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Cabral v. County of Glenn

November 14, 2008

REYNALDO CABRAL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COUNTY OF GLENN, ET AL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff Reynaldo Cabral ("Plaintiff") seeks monetary and injunctive relief against, inter alia, the City of Willows ("City") and Officer Jason Dahl ("Officer Dahl") (collectively "Defendants"), for injuries sustained while detained in the Glenn County Jail. Presently before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). For the following reasons, Defendants' Motion is granted in part and denied in part.*fn1

BACKGROUND*fn2

On January 3, 2007, Chico Police discovered Plaintiff drenched in kerosene and clothed in nothing but Saran Wrap. Plaintiff claimed that he was attempting to set himself on fire to either cleanse or kill himself. Chico Police took Plaintiff to Enloe Medical Center where he was examined. Plaintiff appeared to be in good physical health, and a drug test administered came back negative.

Nevertheless, due to Plaintiff's bizarre behavior, Chico Police admitted Plaintiff to the psychiatric facility at Butte County Department of Behavioral Health ("BCBH"). BCBH diagnosed Plaintiff as having psychotic and depressive disorders and kept him overnight.

On January 4, 2007, BCBH allegedly changed its diagnosis of Plaintiff to major depressive disorder. BCBH discharged him from the psychiatric facility with two prescriptions. Plaintiff's family allegedly asked that Plaintiff be re-admitted, but BCBH denied the request.

On January 5, 2007, Plaintiff claims that he began hearing voices from God, instructing him to kill his girlfriend. On January 6, 2007, Plaintiff attacked his girlfriend.

The Glenn County Sheriff's Department ("GCSD") arrested Plaintiff and placed him in a holding cell at Glenn County Jail. According to Plaintiff's friends and family, they informed Glenn County Jail that Plaintiff was mentally ill.

A nurse then examined Plaintiff, concluding that he was suicidal and that he demonstrated abnormal behavior and signs of depression. GCSD purportedly contacted Glenn County Department of Mental Health ("GCDMH"), but the latter entity refused to provide mental health services. Thus, Plaintiff did not receive any further medical services and was placed in a holding cell.

On the morning of January 8, 2007, Plaintiff removed his clothes and began throwing feces, urine, and vomit around his cell. Glenn County Jail staff summoned Officer Dahl of the Willows Police Department, Officers Burns and Thompson of the California Highway Patrol, and officers Discharry, Blakely and Clemens of the GCSD. Officer Dahl allegedly used a "taser weapon" on Plaintiff, discharging six or seven pulses. Plaintiff claims that the officers then again stormed the cell and used an "electric stun type shield." In this second charge, Officer Dahl allegedly attempted to use the taser on Plaintiff again. Finally, Officer Dahl sprayed Plaintiff in the face with pepper spray, successfully subduing him.

Officers then removed Plaintiff from the cell and handcuffed and cleaned him. Emergency Medical Technicians from the Willows Fire Department examined Plaintiff. At or around 3:50 a.m. on January 8, 2007, Plaintiff was placed naked in a safety cell, which was unfurnished and had a rubber coating on the walls.

At or around 4:45 a.m., Plaintiff, while still under the effect of the pepper spray, allegedly again heard the voices from God. Plaintiff claims that he then collided with the wall of the cell, breaking his neck and paralyzing himself from the neck down.

Plaintiff allegedly received no medical attention until 1:09 p.m. Glenn County Jail transferred Plaintiff to Glenn Medical Center at 1:59 p.m., where he was confirmed to be quadriplegic. Plaintiff was then transferred to Enloe Medical Center at or around 4:42 ...


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