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Forte v. County of Merced

United States District Court, E.D. California

February 3, 2015

EUGENE E. FORTE, Plaintiff,
COUNTY OF MERCED, et al., Defendants.


BARBARA A. McAULIFFE, Magistrate Judge.

On January 5, 2015, Plaintiff Eugene Forte ("Forte" or "Plaintiff") filed a Motion to Supplement Complaint (Doc. 280-282), in which he seeks to supplement to add new claims and add new defendants. (Doc. 281.) Defendants filed oppositions to the motions. (Docs. 288, 289.) Plaintiff filed a reply brief on January 30, 2015. (Doc. 297.) The Court finds the matter suitable for decision without oral argument pursuant to Local rule 230(g), and VACATES the hearing set for February 6, 2015. Having reviewed the moving, opposition, and reply briefs, and the entirety of the file, the Court rules as a follows.


Numerous prior orders have outlined the factual and procedural history of this case, and therefore, the Court provides only a brief outline here.

A. Prior Dismissal of the Claims Alleging a Conspiracy

Following extensive law and motion on Plaintiff's original complaint, this action is proceeding on claims related to two arrests of plaintiff: one on February 24, 2009 and the other on July 21, 2009. (See e.g., Doc. 32-37, 49-52, 55-57, 59-62, 68-76.) Plaintiff's original complaint alleged various 42 U.S.C. §1983 causes of action against numerous governmental and non-governmental entities.[1] These allegations concerned a myriad of factual assertions linked by an overarching conspiracy against Plaintiff to deprive him of his rights in the underlying prosecutions related to the arrests, among other things. The conspiracy and alleged violation of Constitutional rights centered on complaints made by Forte to various governmental officials about his arrests, which went unanswered, and then more specifically, to the prosecution of the criminal actions which resulted from his two arrests. Plaintiff asserted that the prosecutions unconstitutionally declared him mentally incompetent when he was not, and as a result, denied Plaintiff a fair criminal trial.

After defendants moved to dismiss the original complaint, the Court dismissed the vast majority of those claims with prejudice. (Doc. 96.) The only allegations which survived Defendants' Motions to Dismiss are the two unlawful arrest/excessive force claims for the two discrete claims that remain in this case; the first arrest on February 24, 2009 and the second arrest-wholly unrelated to the February 24 arrest-on July 21, 2009. (See Doc. 96.) By order on January 11, 2012, the Court dismissed many of the defendants and claims with prejudice.[2]

B. Proposed Supplemental Complaint

Now before this Court is Plaintiff's motion to "supplement" the First Amended Complaint. Forte's proposed supplemental complaint seeks to re-allege many of the same conspiracy allegations as were previously dismissed, with updates as to events occurring since the date the claims were dismissed, and seeks to bring in many of the same actors who were dismissed with prejudice. Forte also seeks to bring new individual defendants, including opposing counsel. (See Doc. 282-2.) For example, Forte seeks to re-allege claims against the District Attorney and his officers for the conduct of the criminal proceedings and the purported violation of his constitutional rights. (See e.g., Doc. 282-2, para. 38: ("Dumars with Dr. Blak, Judge James Cadle, ADA Turner and DA Morse enacted what is called the political abuse of psychology upon Forte, a former candidate who ran for Governor of California running on the platform of exposing judicial/public official corruption, and was known, and is known as the Attorney Buster in order to discriminate against him for exercising his Freedom of Speech and to deny him due process by having him improperly declared mentally incompetent when he was not."); para. 42 ("On January 28th, 2013 at what was an un-noticed competency trial, Dumars accused Forte of being delusional by saying that Forte was making wild accusations against people of important stature, such as accusing Dumars of being addicted to cocaine and assaulting underage daughters of clients. Dr. Blak testified on January 28th, 2013 that Forte could not aid his attorney (Dumars) when Forte accused Dumars of such nefarious acts."); para. 56: ("Merced County Counsel Roger Matzkind and James Fincher while defending Morse, Turner, and Merced County deputy defendants conspired with them to misuse and abuse the criminal process in the cases of CRL 001412 and CRL003409 by having Forte declared mentally incompetent when he was not in an effort to have the case dismissed, and by doing so, enacted a fraud upon the court...").)[3]

C. Prior Court Cautions Against Attempting to Amend the Complaint

Over a time period of many, many months, and through numerous Court orders, Plaintiff has been told that these purported claims he seeks to allege in this supplemental complaint are not cognizable or timely.

