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Brown v. Oboudin

United States District Court, C.D. California

March 28, 2017

STEVEN DWAYNE BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
LIEUTENANT OBOUDIN, et al., Defendants.

          AMENDED MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          JOHN E. MCDERMOTT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         PROCEEDINGS

         On January 17, 2015, Steven Dwayne Brown (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Complaint”).

         On June 10, 2016, Defendants Anthony Baudino (erroneously sued as Lieutenant Oboudin) and Dylan Butler filed a Motion to Dismiss. On July 13, 2016, Plaintiff filed an Opposition. On August 11, 2016, Baudino and Butler filed a Reply.

         On October 11, 2016, