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Smith v. Brown

United States District Court, C.D. California

February 19, 2014

JERRY BROWN, Defendant.


SUZANNE H. SEGAL, Magistrate Judge.



On September 20, 2013, David Lawrence Smith ("Plaintiff"), a California state prisoner proceeding pro se, lodged a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (the "Complaint") in the Northern District of California. On October 10, 2013, the matter was transferred to the Central District. Plaintiff filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis on October 30, 2013. The Court granted Plaintiff's IFP application on November 8, 2013 and permitted the Complaint to be filed. (See Dkt. Nos. 7-8).

On November 14, 2013, the Court issued an Order To Show Cause Why This Action Should Not Be Dismissed For Failure To Exhaust because Plaintiff admitted in the Complaint that he had not exhausted his administrative remedies prior to filing suit.[1] (See Dkt. No. 10 at 2) (citing Complaint at 6). The Court explicitly advised Plaintiff that for this action to proceed despite his admission, he must (1) show that contrary to the allegations in the Complaint, Plaintiff did exhaust his administrative remedies, or (2) explain why the prison's grievance process was "effectively unavailable" prior to the filing of the instant action. (Dkt. No. 10 at 5). Plaintiff was further advised that the failure to respond to the OSC would result in dismissal of his action without prejudice for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. (Id.). The Court received Plaintiff's Response to the OSC on December 12, 2013. (Dkt. No. 11). While the Response repeats certain allegations of the Complaint, the only apparent reference to the exhaustion issue raised in the OSC is Plaintiff's assertion, in its entirety, that "[t]aking care of homeless women and homeless sick children shouldn't have to go through an appeal process that is dishonest."[2] ( Id. at 3-4).

Petitioner, who is the only party to this action, has consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (See Dkt. No. 1 at 7). Accordingly, the undersigned has jurisdiction to dismiss this action on procedural grounds before service of the Complaint on Defendant.[3] For the reasons discussed below, this action is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE for failure to exhaust.



Plaintiff sues California Governor Jerry Brown in his official capacity only. (Complaint at 2).[4] Although Plaintiff does not clearly identify the specific events that underlie his Complaint or explain why he believes Governor Brown, as opposed to some other individual, is liable, Plaintiff alleges that from 2011 to the present his medical care at the California Rehabilitation Center, where he is currently incarcerated, has been "horrible." ( Id. at 1 & 3). Plaintiff states that he went to the clinic numerous times for foot and back pains and only received pain pills. ( Id. at 3). In addition, the clinic dentist "totally destroyed [Plaintiff's] teeth." (Id.).

Plaintiff further complains that because he was sentenced under the Three Strikes Law, he is not eligible for early release despite his excellent prison record. ( Id. at 5). As a consequence, he is "forced to live with mentally ill inmates in overcrowded hot dorms with no air condition[ing]." (Id.). Plaintiff asserts that Governor Brown is wasting taxpayers' money by sending low-risk inmates out of state, when instead they, like Plaintiff, should be immediately released. ( Id. at 5 & 7).

Plaintiff seeks an injunction preventing defendants from "wasting taxpayers funds, etc., " as well as compensatory damages of $2.5 billion and punitive damages of $2.5 billion. All of these funds, according to Plaingiff, should be awarded to "children and communities to set forth a foundation for inmates that are being released to their area." ( Id. at 7). Plaintiff also vaguely states that "Emergency Action" should be taken against Governor Brown "and all other responsible parties" who are abusing inmates because Governor Brown and "his associates have been manipulating and causing too much harm and ha[ve] to be stopped." ( Id. at 6).



Although the specific allegations of the Complaint are not entirely clear, the gravamen of the Complaint appears to be an attempt to state some sort of claim for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs against Governor Jerry Brown. (Complaint at 3). However, Plaintiff admits in the Complaint that he did not exhaust his administrative remedies before filing suit. ( Id. at 6). Indeed, it appears that Plaintiff has not even ...

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