Shortly after ruling on the motions to dismiss the conspiracy allegations, the Court, responding to Plaintiff's motion, explained that the claims were not cognizable:

First, Plaintiff alleges a number of "facts" pertaining to the handling (or mis-handling) of Plaintiff's 2009 "citizen's complaint" which purports to set forth the factual basis for his claims of unlawful arrest and unlawful use of force arising out of the 2009 arrest that is the subject of his claim for unlawful use of force in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights in this action.... [The Fourth Amendment] does not provide for any particular disposition or handling or consideration of any citizen complaints or claims he may submit directly to the offending police agency. (Doc. 106, p. 3.)

The Court explained that the only cognizable claims were the arrests:

Finally, Plaintiff's Opposition misquotes the court's January 11 Order to suggest that the court has forbade Plaintiff from pursuing other avenues of redress of his grievances. This is emphatically not the case. The court's January 11 Order concludes that "Plaintiff has alleged claims of unreasonable use of force under the Fourth Amendment against Defendants Picinich and Parker that are sufficient to withstand Defendants' motion to dismiss. Plaintiff may proceed with this claim and no others." (Doc. 106, p.5.)

At the initial scheduling conference in 2013, and after the conspiracy claims had been dismissed, Plaintiff was given time to seek to file an amended complaint. On November 4, 2013, this Court held a scheduling conference where Forte requested leave to amend his complaint. The Court set a briefing schedule for Plaintiff's anticipated motion for leave to file an amended complaint. (Doc. 188.) Forte indicated the he sought to re-allege the dismissed allegations noted above and other allegations. Plaintiff stated he required a significant amount of time to prepare his motion to amend his complaint due to other litigation commitments and the holidays. Defendants argued that they would be prejudiced from further delay, noting the prior dismissal among other arguments. Accordingly, after weighing the delay and prejudice to defendants with Plaintiff's request, the Court granted Plaintiff's request for an extended amount of time to file his motion to amend his complaint and provided Plaintiff with approximately three months to file the motion. The Court set a deadline for filing a motion to amend by January 31, 2014.

Before the January 31, 2014 motion filing deadline, Plaintiff filed a request to extend the deadline. (Doc. 196.) Plaintiff sought an extension of time to file his motion to amend to March 3, 2014. Plaintiff stated he required this time because he has been "inundated" with legal work (not in this case) in an effort to counter what he has described as "the run-away train wreck" that is the Merced Superior Court, and the "fraud upon the court" occurring in this Court.[4] (Doc. 196, 1:20-26.)

The Court denied the request for extension based upon the lack of good cause shown by Plaintiff and the prejudice to defendants from further continued delay by Plaintiff. Plaintiff did not bring a motion to amend the complaint by the January 31, 2014 deadline.

At the regularly set April 30, 2014 scheduled conference, Plaintiff again stated his desire to amend or supplement his complaint. Plaintiff argued that the resignation and subsequent death of his former attorney in a separate criminal action supports his current claims, and gives rise to new claims that should be incorporated in this case. By order on April 30, 2014, the Court denied the request to Amend or Supplement his complaint. (Doc. 223.) The Court again found that the amendment and/or supplement to the complaint was untimely, not related to the claims at issue, prejudicial to defendants, and that Plaintiff had not been diligent. (Doc. 223.)

