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Solomon v. Felker

United States District Court, E.D. California

February 13, 2015

VINCENT SOLOMON, Plaintiff,
v.
T. FELKER, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

KENDALL J. NEWMAN, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff is a state prisoner, proceeding without counsel, with a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The parties have consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned. (ECF No. 88.) Plaintiff is housed at the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility ("SATF") in Corcoran.

Pending before the court is plaintiff's January 26, 2015 motion requesting that the court order prison officials to return his legal property. (ECF No. 140). For the following reasons, this motion is denied.

Background

On September 19, 2014, defendants filed a summary judgment motion. (ECF No. 134). On November 10, 2014, plaintiff filed a motion for access to his legal property and for a ninety days extension of time to file his opposition. (ECF No. 137.) In this motion, plaintiff alleged that prison officials took all of his legal property and refused to return it.

On November 21, 2014, the undersigned denied plaintiff's motion for access to his legal property. (ECF No. 138.) The undersigned found that the exhibits attached to plaintiff's motion did not support his claim that his property was confiscated and that prison officials refused to return it. (Id.) Plaintiff's exhibits demonstrated that plaintiff was allowed to have the amount of legal property in his cell that is permitted for inmates in administrative segregation. (Id.) Plaintiff's exhibits also demonstrated that plaintiff could trade a box of legal property in his cell for a box of legal property in storage. (Id.) In other words, procedures existed for plaintiff to have access to his legal property that was not in his cell. (Id.) The November 21, 2014 order granted plaintiff thirty days to file his opposition.

Thirty days passed and plaintiff did not file his opposition. Accordingly, on January 7, 2015, the undersigned ordered that this action would be dismissed if plaintiff failed to file his opposition within thirty days. (ECF No. 139.)

On January 26, 2015, plaintiff filed the pending motion. (ECF No. 140.) Plaintiff alleges that prison officials confiscated all of his legal property on October 8, 2014. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that most of his legal property is stored in a warehouse. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that prison officials will not give him access to his legal property without a court order. (Id.)

No defendants are located at SATF. Usually persons or entities not parties to an action are not subject to orders for injunctive relief. Zenith Radio Corp. v. Hazeltine Research, Inc., 395 U.S. 100 (1969). However, the fact that one is not a party does not automatically preclude the court from acting. The All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a), permits the court to issue writs "necessary or appropriate in aid of their jurisdiction and agreeable to the usages and principles of law." See generally S.E.C. v. G.C. George Securities, Inc., 637 F.2d 685 (9th Cir. 1981); United States v. New York Telephone Co., 434 U.S. 159 (1977). This section does not grant the court plenary power to act in any way it wishes; rather the All Writs Act is meant to aid the court in the exercise and preservation of its jurisdiction. Plum Creek Lumber Co. v. Hutton, 608 F.2d 1283, 1289 (9th Cir. 1979).

On January 28, 2015, pursuant to the All Writs Act, the undersigned issued an order directing the Warden where plaintiff is housed to respond to plaintiff's pending motion. (ECF No. 141.) In this order, the undersigned observed that on September 19, 2014 defendant filed a summary judgment motion which plaintiff had not opposed. (Id.) The undersigned stated that the court was concerned that it would lose jurisdiction if plaintiff was unable to prosecute this case because he was being denied access to his legal property. (Id.)

Discussion

On February 5, 2015, SATF Litigation Coordinator Barba filed a declaration in response to the January 28, 2015 order. (ECF No. 143.) Litigation Coordinator Barba states, in relevant part,

3. Solomon was transferred to SATF from CSP-Corcoran on October 8, 2014. Attached here as Exhibit A is a copy of Solomon's transfer and bed reassignment history.
4. Solomon is currently housed in the Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU) in cell E1-116L. He is in ASU pending the outcome of two disciplinary actions for "Battery on a Non-Prisoner" and "Conspiracy to Assault a Peace Officer." If found guilty, he will most likely serve a term in a Security Housing Unit (SHU); at that point, he will be put up for transfer to an institution with a SHU. He will likely remain in SATF's ASU until both disciplinary actions are decided. Attached here as ...

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