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Nicholas McDonald appealed the district court’s decision to dismiss without prejudice two separate civil actions McDonald filed.
On Sept. 28, 2022, McDonald, who at that time identified himself as a pretrial detainee, filed a pro se prisoner complaint naming as defendants the Lakewood Police Department and three “John Doe Police Officer[s].” The complaint alleged on Aug. 15, 2021, McDonald was arrested at a Walgreens store in Lakewood, Colorado, for having allegedly stolen items from the store. The complaint alleged five Lakewood police officers participated in his arrest and, during the course of the arrest, “became hyper-aggressive,” “causing several minor & serious injuries.” The complaint alleged the arresting officers exceeded their authority because they continued to arrest him after he produced a receipt for the items in his possession. The complaint sought monetary damages for the alleged constitutional violations.
McDonald sought and was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
On Nov. 10, 2022, a magistrate judge ordered McDonald to file an amended complaint within 30 days or his original complaint would be dismissed without further notice. The order noted the amended complaint needed to “provide sufficient information about each John or Jane Doe defendant so that the defendant [could] be identified for service.” “Sufficient information,” the order explained, could potentially “include the date and time of the alleged violation, the job description of the defendant, and exactly what actions the defendant took.” The order also stated McDonald’s original complaint was “deficient because it [did] not comply with the pleading requirements of Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” The order emphasized in his amended complaint, McDonald should identify “the specific claims he [was] asserting,” “the specific factual allegations that [supported] each claim,” “against which Defendant or Defendants he [was] asserting each claim,” and “what each Defendant did that allegedly violated [McDonald’s] rights.” The order also included directions to McDonald for clarifying his claims of excessive force and false arrest.
The magistrate judge’s order directing McDonald to file an amended complaint, which was mailed to the address McDonald had listed at the Jefferson County Detention Facility in Golden, Colorado, was returned as undeliverable, according to the opinion. McDonald didn’t file an amended complaint.
On Jan. 23, the magistrate judge issued a recommendation McDonald’s original complaint be dismissed without prejudice.
On Feb. 6, McDonald filed written objections to the magistrate judge’s recommendation. On Feb. 9, McDonald filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint. On Feb. 15, McDonald filed a motion for summary judgment with respect to the claims asserted in his original complaint. On Feb. 22, the district court issued an order addressing the magistrate judge’s recommendation and McDonald’s pending motions.
Judgment in the case was entered Feb. 22 and McDonald filed a notice of appeal March 6.
On Sept. 8, 2022, McDonald filed a pro se prisoner complaint naming as defendants the Colorado Department of Corrections and an entity he called “Time Computation.” McDonald stated in his complaint “Time Computation” was the “Department tasked with applying appropriate sentence calculations.” In “CLAIM ONE” of the complaint, McDonald alleged, between 2014 and 2021, CDOC and its “Time Computation” department repeatedly miscalculated his parole eligibility and release dates in connection with several of his Colorado state convictions. The complaint sought relief for this claim in the form of a writ of mandamus “and application of proper time applied to all of [his] sentences.” The complaint also sought monetary damages from CDOC.
In a separate claim, the complaint alleged Nov. 1, 2021, McDonald was issued a summons for trespass and criminal mischief, and during the incident, his property was wrongfully seized and he was falsely accused of destroying property. The complaint also alleged the state court judge improperly denied McDonald’s plea agreement and also denied McDonald’s multiple requests for a preliminary hearing and for appointment of counsel. The complaint sought relief for this claim in the form of a preliminary injunction ordering McDonald’s release from custody or an adjustment to McDonald’s bond, as well as a preliminary injunction to return the matter “back to municipal ordinance violations immediately.”
On Nov. 16, 2022, a magistrate judge issued an order directing McDonald to file an amended complaint within 30 days in order to address numerous problems with the original complaint.
On Feb. 8, McDonald filed written objections to the magistrate judge’s recommendation.
On Feb. 23, the district court issued an order adopting the magistrate judge’s recommendation, overruling McDonald’s objection and dismissing McDonald’s original complaint without prejudice.
The district court entered final judgment in the case Feb. 23. McDonald filed a notice of appeal on March 6.
The 10th Circuit affirmed judgments in both cases and denied the pending motions for leave to proceed on appeal in forma pauperis.