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Guy T. Stringham v. J. Bick

November 28, 2011

GUY T. STRINGHAM, PLAINTIFF,
v.
J. BICK, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a civil rights action seeking relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter is before the court on a motion to dismiss brought on behalf of defendants Andreason, Bick, Donahue, Khoury, Moreno, and Thomas. Plaintiff has filed an opposition to the motion, and defendants have filed a reply.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff is proceeding on an amended complaint against defendants Andreason, Bick, Donahue, Khoury, Moreno, and Thomas.*fn1

Therein, he alleges that the defendants have violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment and the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") in connection with his transfer from a cell with tinted windows on the first floor of his institution of incarceration to a dorm on the third floor of that institution without tinted windows. According to plaintiff, he is not able to tolerate light for prolonged periods, he suffers from a bowel and bladder condition requiring immediate access to a toilet at all times, and he is mobility impaired. In terms of relief, plaintiff requests monetary damages. (Am. Compl. at 1-22.)

DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

I. Defendants' Motion

Pursuant to Rule 12(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, defense counsel moves to strike portions of plaintiff's amended complaint, including his attached declaration, exhibits, and all redundant and unnecessary portions of the complaint. Defense counsel contends that plaintiff's amended complaint is twenty-five pages long and includes minute and unnecessary details and legal arguments. Defense counsel notes that plaintiff has also included an eleven-page declaration and 147 pages of exhibits. Defense counsel does not seek dismissal of this action but rather, asks the court to order plaintiff to file a second amended complaint in compliance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss at 2-4.)

Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), defense counsel also moves to dismiss plaintiff's ADA claim on the grounds that it fails to state a cognizable claim. As an initial matter, counsel argues that plaintiff has not sued any of the defendants in their official capacity. In addition, counsel contends that plaintiff has failed to identify what service, program, or activity defendants have deprived him of because of a disability. In counsel's view, being confined in a cell rather than a dormitory is not a service, program, or activity within the meaning of the ADA. (Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss at 2 & 4-5.)

II. Plaintiff's Opposition

In opposition to defendants' motion, plaintiff argues that the pending motion to dismiss does not address any of plaintiff's accusations against the defendants. Plaintiff also argues that, with respect to his ADA claim, the court already determined that his amended complaint appears to state a cognizable claim for relief. Plaintiff reiterates that the defendants provided him with tinted windows and then illegally denied them to him. In plaintiff's view, this was a "service" for purposes of the ADA. (Pl.'s Opp'n to Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss at 2-3.)

III. Defendants' Reply

In reply, defense counsel argues that the court should grant the pending motion to dismiss because plaintiff's amended complaint is incomprehensible and confusing. Counsel contends that defendants have not moved to strike the complaint merely because of its length but rather because plaintiff has included therein unnecessary and inappropriate factual allegations, legal arguments, and unnecessary exhibits. Counsel contends that the defendants would be prejudiced by having to respond to the minute details in plaintiff's complaint. (Defs.' Reply at 3-4.)

Defense counsel also repeats the argument that plaintiff's amended complaint fails to state a cognizable claim under the ADA. According to counsel, under the ADA a governmental entity is required to provide reasonable accommodations to allow handicapped individuals to participate in the services which the governmental entity provides to non-handicapped individuals. Counsel argues that California state prisons do not offer tinted windows ...


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