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Shehee v. Baca

October 22, 2009

GREGORY SHEHEE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LEROY BACA, L.A. COUNTY SHERIFF, THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Florence-marie Cooper United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DISMISSING

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed this civil rights action on April 9, 2008. The original Complaint challenged the conditions of confinement at the Los Angeles County Jail. Plaintiff alleged that, beginning February 2, 2001, he was a civil detainee confined at the Los Angeles County Jail "Twin Towers" facility pending civil proceedings under California's Sexually Violent Predators Act, California Welfare and Institutions Code § 6600 et seq. (the "SVPA") (Complaint, pp. 2, 5).*fn1

By Memorandum and Order issued on May 2, 2008, the Court found the Complaint deficient in numerous respects, and dismissed the Complaint with leave to amend. On August 22, 2008, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint.

The First Amended Complaint, which again appeared to challenge Plaintiff's conditions of confinement while a detainee at the jail, referenced thirty-three "appendices," of which Plaintiff actually filed thirty. The stack of filed appendices was over a foot high. These appendices contained hundreds of inmate requests and grievances submitted by Plaintiff to jail authorities (including a number of illegible documents), Plaintiff's medical records (some of which were illegible), documents reflecting other inmates' dietary restrictions, at least a hundred letters to Plaintiff from the American Civil Liberties Union apparently responding to Plaintiff's requests for assistance, and many other unnumbered documents of uncertain significance.

On September 5, 2008, the Court issued an Order dismissing the First Amended Complaint with leave to amend. The Court advised Plaintiff that the First Amended Complaint violated Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires that a complaint contain a "short and plain" statement of the claim for relief, and that "[e]ach averment of a pleading shall be simple, concise, and direct." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a), (e).

After seeking and receiving several extensions of time, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint on May 1, 2009. Also on May 1, 2009, Plaintiff filed "Plaintiff's Request to Move Appendices (Exhibits) From First Amended Complaint to Second Amended Complaint" ("Request to Move Appendices"), seeking to "move" all of the appendices to the First Amended Complaint to the Second Amended Complaint. Much of the Second Amended Complaint was identical to the First Amended Complaint, and contained numerous references to the appendices.

On May 13, 2009, the Court issued an Order dismissing the Second Amended Complaint with leave to amend, and denying Plaintiff's request to "move" the appendices of the First Amended Complaint to the Second Amended Complaint. The Court advised Plaintiff that the Second Amended Complaint, like the First Amended Complaint, violated Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

On June 9, 2009, Plaintiff filed the operative Third Amended Complaint ("TAC"). On August 25, 2009, Defendant Gloria Molina ("Defendant Molina") filed a Motion to Dismiss the Third Amended Complaint. On August 25, 2009, Defendant Lee Baca ("Defendant Baca") also filed a Motion to Dismiss the Third Amended Complaint. Plaintiff filed oppositions to the motions on September 11, 2009 and September 17, 2009, respectively ("Plaintiff's Oppositions"). On October 1, 2009, Defendant Baca filed a reply and evidentiary objections to Plaintiff's opposition. The Court has taken both motions under submission without oral argument. See L.R. 7-15; August 25 and 26, 2009 Minute Orders.

SUMMARY OF ALLEGATIONS IN THE THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT

Like the Second Amended Complaint, the Third Amended Complaint challenges jail conditions to which Plaintiff assertedly was subjected during Plaintiff's detention at the Los Angeles County Jail over an eight-year period (i.e., February 2, 2000 through February 25, 2008) (TAC ¶ 16). Plaintiff generally alleges that the defendants (the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, employees and agents of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and the County of Los Angeles) were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's serious medical needs, refused to give Plaintiff "more considerate treatment" than received by his criminal detainee counterparts,*fn2 engaged in racial discrimination, and conspired to deny Plaintiff his civil rights (TAC ¶ 1).

Plaintiff alleges, among other things, that various jail officials assertedly: (1) subjected Plaintiff to punitive conditions of confinement substantially worse than those conditions he faces as a detainee at the Coalinga State Hospital (TAC ¶¶ 24-29); (2) denied Plaintiff medical care and medication (TAC ¶¶ 30-47); (3) assaulted Plaintiff and engaged in other acts of retaliation for Plaintiff's filing of administrative grievances (TAC ¶¶ 48-52, 56-59); (4) denied Plaintiff his special diet (TAC ¶ 52); (5) placed Plaintiff in administrative segregation with criminal detainees and prisoners, without a hearing (TAC ¶¶ 53-55, 60); and (6) denied Plaintiff law library access and access to legal supplies (TAC ¶¶ 61-66). Plaintiff generally alleges that all of the defendants: (1) "by personal acts or omissions to act, implemented policies, procedures, and customs so deficient that they repudiated plaintiff's constitutional rights"; and

(2) "personally participated in the deprivation of plaintiff's constitutional rights, knew of the violations, and failed and refused to act to prevent them" (TAC ¶¶ 67-68). Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief against the defendants from subjecting Plaintiff to conditions of confinement that are the same as, similar to, or more restrictive than criminal detainees. Plaintiff also seeks compensatory and punitive damages (TAC p. 13).

Defendants Baca and Molina, in their individual capacities only, have moved to dismiss the Third Amended Complaint for failure to allege facts with sufficient specificity to show these Defendants' personal involvement in the alleged constitutional ...


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