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Young v. California Correctional Health Care Services

United States District Court, S.D. California

November 21, 2014

DAVID ROWLAND YOUNG, CDCR #V-28942, Plaintiff,
CALIFORNIA CORRECTIONAL HEALTH CARE SERVICES, Office of Third Level Appeals Health Care; L.D. ZAMORA, Chief Appeals Coordinator; Dr. LEE, Chief Medical Officer, Ironwood State Prison; UNNAMED CDCR Employees, Doctors, Defendants.


LARRY ALAN BURNS, District Judge.

David Rowland Young ("Plaintiff"), currently incarcerated at Centinela State Prison ("CEN") in Imperial, California, and proceeding in pro se, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Doc. No. 1) in April, 2014.

I. Procedural History

Plaintiff did not prepay the civil filing fees required by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a); instead, he filed a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis ("IFP") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) (Doc. No. 2). Plaintiff later filed a Motion to Appoint Counsel (Doc. No. 4) and a Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (Doc. No. 6).

On August 29, 2014, however, the Court sua sponte dismissed the action without prejudice for lack of proper venue pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) and § 1406(a). See Aug. 29, 2014 Order (Doc. No. 7).

Specifically, the Court noted that:

While Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at CEN, his Complaint seeks damages and injunctive relief against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's ("CDCR") Health Care Services Office of Third Level Appeals, and a "Chief Appeals Coordinator" named Zamora, who is alleged to reside in Sacramento, California. See Compl. at 2. In addition, Plaintiff names the Chief Medical Officer of Ironwood State Prison ("ISP"), Dr. Lee, and two other "unnamed" doctors as Defendants, [1] based on claims that they denied his right to "proper and professional care, " and caused him to suffer "physical pain, damage, and injury that was not necessary" while he was incarcerated at ISP "for four years." Id. at 7.

Id. at 2.

Because Plaintiff's Complaint named no CEN officials as Defendants, contained no allegations of constitutional wrongdoing committed by any CEN official, and instead appeared to challenge the adequacy of his medical treatment at Ironwood State Prison ("ISP") where Plaintiff was incarcerated before his transfer to CEN, by medical officials at ISP, including Dr. Lee, who was alleged to be ISP's Chief Medical Officer, the Court found that "the substantial part of the events or omissions which might give rise to a federal claim occurred at ISP, " and that venue therefore appeared proper in the Central District of California, Eastern Division, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 84(c)(1), and not in the Southern District of California, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 84(d). Id. at 3.

Because Plaintiff's Complaint was filed in the wrong district, the Court simply denied his Motions to Proceed IFP, to Appoint Counsel, and for a Temporary Restraining Order as moot, and dismissed his case without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a). Id.

II. Motion for Reconsideration

Plaintiff has since filed a Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. No. 9). He argues venue is proper in the Southern District because he, the Plaintiff, is the "substantial part of property... which is the subject of the action, " and because he used the Latin phrase "et al." in the caption of his Complaint to indicate "there are many defendants here at Centinela and at Ironwood State Prison, " who "may live in the City of Imperial, " because it is "only one hour away" from ISP. See Pl.'s Mot. at 2-3, 5.

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not expressly provide for motions for reconsideration. However, the Court may reconsider matters previously decided under Rule 59(e) or Rule 60(b). See Osterneck v. Ernst & Whinney, 489 U.S. 169, 174 (1989); In re Arrowhead Estates Development Co., 42 F.3d 1306, 1311 (9th Cir. 1994). In Osterneck, the Supreme Court stated that a ruling may be re-considered under Rule 59(e) motion where it involves "matters properly encompassed in a [previous] decision on the merits.'" 489 U.S. at 174 (quoting White v. New Hampshire Dep't of Employ't Sec., 455 U.S. 445, 451 (1982)). Reconsideration is generally appropriate only if the district court "(1) is presented with newly discovered evidence, (2) committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust, or (3) if there is an intervening change in controlling law." School Dist. No. 1J v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993) (citations omitted).

As noted above, the Court's August 29, 2014 Order simply dismissed Plaintiff's case without prejudice to his refiling it in the proper venue (Doc. No. 7). Plaintiff bears the burden of showing that venue is proper in the chosen district. Piedmont Label Co. v. Sun Garden Packing Co., 598 F.2d 491, 496 (9th Cir. 1979); see also Hope v. Otis Elevator Co., 389 F.Supp.2d 1235, 1243 (E.D. Cal. 2005) ("Plaintiff has the burden of proving that venue is proper in the district in which the suit was initiated, " citing Airola v. King, 505 F.Supp. 30, 31 (D. Ariz. 1980)). "When there are multiple parties and/or multiple claims in an action, the plaintiff ...

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