Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

James E. Bryant v. J. Knight

May 2, 2011

JAMES E. BRYANT,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
J. KNIGHT, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oliver W. Wanger United States District Judge

ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS IN PART (DOC. 28) ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND STATE A CLAIM (DOC. 14) DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DECLARE PLAINTIFF VEXATIOUS LITIGANT (DOC. 15)

Plaintiff James E. Bryant ("Plaintiff") is a California state prisoner proceeding pro se in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action is proceeding against Defendants J. Knight and Davis for violation of the First and Eighth Amendment. On March 5, 2010, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim and a motion to declare Plaintiff a vexatious litigant. Docs. 14, 15. The matter was referred to a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 302.

On March 4, 2011, the Magistrate Judge filed a Findings and Recommendations which was served on the parties and which contained notice to the parties that any objection to the Findings and Recommendations was to be filed within fourteen days. After receiving extensions of time, Defendants filed an Objection to the Findings and Recommendations on April 4, 2011. Doc. 32.

In accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), this Court has conducted a de novo review of this case. Having carefully reviewed the entire file, the Court finds the Findings and Recommendations to be supported by the record and by proper analysis, with some modification. The Court provides the following additional analysis and modifications to address Defendants' objections.

A. Failure To State A Claim

Defendants contend that Plaintiff fails to state a claim against Defendant Davis for excessive force for the November 24, 2007 incident. Defs.' Mot. Dismiss, 9:12-10:23, Doc. 14-1. The Findings and Recommendations summarized the November 24, 2007 incident as follows:

On November 24, 2007, Plaintiff and another inmate were conversing. Defendant Davis, who was in the control tower, ordered Plaintiff to enter the chow hall for the evening meal. Plaintiff contends that it is not mandatory unless an inmate wants to participate in the meal. Plaintiff refused to enter the chow hall. Defendant Davis then ran across the yard and caught Plaintiff in the area near Building Four. Defendant Davis then slammed Plaintiff up against the wall face first, stating that if Plaintiff was ordered to stop, he should stop. Plaintiff was then handcuffed and escorted to the program office. Defendant Davis then roughly threw him into the holding cage for about an hour, then returned and sent Plaintiff back to his building and cell.

Findings and Recommendations 4:11-19, Doc. 28.

The Court finds the use of force in this incident to be de minimis. Handcuffing Plaintiff and slamming him up face-first against a wall after Plaintiff's alleged failure to comply with Defendant Davis's order does not rise to the level of an Eighth Amendment violation. See Oliver v. Keller, 289 F.3d 623, 628 (9th Cir. 2002) (Eighth Amendment excessive force standard examines de minimis uses of force).

Plaintiff states a claim as to all other claims, namely: (1) Defendant Knight putting Plaintiff in a headlock and sadistically and maliciously choking Plaintiff; (2) Defendant Davis refusing to allow Plaintiff to come to work in retaliation for Plaintiff filing an inmate grievance against him; and (3) Defendants Davis and Knight putting up another inmate to attack Plaintiff in retaliation for Plaintiff filing an inmate grievance against them.

B. Dismissal As Sanction

Defendants contend that they move for dismissal pursuant to Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Defs.' Objections 8:11-17. Defendants contend that Plaintiff violated Rule 11 of the Rules of Civil Procedure by lying to the Court as to the number of cases he previously filed, and that the Court has inherent power to dismiss for violation of the Rules of Civil Procedure pursuant to Rule 41(b).

Representations to the Court are governed by Rule 11(b). Dismissal of an action for violation of Rule 11 is effectively a sanction, and such sanctions are specifically governed by 11(c)(2). The Court is disinclined to apply a generalized inherent authority when a more specific rule is applicable. See Bloate v. United States, 130 S. Ct. 1345, 1354 (2010) ("'General language of a statutory provision, although broad enough to include it, will not be held to apply to a matter specifically dealt with in another part of the same enactment'") (quoting D. Ginsberg & Sons, Inc. v. Popkin, 285 U.S. 204, 208 (1932)). Defendants cite to Warren v. Guelker, 29 F.3d 1386, 1390 (9th Cir. 1994) (per curiam), as support for their arguments. Defs.' Objections 11:4-12:2. That case considered whether a district court erred in not applying Rule 11 to litigants proceeding in forma pauperis. Here, in applying Rule 11, the Magistrate Judge found that Defendants did not comply with the requirements of Rule 11(c)(2). See Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(c)(2) (motion for sanctions must "not be filed or be presented to the court if the challenged paper, claim, defense, contention, or denial is withdrawn or appropriately corrected ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.