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Latanya Cramer v. S. Dickinson

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


November 1, 2011

LATANYA CRAMER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
S. DICKINSON, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING REQUEST FOR RELIEF FROM PROVISIONS OF LOCAL RULE 230(l) (Doc. 38.)

Latanya Cramer ("Plaintiff") is a former state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed the Complaint initiating this action on March 17, 2008. (Doc. 1.) This action now proceeds on the Fifth Amended Complaint filed by Plaintiff on September 15, 2011, against defendants S. Dickinson and Patricia A. Johnson on Plaintiff's claims for excessive force in violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Doc. 35.)

On October 31, 2011, defendant S. Dickinson ("Defendant") filed a request for relief from Local Rule 230(l), whose provisions apply to motions in prisoner cases. (Doc. 53.)

Defendant notes that although Plaintiff was incarcerated at the outset of this lawsuit, Plaintiff was released from prison long before Defendant was served with process in this action, as indicated from Plaintiff's change of address filed on August 31, 2009. (Doc. 19.) Due to Plaintiff's release from custody, Defendant requests the Court to release Defendant from the requirements of Local Rule 230(l) in this action. *fn1

Local Rule 230 governs the Court's civil motion calendar and procedure. Rule 230(l) provides exceptions to the rule for motions in prisoner cases, defined as "cases wherein one party is incarcerated and proceeding in propria persona." L.R. 230(l). The main exception to the rule is that motions in prisoner cases are "submitted upon the record without oral argument unless otherwise ordered by the Court." Id.

At the time Plaintiff's action was filed, Plaintiff was incarcerated at a correctional institution and proceeding in propria persona. Therefore, the Court designated the case as a prisoner case. (See Court Docket.) As noted by Defendant, on August 31, 2009, Plaintiff filed a notice of change of address, indicating her residence at a street address in Los Angeles, California. (Doc. 19.)

Defendant correctly observes that, due to Plaintiff's change in custody, this case does not currently fit within the definition of a prisoner case as stated in Rule 230(l). However, for practical reasons, when a case is designated a prisoner case at the Court, the designation usually remains the same until the case is closed. The Court is obligated by law to follow distinctly different rules and procedures when managing prisoner case litigation, and continuity is necessary for the Court to manage its docket. Although not an indication of what may occur in this case, it is not uncommon for a prisoner who is released from custody to later return to custody, only to be released again at a later time. This Court has hundreds of pending prisoner cases, and it would create an enormous burden, with little benefit, to change the designation of a case, along with the resultant procedural changes, with each change of a litigant's custody status. For these reasons, this case shall remain a prisoner case at this time, and Defendant's motion shall be denied.

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant's motion to be released from the provisions of Local Rule 230(l) in this action is DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

6i0kij


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