United States District Court, E.D. California
to file Motions in Limine: July 20, 2016
civil rights action, brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983, proceeds on the Fourth Amended Complaint filed pro
se by state prisoner Antwoine Bealer
("Plaintiff"), against defendants Correctional
Officer S. Rios and Sergeant R. Brannum
("Defendants") for use of excessive force in
violation of the Eighth Amendment during events occurring at
Kern Valley State Prison on November 1, 2010. (ECF No. 21.)
Defendants are represented by Andrea R. Sloan, California
Deputy Attorney General. This case is presently set for trial
on August 9, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. before District Judge Dale A.
Drozd in Courtroom 5.
20, 2016, Defendants filed their pretrial statement. (ECF No.
60.) Plaintiff has still not filed a pretrial statement
despite having been granted an additional ten days to do so
at the Trial Confirmation Hearing held on June 27, 2016.
(Doc. No. 166.) Having reviewed Defendants' pretrial
statement and the remainder of the file, and having
considered the arguments of the parties at the June 27, 2016
Trial Confirmation Hearing, the Court now issues a pretrial
Jurisdiction and Venue
Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1331 and 1343(a)(3). Venue in the Eastern
District of California is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391.
There is no dispute concerning subject matter jurisdiction or
and Defendants have requested a jury trial.
Facts and Evidentiary Issues
Defendants' Undisputed Facts
1. At all times relevant to this action, Plaintiff was in the
custody of the California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation (CDCR) at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP), in
Facility A, Building Seven.
2. At all times relevant to this action, Defendants Rios and
Brannum were employed by CDCR at KVSP.
3. On November 1, 2010, Defendant Brannum was the assigned
Facility A Yard Sergeant.
4. On November 1, 2010, Defendant Rios was assigned as a
Search and Escort Officer.
5. During the afternoon of November 1, 2010, Sergeant Brannum
approached Plaintiff's cell and informed him he would be
receiving a new cellmate.
6. Despite not knowing who the new assigned cellmate was,
Plaintiff refused to accept a cellmate.
7. Plaintiff was counseled by Defendant Brannum regarding his
refusal to accept an assigned cellmate, which was in
violation of institution housing policy.
8. Shortly thereafter, Defendants Brannum and Rios escorted
Plaintiff from his cell to be placed in Administrative
Segregation for his continued refusal to accept a cellmate.
9. While Plaintiff was being escorted from his cell in
Building 7, across the upper A Yard to the medical holding
cell, Plaintiff was informed he was being placed in
Administrative Segregation for his refusal to accept a
10. Plaintiff then became resistive and attempted to
head-butt Defendant Rios.
11. Defendant Brannum was on Plaintiff's left side
holding onto Plaintiff's left forearm. When Plaintiff
attempted to strike Defendant Rios, Defendant Brannum pulled
back and upward while holding onto Plaintiff's forearm.
12. Defendant Rios was on Plaintiff's right side holding
onto Plaintiff's right forearm when Plaintiff attempted
to head-butt him. Defendant Rios lifted Plaintiff's right
forearm up, bending Plaintiff at the waist.
13. With Defendants Brannum and Rios' combined weight,
they were able to force Plaintiff to the ground.
14. During the incident, Defendant Brannum activated his
alarm, calling for a Code 1 - resistive inmate over his
15. Officers Stewart and Bradshaw responded to Defendant
Brannum's emergency call and placed leg restraints on
Plaintiff and escorted him to medical to be examined
following the incident.
16. An abrasion to Plaintiff's right knee and the back of
his left ankle were noted on the Medical Report of Injury or
17. Plaintiff was issued a Rules Violation Report in
connection to this incident, charging him with violating the
California Code of Regulations, Title 15, Section 3005
(d)(1), for attempted battery on a peace officer.
18. Plaintiff was found guilty of the Rules Violation report
and assessed a loss of good time credits.
19. Plaintiff was rehoused in Administrative Segregation
following the incident.
20. The associated Rules Violation Report and loss of credits
was never overturned.
21. Plaintiff has an extensive history of refusing cellmates
and making threats to harm himself or others if he is
assigned one. Plaintiff has learned how to use the system in
ways to avoid being assigned a cellmate, despite being
cleared to have one.
22. There are no medical records which support any additional
injuries other than the scrape to Plaintiff's knee and
Plaintiff's Undisputed Facts
As noted above, plaintiff did not file a pretrial statement.
Defendants' Disputed Factual Issues
1. Whether Plaintiff became resistive during the escort
across the Facility A Yard on November 1, 2010.
2. Whether Plaintiff attempted to head-butt Defendant Rios
during the escort.
3. Whether Defendants' actions in subduing Plaintiff
constitute excessive force.
4. Whether Plaintiff received additional injuries which were
not noted on the medical report taken after the incident.
5. Whether Plaintiff's alleged injuries were caused by
any actions by Defendants or were pre-existing.
Plaintiff's Disputed Factual Issues
noted above, plaintiff did not file a pretrial statement.
However, plaintiff did successfully oppose defendants'
motion for summary judgment.
Defendants' Disputed Evidentiary Issues
should be excluded when it lacks relevance, consists of
hearsay, is mere opinion, has not been authenticated, or when
its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger
of unfair prejudice, confusion or needless delay. Fed R.
Evid. 402, 403, 602, 701, 802, 901(b). Defendants object to
any evidence submitted by Plaintiff based upon, or
containing, inadmissible hearsay, or evidence that is
irrelevant, immaterial, or incompetent.
will contest the admissibility of any written statements by
inmates whom Plaintiff claims are witnesses including, but
not limited to, any statement signed by said inmates.
object to any opinion testimony from Plaintiff regarding any
matters that call for medical, psychological, or dental
reserve objections to specific testimony and exhibits until
Defendants have had the opportunity to hear such testimony
and examine such exhibits. Defendants will also file specific
objections to Plaintiff's exhibits once they have been
exchanged with Defendants.
Plaintiff, or any other incarcerated witnesses testify,
Defendants will seek to impeach such witnesses by presenting
evidence of prior felony convictions, pursuant to Federal
Rules of Evidence, Rule 609. The verdict in this case will be
affected by the credibility of witnesses. Therefore,
Defendants argue that no one who has suffered a prior felony