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Pickett v. Schwarzenegger

January 11, 2010

RICKY PICKETT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA; FRED AGUIAR, CABINET SECRETARY TO GOV.; SUSAN KENNEDY, CHIEF OF STAFF TO GOV.; ETAL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dean D. Pregerson United States District Judge

Order (1) Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration (Dkt. No. 91); (2) Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Review of Magistrate's Order Granting Motion to Quash (Dkt. No. 94); (3) Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification (Dkt. No. 95); (4) Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend (Dkt. No. 106) [Motions filed on September 21, 24, 29, October 22, 2009]

I. Introduction

Plaintiff Ricky Pickett, a state parolee, was allegedly arrested without reasonable suspicion, charged with violating the terms of his parole without probable cause, and detained for more than forty days before being released to continue his parole term at the conclusion of his final parole revocation hearing. The overarching issue before the Court is whether Plaintiff may pursue his 42 U.S.C. § 1983 damages claims against various state and local officials on behalf of a statewide class consisting of (according to Plaintiff) approximately 200,000 parolees. As explained in greater detail below, the Court concludes that Plaintiff has not established a basis in law or in fact for certifying this case as a class action.

Plaintiff's proposed First Amended Complaint ("FAC") seeks to bolster the class-wide allegations by adding state officials that perform a policymaking function with respect to California's parole procedures, but Plaintiff has not provided a valid reason for seeking leave to amend nearly a month after he filed his motion for class certification, and more than four months after the Court dismissed his claims against the state supervisory-level defendants named in the initial complaint. Further, the Court is persuaded that Plaintiff's proposed FAC does not remedy the deficiencies that prompted the Court to dismiss the claims against the state supervisory-level defendants, and thus, amendment would be futile. Accordingly, the Court will not consider the allegations in the proposed FAC in ruling on the motion for class certification.

II. Background

Plaintiff alleges that on March 15, 2007, four Los Angeles Police Department ("LAPD") officers arrested him for violating a condition of his parole (the condition required him to refrain from associating with known gang members), allegedly without reasonable suspicion. (Compl. ¶¶ 9-10.) He contends that the arresting officers used excessive force, stole or lost $1,200 of his money, and unlawfully impounded and damaged his vehicle. (Id. ¶ 9.)

According to the complaint, Plaintiff was then subjected to a parole hold and charged with violating the gang member association condition of his parole. (Id. ¶ 13.) He contends that "[t]he arrest and manner thereof and parole hold imposition were made in substantial part to gratify the sadistic impulses of the aforesaid [LAPD] officers and [parole] agent, who each took evident pleasure in inflicting said physical torture and emotional anguish upon Pickett." (Id. ¶ 14.)

Plaintiff next alleges, in relevant part, that On April 2, 2007 a probable cause hearing was belatedly held [before the California Board of Parole Hearings ("CBPH")] in which Pickett was denied the right to call witnesses and to confront adverse witnesses. Consequently, he was unable to cross-examine the officers who had stopped and arrested him: without knowing Pickett was on parole and without having any reasonable suspicion that he had committed any crime or violation of his special condition of parole. (Id. ¶ 16.) At Plaintiff's final CBPH parole revocation hearing on April 19, 2007 (which Plaintiff alleges was untimely) the gang association charge against him was dismissed, and he was released to continue his parole. (Id. ¶ 17.)

Plaintiff named 33 state and local officials (all in their individual capacities, some in their official capacity) as defendants in this action. The complaint states numerous violations of the United States and California constitutions, including unreasonable search and seizure, false arrest, non-provision of a speedy preliminary hearing, unconstitutional use of hearsay and denial of the right to confront witnesses, among other claims.

On June 11, 2009, the Court issued an order granting in part and denying in part the state defendants' motion to dismiss.

Approximately three months later, with the close of class certification-related discovery fast approaching, Plaintiff filed a motion to extend the discovery cut-off (and all other calendared deadlines) by five months. The Court denied the motion on the basis of Plaintiff's counsel's repeated failure to comply with Central District Local Rules. (Dkt. No. 88.)

Plaintiff then filed the four motions presently pending before the Court. On September 21, 2009, he filed a motion for reconsideration of the Court's Order denying his motion to extend the cut-off dates for class certification-related discovery. (Dkt. No. 91.) On September 24, 2009, Plaintiff filed a motion seeking review of the Magistrate Judge's order granting the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR")'s motion to quash his third-party subpoena. (Dkt. No. 94.) On September 29, 2009, Plaintiff filed a motion for class certification (Dkt. No. 95), and on October 22, he filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint, (Dkt. No. 106).

III. Discussion

A. Motion for Reconsideration

Plaintiff asks the Court to reconsider its September 9, 2009 Order denying his motion to extend, by five months, the cut-off dates for ...


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