The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge
ORDER CONSOLIDATING ACTION WITH ALLEN V. MAYBERG, ET AL.,
I. Background And Analysis
Plaintiff Lawtis Donald Rhoden ("Plaintiff") is a civil detainee in the custody of the California Department of Mental Health ("CDMH"). Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is currently detained at Coalinga State Hospital ("CSH") pursuant to California Welfare and Institution Code section 6600, et seq., also known as the Sexually Violent Predator Act ("SVPA").
Plaintiff initiated this action on October 28, 2009. Plaintiff brings suit against Defendants Pam Ahlin, acting director at CSH, Cynthia Radavsky, deputy director at CSH, and Stephen Mayberg, Director of CDMH. The operative pleading is Plaintiff's first amended complaint, filed March 8, 2010. Plaintiff contends that pursuant to Administrative Directive No. 654, dated July 28, 2006, civil detainees were permitted to purchase and own personal laptop computers, subject to certain rules and restrictions. (Pl.'s Am. Compl. ¶ 2.) Plaintiff purchased a laptop which was delivered on October 11, 2006. (Id.) Pursuant to new emergency regulations approved on October 26, 2009, Defendants will allegedly deprive Plaintiff of his laptop computer as contraband. (Id., Ex. B, California Office of Administrative Law, Notice.) These regulations are codified as Title 9 of the California Code of Regulations, section 4350. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Also pending in this action is Defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, filed May 4, 2010. (Doc. 28.)
The Court finds this case substantially similar to Allen v. Mayberg, et al., E.D. Cal., Civil Case No. 1:06-CV-01801-BLW-LMB. The consolidated Allen case involves claims made by civil detainees detained pursuant to the SVPA relating to CSH's computer moratorium and the adoption of emergency regulations declaring their personal computers to be contraband. The only claims in this action against CDMH and CSH relate to the computer moratorium and emergency regulations.
On July 22, 2010, United States Magistrate Judge Larry M. Boyle issued a Report and Recommendation ("R&R") and Order in the consolidated Allen case directing the Clerk of Court to send a copy of his Order to this Court, as well as the presiding judges of six other cases identified as related cases to "determine whether to reassign [each] particular case for consolidation based on the claims made in [each] particular case." Allen v. Mayberg, et al., E.D. Cal., Civil Case No. 1:06-CV-01801-BLW-LMB, July 23, 2010 R&R and Order at 6, Doc. 54. Judge Boyle stated that unless the case "has been processed to the point that it is close enough to resolution so that consolidation would effect an unnecessary delay . . . it should be reassigned to this Court and consolidated with this action." Id.
Accordingly, this Court finds that Rhoden v. Mayberg, et al., E.D. Cal., Civil Case No. 1:09-CV-01890-DLB is sufficiently related to Allen v. Mayberg, et al., E.D. Cal., Civil Case No. 1:06-CV-01801-BLW-LMB to justify its reassignment to that court and consolidation with that case. This Court further finds that both cases involve similar issues of law and fact and that neither reassignment nor consolidation will effect any unnecessary cost or delay. Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(a); Pierce v. County of Orange, 526 F.3d 1190, 1203 (9th Cir. 2008); see L. R. 123.
For all the reasons stated above, this Court reassigns and consolidates this action, with Allen v. Mayberg, et al., E.D. Cal., Lead Consolidated Civil Case No. 1:06-CV-01801-BLWLMB, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a).
The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to file a copy of this Order in both this civil docket as well as in the docket of Allen v. Mayberg, et al., Civil Case No. 1:08-CV-01801-BLW-LMB in order to notify both courts and all parties of the reassignment and consolidation. The Clerk of Court is FURTHER DIRECTED to close this member case.
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