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Judge v. San Bernardino County Department

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

June 4, 2013

LARRY LOUIS JUDGE, Plaintiff,
v.
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendants.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

CHARLES F. EICK, Magistrate Judge.

This Report and Recommendation is submitted to the Honorable Stephen V. Wilson, United States District Judge, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 636 and General Order 05-07 of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, an inmate at the West Valley Detention Center, filed a civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 1983 on December 1, 2011. The Complaint appeared to name as Defendants the County of San Bernardino, various officials at the West Valley Detention Center, the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, a San Bernardino County Superior Court judge, and the San Bernardino County District Attorney. Although the Complaint was quite unclear, it appeared that some of Plaintiff's claims arose out of Plaintiff's then-pending criminal proceedings in the San Bernardino Superior Court. Plaintiff alleged that jail officials interfered with Plaintiff's legal mail, impeded Plaintiff's ability to submit grievances, and failed to comply with court orders. Plaintiff also complained that the judge allegedly violated Plaintiff's constitutional rights in the criminal proceedings, and that the prosecutor allegedly introduced inadmissible evidence. Plaintiff also appeared to complain about an alleged breach of confidentiality by the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

On May 10, 2012, the Court issued an "Order Dismissing Complaint With Leave to Amend, " which granted Plaintiff leave to file a First Amended Complaint within thirty (30) days of the date of the Order. The Order cautioned Plaintiff that failure to file a timely First Amended Complaint could result in the dismissal of the action.

Plaintiff did not file a First Amended Complaint within the allotted time. Therefore, on June 25, 2012, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation recommending dismissal of the action without prejudice for failure to prosecute.

On July 16, 2012, Plaintiff filed a "Motion of Objection of Judgment and Dismissal." Although unclear, this motion appeared to signify Plaintiff's desire to pursue the action. Therefore, on July 17, 2012, the Magistrate Judge withdrew the Report and Recommendation and granted Plaintiff an extension until August 6, 2012, to file a First Amended Complaint. The Magistrate Judge advised Plaintiff that all other provisions of the May 10, 2012 Order remained in force. See July 17, 2012 Minute Order.

Thereafter, several documents sent to Plaintiff by the Court, including the July 17, 2012 Minute Order, were returned to the Court undelivered, marked "paroled" or "discharged."

However, on July 24, 2012, Plaintiff filed a "Motion to Relate and Motion for Production of Documents and Transcripts." On July 24, 2012, the Magistrate Judge issued a Minute Order denying this motion without prejudice and referencing the Court's May 10, 2012 Order and July 17, 2012 Minute Order. On August 3, 2012, the Court received from Plaintiff a document titled "Injunction Order to Bypass Grievance and Administrative Remedy, " bearing a return address at the West Valley Detention Center. The Court ordered this document not to be filed because the document appeared to request an exemption from the administrative remedy procedures concerning matters unrelated to the lawsuit. On August 15, 2012, Plaintiff filed a motion for appointment of counsel, again bearing a return address at the West Valley Detention Center. Plaintiff did not file any First Amended Complaint, however, despite the expiration of the August 6, 2012 deadline for doing so.

On August 21, 2012, the Magistrate Judge issued a Minute Order denying Plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel without prejudice and sua sponte extending the time within which Plaintiff could file a First Amended Complaint to September 13, 2012. The Minute Order advised Plaintiff that all other provisions of the May 10, 2012 Order remained in force. Plaintiff again failed to file a First Amended Complaint within the deadline, as extended.

On September 21, 2012, Plaintiff filed a document titled "Motion to First Amend Complaint [sic]." Despite its title, this document did not constitute or contain any First Amended Complaint, and did not comply with the Court's May 10, 2012 Order. Therefore, on September 21, 2012, the Magistrate Judge issued a Minute Order denying the "Motion to First Amend Complaint" and sua sponte granting Plaintiff an extension of time to file a First Amended Complaint to October 12, 2012. The Minute Order again advised Plaintiff that all other provisions of the May 10, 2012 Order remained in force. Plaintiff again failed to file a First Amended Complaint by the deadline, as extended.

On October 22, 2012, the Court received from Plaintiff a packet of documents including: (1) several pages titled "832.5 Citizen Complaint Against Peace Officer, " appearing to constitute "citizen's complaints" within the meaning of California Penal Code section 832.5; (2) several jail inmate discipline reports concerning Plaintiff; (3) a document appearing to record the contents of a commissary package; (4) several documents concerning Plaintiff's alleged inmate grievances; and (5) a document bearing Plaintiff's name titled "medical discharge." This packet of documents, which is ordered filed, plainly fails to constitute any pleading, much less a First Amended Complaint in conformity with the May 10, 2012 Order.

DISCUSSION

This action should be dismissed for failure to prosecute and for failure to file within the allotted time a First Amended Complaint in conformity with the Court's May 10, 2012 Order. See Link v. Wabash, R.R. , 370 U.S. 626, 629-30 (1952) (court has inherent power to achieve the orderly and expeditious disposition of cases by dismissing actions for failure to prosecute); Pagtalunan v. Galaza , 291 F.3d 639, 642-43 (9th Cir. 2002), cert. denied, 538 U.S. 909 (2003) (court may dismiss action for failure to follow court order); Ferdik v. Bonzelet , 963 F.2d 1258, 1260-61 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 915 (1992) (court may dismiss action for failure to comply with a court order, after the court considers the appropriate factors); see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b). In determining whether to dismiss, the Court weighs the following factors: "(1) the public's interest in expeditious resolution of litigation; (2) the court's need to manage its ...


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