Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

N.S. v. Rockett

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division

April 10, 2017

N.S., by and through Timothy Marble, her Conservator, Plaintiff,
v.
STEVEN DOUGLAS ROCKETT, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN V. ACOSTA United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff N.S. initiated this lawsuit against defendant Steven Douglas Rockett ("Rockett"), asserting a claim under 18 U.S.C. §2255. Rockett answered the complaint, and included two motions in his answer. (ECF No. 5.) First, Rockett moves to compel N.S. to proceed under her full name. Second, Rockett moves to stay this lawsuit until his criminal appeals relating to the same subject matter as this lawsuit are resolved. The court denies both motions. The court further orders both parties to refer to N.S. only by her initials throughout this lawsuit.

         Background

         N.S. alleges the following facts in her complaint. N.S. is a minor. (Compl. (ECF No. 1) ¶4.) Rockett raped and otherwise sexually abused N.S., including an incident where Rockett solicited sexually explicit images from N.S. (Id. ¶¶ 6-7.) A federal jury convicted Rockett of multiple criminal charges. (Id. ¶ 9.) One of Rockett's federal convictions arose from Rockett's solicitation of sexually explicit images from N.S. (Id.) A jury in state court also convicted Rockett of multiple criminal charges, some of which arose from Rockett's sexual abuse of N.S. (Id. at ¶ 8.)

         Standards

         I. Use of Initials.

         "The normal presumption in litigation is that parties must use their real names." Doe v. Kamehameha Sch./Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate, 596 F.3d 1036, 1042 (9th Cir. 2010). Some exceptions allow parties to proceed anonymously, though. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 5.2(a), court filings must refer to individuals known to be minors by the minor's initials, unless the court orders otherwise. Ninth Circuit precedent also "allow[s] parties to use pseudonyms in the 'unusual case' when nondisclosure of the party's identity 'is necessary ... to protect a person from harassment, injury, ridicule or personal embarrassment.'" Does I thru XXIII v. Advanced Textile Corp., 214 F.3d 1058, 1067-68 (9th Cir. 2000) (quoting UnitedStates v. Doe, 655 F.2d 920, 922 n.1 (9th Cir. 1981)). Courts balance "the need for anonymity against the general presumption that parties' identities are public information and the risk of unfairness to the opposing party." Id. at 1068 (citations omitted). Courts applying this balancing test have recognized three situations allowing a plaintiff to proceed anonymously:

(1) when identification creates a risk of retaliatory physical or mental harm; (2) when anonymity is necessary to preserve privacy in a matter of sensitive and highly personal nature; and (3) when the anonymous party is compelled to admit his or her intention to engage in illegal conduct, thereby risking criminal prosecution.

Id. (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

         II. Motion to Stay.

         Federal courts may, but are not constitutionally required to, stay civil lawsuits because of parallel criminal proceedings. Fed'l Sav. & Loan Ins. Co. v. Molinaro, 889 F.2d 899, 902 (9th Cir. 1989). First, courts "consider the extent to which the defendant's fifth amendment rights are implicated." Id. at 903. Courts also consider other case-specific factors, including:

(1) the interest of the plaintiffs in proceeding expeditiously with this litigation or any particular aspect of it, and the potential prejudice to plaintiffs of a delay; (2) the burden which any particular aspect of the proceedings may impose on defendants; (3) the convenience of the court in the management of its cases, and the efficient use of judicial resources; (4) the interests of persons not parties to the civil litigation; and (5) the interest of the public in the pending civil and criminal litigation.

Id. (quoting Golden Quality Ice Cream Co. v. Deerfield Specialty Papers, Inc.,87 F.R.D. 53, 56 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.