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Garcia v. County of Los Angeles.

United States District Court, C.D. California

December 5, 2014

Macario Garcia
v.
County of Los Angeles et al

Attorneys for Plaintiffs: Not Present.

Attorneys for Defendants: Not Present.

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

Honorable ANDRÉ BIROTTE JR.

Proceedings: [In Chambers] Order DENYING in Part and GRANTING in Part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, and DENYING as Moot Defendants' Motion to Strike

On October 1, 2014, Plaintiff Marcario Garcia initiated the instant lawsuit, alleging violations of his constitutional rights regarding two incidents of alleged excessive force. (Dkt. No. 1.) Before this Court is the Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. No. 12) and the Motion to Strike (Dkt. No. 13) filed by Defendants County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, Deputy Micah Weinreb, and Deputy Marcopolo Chavez on October 29, 2014. (Dkt. Nos. 12-13.) Plaintiff filed opposition briefs (Dkt. Nos. 15-16), and Defendants filed reply briefs. (Dkt. Nos. 17-18.)

The Court deems this matter appropriate for decision without oral argument. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 78; Local Rule 7-15. Having considered the materials submitted by the parties, and for the reasons indicated below, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. No. 13) is DENIED in part and GRANTED in part, and Plaintiff's complaint is dismissed without prejudice. Defendants' Motion to Strike (Dkt. No. 12) is DENIED as Moot.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

This action arises from allegations of two incidents of excessive force while Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail (" Central Jail"). Plaintiff's factual allegations are as follows:

Plaintiff has been incarcerated since September 25, 2010. (Compl. ¶ 3.) On October 19, 2010, Plaintiff was taken in an inmate transport bus from Central Jail to a courthouse in Pasadena for a judicial hearing. (Id. at ¶ ¶ 14-15.) While being transported to Pasadena, Plaintiff alleges that defendants Deputies Gonzalez, Farjardo, Rodriguez, and Ledesma severely beat Plaintiff.[1] (Id.) Upon exiting the inmate transport bus in Pasadena, defendant Deputy Ledesma removed Plaintiff's handcuffs, searched him, and then re-handcuffed him. (Id. ¶ 15.) Plaintiff alleges that immediately thereafter, defendants Deputies Gonzalez, Farjardo, Rodriguez, and Ledesma again beat Plaintiff, a result of which Plaintiff was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena.[2] (Id.) While at Huntington Memorial Hospital, an ophthalmologist examined Plaintiff and ordered that he be taken to Los Angeles County / U.S.C. hospital. (Id. at ¶ 16.) Defendants failed to comply with that order, a result of which caused Plaintiff to suffer permanent vision loss in his right eye. (Id.) These events are hereinafter referred to as the " October 2010" incident.

Plaintiff further alleges that on July 22, 2011, while at Central Jail, defendants Deputies Chavez and Weinreb beat Plaintiff while he was handcuffed.[3] (Id. at ¶ 17.) As a result of the beating, Plaintiff suffered a fractured collarbone and vertebrae and other physical injuries. (Id. at ¶ 17.) This event is hereinafter referred to as the " July 2011" incident. Plaintiff alleges that defendants Deputies Chavez and Weinreb then filed a false incident report, which led to charges being filed against Plaintiff. (Id. at ¶ 18.) The charges have since been dropped. (Id.)

Plaintiff's complaint asserts three claims for relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983:

o Violation of constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches, seizures, and uses of excessive force
o Failure to intervene to prevent civil rights violations; and
o Supervisorial liability for violation of constitutional rights.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

A. Motion to Dismiss

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (" Rule") 8 requires a " short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The statement must provide enough detail to " give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). The Complaint must also be " plausible on its face, " allowing the Court to " draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). " The plausibility standard is not akin to a 'probability requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. Labels, conclusions, and " a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

Under Rule 12, a defendant may move to dismiss a pleading for " failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). When ruling on the motion, " a judge must accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007). But a court is " not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted).

B. Motion to Strike

Rule 12(f) empowers the Court to " strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter." Whittlestone, Inc. v. Handi-Craft Co., 618 F.3d 970, 973 (9th Cir. 2010). " The function of a 12(f) motion to strike is to avoid the expenditure of time and money that must arise from litigating spurious issues by dispensing with those issues prior to trial. . . ." Id.

III. DISCUSSION

The grounds for Defendants' motion to dismiss are two-fold: first, that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies; and second, that Plaintiff failed to state claims for relief with respect to the three substantive causes of action.

For the reasons discussed below, the Court cannot find that Plaintiff failed to exhaust all available administrative remedies, and Defendants' motion to dismiss is DENIED on that ground. However, the Court finds that, with respect to his three substantive causes of action, Plaintiff has failed to state claims for relief. Accordingly, Defendants' motion to dismiss is GRANTED, and Plaintiff's complaint is dismissed without prejudice.

A. Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

1. Requirement that prisoners exhaust all administrative remedies under Prison ...


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