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Gregory Shehee v. Paul Tanaka

December 26, 2012

GREGORY SHEHEE,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
PAUL TANAKA, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Percy Anderson United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

For the reasons discussed below, the Complaint is dismissed with leave to amend. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B), 1915A(b).

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, allegedly a detainee at the Los Angeles County Jail Twin Towers Correctional Facility, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 1983 against Los Angeles County Sheriff Paul Tanaka [sic], Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, and a number of jail officials and other persons. Plaintiff's concurrently filed "Request to Waive Court Fees" identifies Plaintiff's address as the Coalinga State Hospital, but the Complaint shows Plaintiff's address to be the Twin Towers County Correctional Facility.

The Complaint consists of a form Complaint to which is attached a typed and handwritten Complaint containing the charging allegations.*fn1

The Complaint is virtually identical to a Complaint Plaintiff previously filed in this Court in 2008, in Shehee v. Baca, CV 08-2277-JHN(E).*fn2 The only three differences appear to be: (1) the caption page in this action is typed, whereas the caption page in the previous action was handwritten; (2) in this action, Plaintiff sues Paul Tanaka as the "Los Angeles County Sheriff," whereas in Shehee v. Baca Plaintiff sued Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca; and (3) in this action, Plaintiff seeks damages in the sum of $524 million, whereas the Complaint in Shehee v. Baca sought only $124 million.

PLAINTIFF'S PREVIOUS ACTION IN SHEHEE v. BACA

On May 2, 2008, the Court dismissed the Complaint in Shehee v. Baca with leave to amend. After receiving several extensions of time, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint on August 22, 2008, accompanied by thirty filed "appendices" in a stack over a foot high and containing hundreds of inmate requests and grievances submitted by Plaintiff, various medical records, at least a hundred letters to Plaintiff from the American Civil Liberties Union, and many other unnumbered documents of uncertain significance. On September 5, 2008, the Court dismissed the First Amended Complaint with leave to amend.

Despite several extensions of time, Plaintiff did not file a timely Second Amended Complaint. Therefore, on March 5, 2009, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation recommending dismissal of the action without prejudice for failure to prosecute. However, On March 26, 2008, the Magistrate Judge withdrew the Report and Recommendation after receiving another request for an extension of time from Plaintiff, and granted Plaintiff another extension of time to file a Second Amended Complaint.

Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal on April 28, 2009. On May 1, 2009, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint accompanied by a request to "move" all of the appendices to the First Amended Complaint into the Second Amended Complaint. On May 13, 2009, the Court dismissed the Second Amended Complaint with leave to amend.

On June 9, 2009, Plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint. On June 10, 2009, the Court issued an "Order Directing Service of Process of Third Amended Complaint by the United States Marshal" on the County of Los Angeles and on Defendants Baca, Baker, Waters, Adams, Becerra, Molina, Clark, Peck and Malone in their individual capacities.

On June 29, 2009, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed Plaintiff's appeal pursuant to Plaintiff's request for a voluntary dismissal.

On August 25, 2009, Defendants Baca and Molina filed motions to dismiss. On October 23, 2009, the Court dismissed the Third Amended Complaint with leave to amend. Although the Court later granted Plaintiff a requested extension, Plaintiff did not file a timely Fourth Amended Complaint. Therefore, on December 22, 2009, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation recommending dismissal of the action without prejudice for failure to prosecute.

On December 22, 2009, however, Plaintiff filed another request for an extension of time to file a Fourth Amended Complaint. Therefore, on December 28, 2009, the Magistrate Judge withdrew the Report and Recommendation and granted Plaintiff an extension of time to file a Fourth Amended Complaint.

Plaintiff again failed to file a timely Fourth Amended Complaint within the allotted time. Therefore, on February 1, 2009, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation recommending dismissal of the action without prejudice for failure to prosecute. Plaintiff did not file any objections or any other document in response to the Report and Recommendation. On March 9, 2009, the District Court issued an Order approving and adopting the Report and Recommendation. Judgment was entered on March 10, 2010.

Plaintiff filed a Notice of Appeal on March 25, 2010. On February 3, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the judgment. The mandate was entered in this Court on February 6, 2012.

PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS IN THE PRESENT COMPLAINT

Plaintiff alleges that, since February 2, 2001, he has been a civil detainee confined at the Los Angeles County Jail "Twin Towers" facility pending civil proceedings under California's Sexually Violent Predators Act, California Welfare and Institutions Code § 6600 et seq. ("SVP Act") (Complaint, pp. 2, 5). In the section of the Complaint entitled "Defendants," Plaintiff identifies the Defendants as:

(1) "Sheriff" Tanaka; (2) Supervisor Molina; (3) sheriff's captains Marilyn Baker, David Waters, Gary L. Adams and I. Becerra; (3) jail chief physicians John Clark, Sander Peck and Young; (4) Dr. Donald S. Minckler, the Director of Glaucoma Services at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California ("USC"); (5) medical student Jane Doe; (6) jail dietary supervisor Mr. McDonald; and

(7) D.A. Cruz of the jail Legal Unit, Inmate Pro-Per Services. Plaintiff sues all of these Defendants in their individual and official capacities. As discussed below, however, the body of the Complaint appears to allege claims against numerous other persons. Plaintiff seeks unspecified injunctive relief, punitive damages in the sum of $524 million, and (apparently) an order requiring unidentified sheriff's department employees to testify "confidentially" (Complaint, "Request for Prayer for Relief").

The Complaint purports to allege twelve claims for relief, some of which contain overlapping allegations:

Claim One

In Claim One, Plaintiff alleges that, in September of 1999, Plaintiff was diagnosed with glaucoma of both eyes (Complaint, p. 6). Plaintiff alleges that, following Plaintiff's transfer to the jail, Dr. Williams examined Plaintiff and prescribed medication, including pain medication (id.). Unidentified nurses allegedly denied Plaintiff his pain medication from 2004 through 2006 (id.). On or about February 1, 2005, "Jane Doe," allegedly a medical student at the Doheny Eye Institute, Keck School of Medicine, assertedly deliberately misdiagnosed Plaintiff, allegedly causing Plaintiff to lose vision in his left eye and to suffer pain and injury to his right eye (id.). Plaintiff also alleges that an unidentified person or persons denied Plaintiff "doctor-prescribed" eye drops (id.).*fn3

Plaintiff further alleges that unidentified persons caused unhealthy conditions by using their feet to slide Plaintiff's medication under his cell door (id.). Plaintiff alleges that the Supervisor of Medical Services for the jail, who is unidentified, failed to train his or her subordinates to give Plaintiff adequate medical treatment and to provide medication in a proper manner (id.).

Claim Two

Plaintiff alleges Dietary Services Supervisor McDonald and Medical Diets Supervisor Francisco Lerena failed to train their staffs properly, causing Plaintiff to be denied his allegedly doctor-prescribed and court-ordered "No Red Meat" diet (Complaint, p. 7).

According to Plaintiff, these supervisors should have known of a history of cancer in Plaintiff's family and Plaintiff's allegedly high risk for cancer (id.). Plaintiff alleges that dietary staff member Blanca Moran and other staff members denied Plaintiff his allegedly prescribed "No Red Meat" diet, and that staff members "Jane Doe" and "Ms. Lee" denied Plaintiff a prescribed "No Spice" diet, allegedly causing ...


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