After discovery began, this Court addressed intolerable litigation conduct by Forte, in an order on September 23, 2014, and again addressed Forte's intimation that he would amend his complaint to bring in dismissed claims and defendants:

The claims before this Court do not hinge on whether there is a conspiracy against Forte, and the Court will not indulge Forte's improper efforts to expand the scope of this litigation. Whether there was probable cause to make the subject arrests, and whether excessive force was used in affecting those arrests, bears no relationship to an alleged conspiracy against Forte spanning fifteen years and involving dozens of individuals and entities.

(Doc. 263, p. 11; Doc. 263, n.9, "Moreover, even if Forte's conspiracy theories were not already explicitly rejected, this Court again finds there is no relationship between the myriad of unrelated wrongs Forte complains of, and the two remaining claims at issue.")

Despite this Court's explicit admonition against these exact kinds of allegations and filing additional requests to amend, Forte filed a Motion to Stay on October 23, 2014 to stay this action and yet again attempt to bring in the alleged conspiracy allegations against prosecutors in Merced County for declaring him mentally incompetent. In his motion to stay, Forte asserted as follows:

[Plaintiff seeks to] substitute in the Merced County District Attorney Offices, DA Larry Morse, DDA Alan Turner, their Merced County Counsel Offices' defense attorneys James Fincher, Roger Matzkind, Richard Flores, and add another layer of the most egregious fraud perpetrated by the state prosecutors/defendants including the conspiracy to deprive plaintiff of his constitutional rights the evidence of the Merced County Public Defenders' Office Eric Dumars and Merced County Superior Court Judge James Cadle who conspired to have plaintiff scathed and labeled as being declared mentally incompetent in the underlying criminal prosecution... (Doc. 269, p. 3-4.)

By order on October 28, 2014, the Court denied Plaintiff's request to stay the proceedings, noting that Plaintiff improperly was persisting in attempting to re-allege the long ago dismissed conspiracy allegations:

Specifically, Plaintiff seeks to "supplement" the complaint to allege essentially the same claims that were previously dismissed on prior Defendants Morse, Turner, Fincher and others that Plaintiff alleges were behind the "fraud on the court" that resulted in the dismissal of the criminal charges that had been pending against Plaintiff in Merced County Superior Court. Despite repeated denials of similar motions in the past - most recently in the Magistrate Judge's order of September 23 - and despite repeated explanations of why the claims Plaintiff seeks to supplement are not cognizable in this court; Plaintiff persists. (Doc. 271, p.2.)

As noted in the Court's order of October 28, 2014, denying Forte's Motion to Stay so he could file supplemental pleadings to re-allege the conspiracy allegations, the Court stated the conspiracy allegations labelling him mentally incompetent are not cognizable:

Plaintiff's major contention with regard to the proceedings in the Merced Superior Court is that the previously dismissed Defendants conspired to commit fraud on the court by implementing a scheme to use incompetent or "jury-rigged" testimony to persuade the Superior Court to dismiss the criminal charges against Plaintiff based on a false finding that Plaintiff was not competent to defend himself in a criminal proceeding pursuant to Cal. Pen. Code § 1370.2. The court has previously explained that a defendant in a criminal case has no constitutional right to the continuation of a prosecution against him. In the court's order of January 31, 2014, the court made clear that, for purposes of the Constitution or federal statute, there is no requirement that a criminal prosecution, once instituted, be continued to and through trial. See Doc. # 202 at 4-5. In the same order, the court also explained the limitations and narrowness of the Superior Court's ruling that Plaintiff was incompetent to stand trial as a defendant in a criminal matter and further explained that this determination, like the discontinuance of his criminal prosecution, does not raise any issue harm under the Constitution or under federal statute. Id.. The court has previously explained, and now reiterates, that of all the harms that Plaintiff has alleged, the ones that are cognizable in this court are current claims under the Fourth Amendment for arrest without probable cause and unreasonable seizure. (Doc. 271, p. 3.)

The Court denied the motion to stay, and once again reiterated that the claims were not cognizable and the Court was without ...

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