United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
SANDERS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
now the Court, sua sponte, upon consideration
Plaintiff's late-filed notice of his desire for a jury
Chaz Pinkston initiated the instant lawsuit in March 27,
2017. See Doc. #1. In his initial complaint,
Plaintiff did not request a jury trial. The court held a
Spears hearing in August 2017, and following that
hearing, it issued a scheduling order setting this cause for
an evidentiary hearing. See Doc. #16. Defendants
filed answers in this case from August 30, 2017, through
October 2, 2017. See Docs. #26, #27, #29-#31, #37,
#44-46. The case proceeded through the normal stages of
litigation, and in December 2017, Defendants filed a motion
for summary judgment. See Docs. #65 & #66.
Because the motion for summary judgment remained pending near
the original evidentiary hearing date, the hearing was reset
for June 4, 2018. See Doc. #112. The summary
judgment was still not resolved in May 2018, and the court
granted Defendants' request to continue the hearing until
a ruling could be rendered on the summary judgment motion.
See Docs. #122 & #123.
5, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion for subpoenas. See
Doc. #127. In that motion, he stated, for the first time in
this litigation, his intention to “affirm that he
wants a publicly open jury trial.” Id. at 2.
Approximately one month later, on July 9, 2018, Plaintiff
filed a motion requesting an evidentiary hearing.
See Doc. #128. On July 25, 2018, the court entered
an order granting summary judgment to all Defendants except
Dr. Kuiper. See Doc. #129. On August 2, 2018, the
court reset Plaintiff's evidentiary hearing for July 7,
2018. See Doc. #130.
August 3, 2018, after the summary judgment motions were
resolved, the court entered an order addressing
Plaintiff's requests for subpoenas and an evidentiary
hearing. See Doc. #131. The court denied
Plaintiff's motion for subpoenas and dismissed the
request for an evidentiary hearing as moot, noting that a
hearing had already been reset by the court. Id. In
a footnote, the court stated:
In his motion for subpoenas, Pinkston noted that he wished to
confirm his request for a “publicly open jury trial,
” which is his first request that his case be heard by
a jury.  Due to his subsequent motion requesting an
evidentiary hearing, however, the Court assumes that Pinkston
intended only for the Court to set a hearing where his claims
would be addressed in open court.
Id. at n.1
August 17, 2018, Plaintiff submitted a letter to the court.
See Doc. #141. In that letter, Plaintiff stated that
the court misunderstood his subpoena requests and noted that
since he had requested the subpoenas in a letter, not a
motion, he did not know that it would be considered as a
motion. Id. at 1. He also stated that he did not
know that he had to request a jury trial until he sought
legal services in May 2018. Id. at 2. In response,
the Clerk sent Plaintiff a letter advising him that any
“[d]ocuments filed with the court must be in the form
of a formal pleading, ” and to refrain from filing
letters and correspondence, as those would not be reviewed by
a judge as part of his case. See Doc. #144.
Subsequently, Plaintiff has filed several different motions
seeking relief. However, he has not filed a motion requesting
the court set a jury trial.
to Rule 38(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a
plaintiff must make his demand for a jury trial within
fourteen days of the date the defendant's answer is
filed. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 38(b). In this case,
Plaintiff failed to make a timely demand, and therefore, he
has waived his right to demand a jury trial. Here, Plaintiff
waited several months after Defendants filed an answer and
only then mentioned a jury trial in a letter to the Clerk.
Thereafter, Plaintiff failed to properly file a motion
requesting a jury trial even after being instructed that he
must file a motion for his request to receive consideration.
Accordingly, the court does not know whether Plaintiff has
abandoned his desire for a jury trial or whether he has
merely failed to follow the court's orders. Regardless,
the court finds that Plaintiff had numerous opportunities to
properly request a jury trial and has failed to do so, and
therefore, the court explicitly finds that any request by
Plaintiff for a jury trial at this late stage of the
proceedings is DENIED as improperly filed
Court finds that no public jury trial should be ordered in
this matter, and that this case should proceed to evidentiary