United States District Court, D. New Mexico
ORDER ON PENDING MOTIONS
HONORABLE CARMEN E. GARZA CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff Shane
Sandoval's Motion for Severance of Parties and Claims
in Plaintiff's Civil Complaint (the “Motion to
Sever”), (Doc. 24), filed March 7, 2019; Motion to
Amend Original Complaint (the “Motion to
Amend”), (Doc. 25), filed March 7, 2019; and Motion
to Vacate Referral of Magistrate Judge and Brief in
Support (the “Motion to Vacate Referral”),
(Doc. 26), filed September 5, 2019. Having reviewed the
Motions and the relevant law, the Court will
GRANT Plaintiff Shane Sandoval's
Motion for Severance of Parties and Claims in
Plaintiff's Civil Complaint, (Doc. 24), and
Motion to Amend Original Complaint, (Doc. 25), and
DENY Motion to Vacate Referral of
Magistrate Judge and Brief in Support, (Doc. 26).
Motion to Sever Claims and Motion to Amend Original
Sandoval filed his Motion to Sever Claims on March 7, 2019.
(Doc. 24). In his Motion to Sever, Plaintiff seeks to sever
his claims against Defendant Kyle Hartsock and BCSO from the
claims against all other Defendants in this case on the
grounds that his claims against the BCSO Defendants arise out
of different facts than the claims against MDC and other
Defendants joined in the case. Id. Plaintiff also
filed his Motion to Amend. In his Motion to Amend, Plaintiff
seeks to assert amended claims against Defendant Hartsock and
add additional BCSO officers. (Doc. 25 at 1-4). Plaintiff
attaches a proposed Complaint setting out his claims against
BCSO and the BCSO officers. (Doc. 25 at 5-14).
Fed.R.Civ.P. 21, the Court may, at any time, sever any claim
against a party. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20 permits a
district court to join additional defendants when the right
to relief arises out of the same transaction, occurrence, or
series of transactions or occurrences. Fed.R.Civ.P.
20(a)(2)(A). Federal Rules 20 and 21 govern joinder and
misjoinder of parties and claims.” Nasious v. City
& Cnty. of Denver, 415 Fed.Appx. 877, 880 (10th Cir.
2011). Pursuant to Rule 20(a)(2), defendants may be joined in
one action if two requirements are met: 1) the
plaintiff's right to relief arises out of the same
transaction or occurrence; and 2) the plaintiff's claims
raise common questions of law or fact.
under Rule 21 occurs when there is no common question of law
or fact or when the events that give rise to the
plaintiff's claims against defendants do not stem from
the same transaction. Nasious, 415 Fed.Appx. at 880
(citing DirecTV, Inc. v. Leto, 467 F.3d 842, 844 (3d
Cir. 2006)). To remedy misjoinder, any claims against
misjoined parties may be severed and proceeded with
separately. Id. at 880-81. The Court has broad
discretion to sever parties or claims. German by German
v. Fed. Home Loan Mortgage Corp., 896 F.Supp. 1385, 1400
Court find that the claims Plaintiff seeks to assert against
BCSO and the additional BCSO officers in his proposed
Complaint arise out of the same transaction or occurrence and
raise common questions of law and fact as the claims asserted
in the original Complaint against Defendant Hartsack and
BCSO. (Doc. 1 at 1); (Doc. 25 at 5- 14). The Court therefore
finds that it is in the interests of justice and efficiency
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 to grant
Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Original Complaint.
Court also finds that Plaintiff's claims against the BCSO
Defendants do not arise out of the same transaction as the
claims against the MDC and other state Defendants, and that
the claims against the BSCO Defendants, including Defendant
Hartsack, should be severed and proceed separately.
Nasious, 415 Fed.Appx. at 880-81. The Court will
direct the Clerk to open a new prisoner civil rights case and
file Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, (Doc. 25 at 5-14), as
the opening pleading in the new proceeding. All other claims
asserted in the original Complaint, (Doc. 1), will proceed
forward in this case.
Motion to Vacate Referral of Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff asks the Court to vacate its reference of this
civil case to a magistrate judge under 28 U.S.C. §
636(c)(4). (Doc. 26). Plaintiff argues that he was not given
the opportunity to consent to referral of the case to a
magistrate judge as required by 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1).
Plaintiff misunderstands the nature of the Order of Reference
entered in this case. The Order of Reference was entered
under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), which permits the district
judge to designate a magistrate judge to hear and determine
pretrial matters, conduct hearings, and make proposed
findings. Unlike a Section 636(c)(1) reference, Section
636(b)(1) does not authorize a magistrate judge to conduct
any trial and does not require consent of the plaintiff.
Section 636(c)(4) has no application to the Order of
Reference in this case, and the Court will therefore deny
Plaintiff's Motion to Vacate Referral under §
IS THEREFORE ORDERED:
1. Plaintiff Shane Sandoval's Motion for Severance of
Parties and Claims in Plaintiffs Civil Complaint, (Doc.
24) is GRANTED;
2. Plaintiff Sandoval's Motion to Amend Original
Complaint, (Doc. 25), is GRANTED;
3. All claims against BCSO, Defendant Kyle Hartsack, and all
other BCSO officers are severed and will proceed ...