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Lenin Garcia v. Jodie Rivera

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


September 12, 2012

LENIN GARCIA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
JODIE RIVERA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Michael M. Anello United States District Judge

ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE; [Doc. No. 31] OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS; [Doc. No. 32]

GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS [Doc. No. 17]

On April 12, 2011, Plaintiff Lenin Garcia, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed this purported civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court issued an order dismissing Plaintiff's original complaint without prejudice and granting Plaintiff forty-five days to file an amended complaint. See Doc. No. 3. On August 4, 2011, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint alleging various violations of his First and Eighth Amendment rights and a civil conspiracy cause of action against prison staff at R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility. See Doc. No. 4. Defendants answered the majority of Plaintiff's claims, but move to dismiss his claim involving an allegedly fabricated X-ray report for failure to exhaust administrative remedies as to that claim. See Doc. Nos. 17, 18. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b), and Civil Local Rule 72.3(a), United States Magistrate Judge Karen S. Crawford has issued a thoughtful and well-reasoned and Report recommending that Defendants' motion to dismiss be granted. See Doc. No. 31. Plaintiff has filed objections to the Report and Recommendation, to which Defendants replied. See Doc. Nos. 32, 33.

Where, as here, a matter has been referred to the assigned magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636, a district judge "may accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition." Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b); see 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). "[T]he court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the [Report and Recommendation] to which objection is made." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b). In this case, the Court has conducted the requisite de novo review and agrees that Defendants' motion to dismiss should be granted.

The events giving rise to Plaintiff's claim regarding the purportedly fabricated X-ray occurred in January 2011. Plaintiff filed this action in April 2011. Contrary to Plaintiff's objections, neither Rule 15(d) nor Rule 18 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permit his claim to proceed. Rule 15(d) provides a mechanism for parties to file additional causes of action based on facts that did not exist when the original complaint was filed. However, when an amended complaint contains new claims that occurred prior to the filing of the original complaint, those claims cannot be brought as supplemental pleadings under Rule 15(d). Eid v. Alaska Airlines, Inc., 621 F.3d 858, 874 (9th Cir. 2010). Moreover, Rule 18 does not excuse the exhaustion requirement as to each individual claim against a defendant because exhaustion is mandatory. Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 524 (2002). Thus, "[w]hile it may be inefficient to dismiss Plaintiff's claim[] now that [it is] exhausted, § 1997e(a) instructs that the Court must do so. The clear language of § 1997e(a) makes efficiency considerations irrelevant." Siguenza v. Cotero, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105192, 11-12 (S.D. Cal. June 6, 2012).

Accordingly, the Court OVERRULES Plaintiff's objections, ADOPTS the Report and Recommendation in its entirety, and GRANTS Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiff's claim regarding a fabricated X-ray report is dismissed without prejudice due to Plaintiff's failure to exhaust administrative remedies as to that claim prior to filing this action.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20120912

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