and imposes unnecessary delay, and that the 116-page pleading 13 fails to comply with either the narrow scope of the order allowing the amendment or the “short 14 and plain statement” provided for under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2). Defendants ask 15 that the Court strike, pursuant to Rule 12(f), either the amended complaint in its entirety or those 16 portions that do not pertain to the sixteen DAJD transport officers, or dismiss this case pursuant to 17 Rule 41(b) for failure to comply with the Court’s order. 18 Judge Zilly’s Order did not limit plaintiff to identifying sixteen transport officers. (See 19 Dkt. 76 at 3 (“Plaintiff has moved for leave to amend to identify the Doe defendants, which 20 presumably include the custody or transport officers, supervisors, and health service personnel 21 involved in the incident on November 21, 2016[.]”) and 4 (granting plaintiff’s motion for leave to 22 identify “the Doe defendants”).) Defendants do not, therefore, establish plaintiff’s failure to 23 comply with the Court’s order. Nor do defendants accurately depict the length of the amended ORDER PAGE - 2 1 complaint. Although accompanied by many attachments, the pleading is, by itself, sixty-two pages 2 in length. (See Dkt. 79.) Moreover, although lengthy, the Court finds leeway appropriate in light 3 of plaintiff’s pro se status. The Court further declines to impose any additional delay by requesting 4 the submission of a shorter and/or revised second amended complaint. For these reasons, 5 defendants’ motion to strike or dismiss (Dkt. 134) is DENIED. 6 7 8 (3) The Clerk is directed to send copies of this Order to plaintiff, to counsel for defendants, and to the Hon. Thomas S. Zilly. DATED this 21st day of May, 2018. 9 A 10 Mary Alice Theiler United States Magistrate Judge 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 ORDER PAGE - 3

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