IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
March 11, 2010
HARVEY MACK LEONARD, PLAINTIFF,
EDWARD N. BONNER ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
Plaintiff is a civil detainee proceeding pro se. Plaintiff seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and, on December 9, 2009, requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. On February 24, 2010, plaintiff motion was granted and an order issued directing the Director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to deduct funds from plaintiff's prison account.
On March 4, 2010, plaintiff filed an ex parte motion to rescind this court's February 24, 2010 order to the extent it required plaintiff to pay the $350 filing fee. Plaintiff argues he is not a prisoner as defined under the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), 28 U.S.C. § 1915, and that, instead, he is a civilly detained person pursuant to California Welfare and Institution Code § 6601 et seq.
In Page v. Torrey, 201 F.3d 1136 (9th ir. 2000), the Ninth Circuit addressed whether individuals detained under California's Sexually Violent Predators Act, as plaintiff is here, are subject to the PLRA's requirements. There, the appellate court held that "only individuals who, at the time they seek to file their civil actions, are detained as a result of being accused of, convicted of, or sentenced for criminal offenses are 'prisoners' within the definition" of the PLRA. Id. at 1140. Civil detainees, then, who were not found to be "prisoners" because their commitment is civil in nature rather than criminal, are not subject to the PLRA's requirements. Id.
Plaintiff is not subject to the PLRA's requirement and is not required to pay the $350 filing fee.
In accordance with the above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff's March 4, 2010 ex parte motion to rescind is granted; and
2. Plaintiff is not required to pay the $350 filing fee. By separate order, the court will vacate its February 24, 2010 order to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to collect payments from plaintiff's prison account.
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