United States District Court, D. Montana, Billings Division
ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION OF U.S.
Timothy J. Cavan United States Magistrate Judge
Krissy Sanchez filed these actions in November 2017 and May
and June 2018. All three challenge defendants' actions in
connection with the care and custody of her children.
Generally, Plaintiff alleges the defendants seized her child
without authority to do so, did so in an unreasonable manner,
and compelled her to submit to unauthorized and unreasonable
drug testing during the time she was attempting to regain
custody of her child.
Order addresses all three complaints. But generally, the
parties must keep the three complaints distinct. They are
three separate cases.
Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, the Court has
reviewed the complaints to determine whether they are
frivolous or malicious, fail to state claim on which relief
may be granted, or seek monetary relief against defendants
who are immune. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Some
defendants must be dismissed, but most of Plaintiff's
allegations require a response.
shown above, the Court has amended its own captions for each
case to substitute an individual defendant for a state entity
immune from suit in federal court under the Eleventh
complaint in Cause No. CV 17-156-BLG deals with the time
period from September 1, 2017, through November 2017. In her
recent amendment, Plaintiff states she is not sure of any
officer's identity and aims her allegations at Officers
1, 2, 3, and 4. The unidentified Yellowstone County officers
will be added to the caption of the case as defendants.
Defendants Deputy Lauwers, Sergeant Taylor, and Deputy
Cunningham, as well as CFS Supervisor Jen Weber, will be
recommended for dismissal because, following notice and an
opportunity to amend, Plaintiff does not make any allegations
complaint attributed specific acts to Deputy McCave (or
Mcave). However, her amendment expresses uncertainty about
the identity of all the officers whose actions she describes.
Deputy McCave will also be recommended for dismissal. But the
four now-unidentified officers, if known, must answer.
Defendant CFS Department of Health and Human Services State
of Montana will be recommended for dismissal with prejudice.
It is not a “person” under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
and it is also a state agency with Eleventh Amendment
immunity from suit in federal court. See Will v. Michigan
Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 64 (1999);
Quern v. Jordan, 440 U.S. 332, 350 (1979). Because
the Court is required to construe Plaintiff's complaint
liberally, see Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007) (per curiam), her allegations against the entity will
be construed as aimed at the named individual state officials
remaining defendants-Rash, Friedel, Ellerbee, Larson,
Anthony, Johnson, Hogan, McCullough, Harrington, Kirby, and,
if known, Yellowstone County Officers 1, 2, 3, and 4-must
file an answer to the complaint as amended.
complaint in Cause No. CV 18-90-BLG deals with the time
period from April 16, 2018, to May 22, 2018. After notice and
an opportunity to amend, Plaintiff does not make any
allegations against the Laurel Police Department. It will be
recommended for dismissal.
DPHHS CPS must be dismissed with prejudice. It is not a
“person” under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and it is a
state agency with Eleventh Amendment immunity from suit in
federal court. See Will v. Michigan Dep't of State
Police, 491 U.S. 58, 64 (1999); Quern v.
Jordan, 440 U.S. 332, 350 (1979). Again, Plaintiff's
allegations against the entity will be construed as aimed at
the named individual state officials and employees.
remaining defendants-Governor Bullock, Smith, Larson, Webber,
Harvey, and Moorehead, and, if known, Laurel Police Officers
1, 2, and ...