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Quarles v. Municipality

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 22, 2016

ARVIN RAY QUARLES, Plaintiff,
v.
COALINGA MUNICIPALITY, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT, WITH PREJUDICE, FOR FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM FOR RELIEF [ECF NO. 12]

         Plaintiff Alvin Ray Quarles is a civil detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Individuals detained pursuant to California Welfare and Institutions Code § 6600 et seq. are civil detainees and are not prisoners within the meaning of the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Page v. Torrey, 201 F.3d 1136, 1140 (9th Cir. 2000). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), Plaintiff consented to the jurisdiction of the United States Magistrate Judge on September 8, 2015. Local Rule 302.

         Currently before the Court is Plaintiff's first amended complaint, filed April 11, 2016. (ECF No. 12.)

         I. SCREENING REQUIREMENT

         The in forma pauperis statue provides, "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that … the action or appeal … fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         II. COMPLAINT ALLEGATIONS

         Plaintiff arrived at the Coalinga State Hospital on January 15, 2014. Plaintiff contends while in the custody of the hospital, he was unable to secure his personal property. Plaintiff arrived at a new dorm on December 10, 2014, and each dorm consists of up to four people and each resident has no way to lock his dorm. However, patients can allegedly secure their lockers in their dorms. Psych technician, Nicole Rodriguez gave Plaintiff his locker combination, and Plaintiff tried unsuccessfully to open the locker. Ms. Rodriguez also tried several times unsuccessfully to open the locker without success. Ms. Rodriguez then told Plaintiff she would order maintenance to install a new lock combination. Neither Ms. Rodriguez nor any other staff member informed Plaintiff he could secure his property in the office or lock his dorm. Plaintiff's new television, media player, hard drive, small radio, headphones, disks, cosmetics, food, and his legal paper work were all left unattended.

         On December 17, 2014, Plaintiff went to breakfast at 6:40 a.m., and then to the gym between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. Plaintiff returned to his dorm area around 8:15 a.m. and discovered that his media player and hard drive were on the floor. The USB and HDMI wires were disconnected from his television, and the television casing was broken. Plaintiff's television, media player and hard drive were damaged as a result of the incident.

         Plaintiff reported the incident to Linda Moon and Rebekah Reeves who indicated the room was not searched and Plaintiff was free to file a police report. When police arrived for an interview, Plaintiff was asked why he did not secure his property in his locker, and Plaintiff explained that the lock did not work. Plaintiff requested that police dust for fingerprints on the television to positively identify the culprit. However, police responded that fingerprints were not taken unless it was a serious crime.

         Coalinga State Hospital policy requires that staff make safety and security checks in the dorms while patients at the dining hall.

         On December 19, 2014, maintenance went to Plaintiff's dorm to repair the lock. After the replacement, Plaintiff asked Jesse Garcia to document in the log book that maintenance repaired his lock and combination.

         Plaintiff sought monetary costs for the damage to his property from the State Board of Control.

         Plaintiff filed a police report but was never provided a copy of the report.

         On June 24, 2015, Plaintiff was moved to a new unit with less supervision. When Plaintiff asked the officer for his locker combination, he informed Plaintiff the computer was down.

         Plaintiff contends that the Coalinga State Hospital has a policy to never provide new padlocks and/or new locker numbers to ...


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