-CSO Knifong v. Girard et al, No. 2:2011cv00018 - Document 13 (D. Mont. 2011)

Court Description: ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 6 in full. Defendant Beaverhead County Sheriff's Department is DISMISSED. Signed by Judge Richard F. Cebull on 6/8/2011. Mailed to Knifong. (TAG, )
Download PDF
-CSO Knifong v. Girard et al Doc. 13 FILEO , '.r "'. BY ­ ­ ­ , DEPUTY ­- IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA BUTTE DIVISION JEFFREY KNIFONG, Plaintiff, vs. BUTCH GIRARD AND JAY HANSEN, Defendants. CV-II-018-BU-RFC ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE On May 4, 2011, United States Magistrate Judge Carolyn Ostby entered Findings and Recommendation. Magistrate Judge Ostby recommends this Court dismiss Defendant Beaverhead County Sheriffs Department. Upon service of a magistrate judge's findings and recommendation, a party has 14 days to file written objections. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(I). In this matter, no 1 Dockets.Justia.com party filed objections to the May 4,2011 Findings and Recommendation. Failure to object to a magistrate judge's findings and recommendation waives all objections to the findings of fact. Turner v. Duncan, 158 F.3d 449, 455 (9th Cir. 1999). However, failure to object does not relieve this Court of its burden to review de novo the magistrate judge's conclusions of law. Barilla v. Ervin, 886 F.2d 1514, 1518 (9th Cir. 1989). Under Rule 17(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the capacity of a sheriffs department to be sued is determined by Montana law. Although this issue has been addressed in California, there does not appear to be a clear decision under Montana law. Cf Streit v. County a/Los Angeles, 236 F.3d 552, 565 (9th Cir. 2001)(a California sheriffs department may be sued in federal court). The Court need not decide this issue here, however, because Knifong also named Sheriff Hansen in his official capacity. Naming a county official in his official capacity is effectively the same as bringing claims against the county itself. Brandon v. Holt, 469 U.S. 464, 471-72 (1985). Knifong's claims against the Beaverhead County Sheriffs Department are duplicative of the claims against the Sheriff in his official capacity. After an extensive review of the record and applicable law, this Court finds Magistrate Judge Ostby's Findings and Recommendation are well grounded in law and fact and adopts them in their entirety. 2 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant Beaverhead County Sheriffs Department is DISMISSED. The Clerk of Court shall notify the parties of the entry DATED the 0 ia; of June, 2011. RICHARD F. CEBULL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 3