United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
L. Hornsby U.S. Magistrate Judge
Advocacy Center, on behalf of inmates at the David Wade
Correctional Center (“DWCC”), filed this putative
class action to seek injunctive relief with respect to the
mental health care afforded inmates who are held in extended
lockdown on the South Compound in buildings N-1 through N-4,
which are solitary confinement and extended lockdown tiers.
Before the court is Defendants' Motion for Mental
Examinations (Doc. 216). Defendants seek an order
allowing their chosen psychiatrists to perform mental
evaluations of 42 inmates housed in the South Compound at
DWCC. For the reasons that follow, the motion is granted.
Rule of Civil Procedure 35(a) states:
for an Examination.
(1) In General. The court where the action is
pending may order a party whose mental or physical
condition-including blood group-is in controversy to submit
to a physical or mental examination by a suitably licensed or
certified examiner. The court has the same authority to order
a party to produce for examination a person who is in its
custody or under its legal control.
(2) Motion and Notice; Contents of the Order. The
(A) may be made only on motion for good cause and on notice
to all parties and the person to be examined; and
(B) must specify the time, place, manner, conditions, and
scope of the examination, as well as the person or persons
who will perform it.
party's “mental or physical condition” is in
controversy, the court may order the party to submit to a
Rule 35 examination by a “suitably licensed or
certified examiner” when the movant shows “good
cause” for the request. Fed.R.Civ.P. 35(a) (1) and
35(a)(2). There is a two-part test for determining whether
the motion should be granted: (1) the physical or mental
state of the party must be in controversy, and (2) the moving
party must show good cause as to why the motion should be
granted. Schlagenhauf v. Holder, 379 U.S. 104, 116
(1964). “Good cause” requires a showing of
specific facts that demonstrate the need for the information
sought and lack of means for obtaining it elsewhere.
Id. at 118. A “plaintiff in a negligence
action who asserts mental or physical injury places that
mental or physical injury clearly in controversy and provides
the defendant with good cause for an examination to determine
the existence and extent of such asserted injury.”
Id. at 119.
decision as to whether to order an independent medical
examination under Rule 35(a) rests in the court's sound
discretion. Nicholas v. Liberty Personal Injury
Company, 2016 WL 3922636, *1 (W.D. La. 2016).
Furthermore, “[a]lthough Rule 35 examinations may be
ordered ‘only on motion for good cause shown,' and
use of the rule to compel such examinations is not
unfettered, Rule 35(a) generally has been construed liberally