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Riis v. John Does One Through Twenty

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Central Division

November 9, 2017

JASON RIIS, CODY HOLCOMBE, AARON HENNING, GENA ALVAREZ, and DIRK SPARKS, Plaintiffs,
v.
JOHN DOES ONE THROUGH TWENTY, MATTHEW SHAVER, IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY; THE CITY OF PIERRE, and THE CITY OF SISSETON, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART MOTIONS FOR PROTECTIVE ORDERS

          ROBERTO A. LANGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Summary of Facts Relevant to Motions

         Plaintiffs Jason Riis, Cody Holcombe, Aaron Henning, Gena Alvarez and Dirk Sparks (collectively "Plaintiffs") sued John Does One Through Twenty identified as unnamed police officers of the cities of Pierre and Sisseton, Pierre police officer Matthew Shaver, the City of Pierre and the City of Sisseton (collectively "Defendants"). Plaintiffs invoke federal question jurisdiction and allege claims under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985 and Monell v. Department of Social Services of City of New York. 436 U.S. 658 (1978). Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 86-105. Plaintiffs recently have been granted leave to amend their complaint to add the South Dakota Highway Patrol as a defendant. Docs. 27, 28. Each of the Plaintiffs allegedly underwent forced catheterization to obtain urine samples at the behest of law enforcement. When the forced catheterizations occurred, Plaintiffs Riis, Holcombe and Sparks were in the custody of Pierre police; Plaintiff Henning was in the custody of Sisseton police; and Plaintiff Alvarez was in the custody of the South Dakota Highway Patrol. Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 41-84. According to the Complaint, law enforcement had obtained search warrants to obtain a urine sample from four of the five Plaintiffs[1], but no court order specifically allowing or consent to catheterization of any of the Plaintiffs. Doc. 1. Plaintiffs seek monetary and injunctive relief.

         Part of the Complaint, and in turn the newly filed Amended Complaint, alleges a civil conspiracy, Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 31-40, and 42 U.S.C. § 1985 is explicitly cited in the Complaint, Doc. 1 at ¶ 88. Plaintiffs allege that law enforcement in various cities and counties in South Dakota have conspired through written and oral communications to justify and spread the practice of forced catheterization to obtain urine samples, and Plaintiffs specifically allege the City of Winner and Tripp County, the City of Lake Andes and Charles Mix County, and the cities of Mobridge, Wagner and Platte to be conspirators with the Defendants. Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 31-34. The Complaint quotes what two attorneys are reported to have told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader about forced catheterization practices in south central South Dakota. Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 35-38. One of those attorneys-Lake Andes attorney Timothy Whalen-reportedly said that police have the Wagner and Platte hospitals conduct forced catheterizations to collect urine samples "on a regular basis" without anesthesia causing "a lot of screaming and hollering." Doc. 1 at ¶ 35; Doc. 26-2.

         On October 16, 2017, Plaintiffs issued subpoenas duces tecum to the Administrator of the Platte Hospital and the Administrator of the Wagner Community Memorial Hospital for the following:

1. All medical records for every catheterization, or obtaining a urine sample, conducted between June 29, 2014, and the present, at the request of a law enforcement agency or officer.
Before producing these documents, you are required to delete all personally identifying information, and all information that HIPAA requires you to delete, so as not to disclose the identity of the person.
2. All communication (electronic and otherwise) between June 29, 2014, and the present, with law enforcement agencies or officers concerning catheterization, or obtaining a urine sample.
3. All written policies and instructional materials on obtaining a urine sample, that were in effect at any time between June 29, 2014, and the present.
4. All written policies and instructional materials on catheterization, or obtaining a urine sample at the request of law enforcement agencies or officers, that were in effect at any time between June 29, 2014, and the present.
5. All training or instructional materials regarding catheterization, or obtaining a urine sample at the request of law enforcement agencies or officers, and under what circumstances catheterization, or obtaining a urine sample, should be considered, attempted, or done at the request of law enforcement agencies or officers.

         On October 16, 2017, Plaintiffs also issued subpoenas duces tecum to the Police Chief of Lake Andes; the Police Chief of the City of Mobridge; the Police Chief of the City of Platte; the Police Chief of the City of Wagner; the Police Chief of the City of Winner; the Sheriff of Charles Mix County; the Sheriff of Hughes County; the Sheriff of Roberts County; the Sheriff of Tripp County (collectively "other law enforcement agencies"); the South Dakota Highway Patrol; and attorney Whalen for the following documents:

1. The affidavit for search warrant, search warrant, and return for every catheterization, or obtaining a urine sample, conducted between June 29, 2014, and the present.
2. All police reports for every detention, arrest, or incarceration that included a catheterization, or obtaining a urine sample, ...

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