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Seefeldt v. Solano County Custody Division

October 19, 2009

BRIAN S. SEEFELDT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SOLANO COUNTY CUSTODY DIVISION, ET AL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Barbara Jacobs Rothstein U.S. District Court Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se. Plaintiff seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and has requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 1915. Plaintiff has submitted a declaration that makes the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Accordingly, the request to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted.

Plaintiff is required to pay the statutory filing fee of $350.00 for this action. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914(a), 1915(b)(1). By this order, plaintiff will be assessed an initial partial filing fee in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. 1915(b)(1). By separate order, the court will direct the appropriate agency to collect the initial partial filing fee from plaintiff's trust account and forward it to the Clerk of the Court. Thereafter, plaintiff will be obligated for monthly payments of twenty percent of the preceding month's income credited to plaintiff's trust account. These payments will be forwarded by the appropriate agency to the Clerk of the Court each time the amount in plaintiff's account exceeds $10.00, until the filing fee is paid in full. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).

The court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. The court must accept as true the allegations of the amended complaint, Hospital Bldg. v. Rex Hospital Trustees, 425 U.S. 738, 740 (1976), construe the pleadings in the light most favourable to plaintiff, and resolve all doubts in plaintiff's favor, Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421-22 (1969). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires only "sufficient allegations to put defendants fairly on notice of the claims against them." McKeever v. Block, 932 F.2d 795, 798 (9th Cir. 1991).

Plaintiff alleges deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs based on defendants' alleged failure to treat, and delay treatment for, injuries to his back. Specifically, plaintiff alleges that upon his arrival at Solano County Jail he fell three stories and broke his back. Despite repeated efforts to obtain treatment, plaintiff contends that he was not afforded adequate medical care and/or pain management and was not sent to a back specialist until sometime in April, 2009.

The Second Amended Complaint states a colorable claim for relief against defendants California Forensic Medical Group, the Solano County Sheriff,*fn1 Dr. R. Kadavari, K. Garcia, RN Karina Purcell, Tom Norris, LVN Carmenaita, LVN Manny, LVN Melissa, Sergeant Campbell, Sergeant J. Gonzales, and Correctional Officer Davis pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

The Second Amended Complaint states no specific allegations against defendant RN James Lewis, Sergeant Cameron, and Sergeant Wolenboyski. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 requires that there be an actual connection or link between the actions of defendants and the deprivation alleged to have been suffered by plaintiff. See Monell v. Department of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978). "A person 'subjects' another to the deprivation of a constitutional right, within the meaning of §1983, if he does an affirmative act, participates in another's affirmative acts or omits to perform an action which he is legally required to do that causes the deprivation of which complaint is made." Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978). Because plaintiff has failed to sufficiently link the foregoing defendants to the alleged deprivations, the claims against these defendants are dismissed.*fn2

Plaintiff has filed several requests for "postponement" and/or to stay all proceedings in this case.*fn3 However, the court notes that these requests were rendered moot by the Motion to Lift Stay filed by plaintiff on August 19, 2009. Therefore the motions to postpone and/or stay the proceedings will be stricken and the court hereby denies the Motion to Lift Stay as this case was never formally stayed.

On December 5, 2008 plaintiff filed a document styled "Request to be moved to Federal Custody" and on July 7, 2009, he filed a document styled "Motion to be moved to Federal Custody to protect life and limb." Plaintiff states he has been in protective custody for his own safety and cannot be released into the Solano County system without endangering his life. Plaintiff requests that this court place him into federal custody after he is sentenced.

The court's own records reveal that these motions were also filed on December 5, 2008 and July 7, 2009 in Seefeldt v. California Department of Corrections, Case No. 2:08-cv-0232 JFM (Dkt. No. 37.)*fn4 It was also filed on July 7, 2009 in Seefeldt v. California Forensic Medical Group, Case No. 2:08-cv-3123 JFM (Dkt. No. 32.) In 2:08-cv-0232 JFM, the court inquired whether plaintiff was represented by counsel in the state court criminal action; plaintiff confirmed that he was being represented by counsel. (Dkt. No. 43.) Moreover, counsel for defendants in 2:08-cv-0232 JFM made a special appearance and advised the court that:

Upon adjudication of the above charges, (a) if Plaintiff is incarcerated again, the incarcerating institution will be advised of his prior testimony and need for protective placement; or (b) if Plaintiff is acquitted, Plaintiff will most likely not be returned to the California Witness Protection Program unless he can show that his life is in danger, as he did in the fall of 2006. (December 15, 2008 Response at 3. [2:08-cv-0232 JFM])

On January 14, 2009, the court in the above-referenced cases denied plaintiff's motion, stating:

At this stage, plaintiff has not been convicted of the criminal charges currently pending against him. Moreover, federal court interference in ongoing state criminal proceedings is strongly disfavored, particularly where the state criminal proceedings afford the defendant an opportunity to raise claims that implicate federal constitutional concerns. See Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971). The question of plaintiff's safety and security is a matter in the first instance for the state court judge should the pending criminal proceedings result in an outcome that raises the ...


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