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Medina v. Lopez

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 9, 2015

PABLO A. MEDINA, Plaintiff,
v.
J. LOPEZ, Defendant.

ORDER CONSOLIDATING CASES ORDER DIRECTING CLERK TO: (1) CONSOLIDATE CASE 1:14-CV-01794-MJS-PC WITH THIS CASE; (2) CLOSE CASE 1:14-CV-01794-MJS-PC (3) SEND PLAINTIFF AN AMENDED COMPLAINT FORM; AND (4) FILE AND DOCKET THIS ORDER IN THIS CASE AND IN CASE 1:14-CV-01794-MJS-PC ORDER FOR PLAINTIFF TO EITHER: (1) FILE A THIRD COMPLAINT IN CASE 1:14-cv-01850-GSA-PC; OR (2) NOTIFY COURT THAT HE WISHES TO PROCEED WITH THE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT FILED ON FEBRUARY 17, 2015 THIRTY DAY DEADLINE TO FILE THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT OR NOTIFY COURT

GARY S. AUSTIN, Magistrate Judge.

I. BACKGROUND

Pablo A. Medina ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds as the sole Plaintiff in two cases pending at this court, the present case (1:14-cv-01850-GSA-PC, Medina v. Lopez and case 1:14-cv-01794-MJS-PC, Medina v. CDCR).

This case - 14-1850

On November 3, 2014, Plaintiff and nineteen co-plaintiffs filed case 2:14-cv-02566-DAD-PC, Hicks v. Lopez, at the Sacramento Division of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. (Court Record.) On November 12, 2014, the case was transferred to the Fresno Division of the Eastern District and opened as case 1:14-cv-01764-GSA-PC (Hicks v. Lopez). (Case 2:14-2566, Doc. 6.) On November 24, 2014, the court issued an order severing the plaintiffs' claims in case 14-1764, and a new case was opened for Plaintiff, 1:14-cv-01850-GSA-PC (Medina v. Lopez). (Case 14-1764, Doc. 24; Case 14-1850, Doc. 1.) Plaintiff now proceeds as the sole Plaintiff in case 14-1850. On December 8, 2014,

Plaintiff consented to the jurisdiction of a Magistrate Judge in this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), and no other parties have made an appearance. (Case 14-1850, Doc. 4.) On December 12, 2014, Plaintiff filed the First Amended Complaint. (Case 14-1850, Doc. 5.) On February 17, 2015, Plaintiff filed the Second Amended Complaint, which awaits the court's requisite screening. (Case 14-1850, Doc. 12.)

Case 14-1794

On September 29, 2014, Plaintiff and nineteen co-plaintiffs filed case 1:14-cv-01528-MJS-PC, Webb v. CDCR. (Court Record.) On November 17, 2014, the court issued an order severing Plaintiff's claims from the co-plaintiffs' claims in case 14-1528, and a new case was opened for Plaintiff, 1:14-cv-01794-MJS-PC (Medina v. CDCR). (Case 14-1528, Doc. 13; Case 14-1794, Doc. 1.)

Plaintiff now proceeds as the sole Plaintiff in case 14-1794. On November 24, 2014, Plaintiff filed the operative Complaint, which awaits the court's requisite screening. (Case 14-1794, Doc. 4.)

II. CONSOLIDATION

"If actions before the court involve a common question of law or fact, the court may consolidate the actions." Fed.R.Civ.P. 42(a)(2). Consolidation may be ordered on the motion of any party or on the court's own motion whenever it reasonably appears that consolidation would aid in the efficient and economic disposition of a case. See In re Air Crash Disaster at Florida Everglades on December 29, 1972, 549 F.2d 1006 (5th Cir. 1977). The grant or denial of a motion to consolidate rests in the trial court's sound discretion, and is not dependent on party approval. Investors Research Co. v. United States Dist. Ct., 877 F.2d 777 (9th Cir. 1989); Cantrell v. GAF Corp., 999 F.2d 1007, 1011 (6th Cir. 1993). In determining whether to consolidate actions, the court weighs the interest of judicial convenience against the potential for delay, confusion, and prejudice caused by consolidation. Southwest Marine, Inc., v. Triple A. Mach. Shop, Inc., 720 F.Supp. 805, 807 (N.D. Cal. 1989).

Discussion

From a review of the operative complaints in Plaintiff's two cases, the Court finds consolidation of the cases to be appropriate, because they involve common questions of law and fact. Both cases are civil rights actions pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and in both cases Plaintiff names as defendants Correctional Officer J. Lopez, Sergeant M. Vega, and Lieutenant J. Tangen, who were all employed at North Kern State Prison (NKSP) in Delano, California, during the time of the events at issue. (Case 14-1794, Doc. 1; Case 14-1850, Doc. 5.) Both cases stem from an incident at NKSP when Plaintiff was incarcerated there, during which defendants Lopez, Vega, and Tangen allegedly neglected Plaintiff's safety during a racial riot, resulting in injury to Plaintiff. In both cases, Plaintiff alleges that defendant Lopez failed to put away cleaning equipment, failed to do a full security check, and ran out of the dayroom when the riot started, leaving behind his flashlight which was then used as a weapon. In both cases, Plaintiff alleges that ...


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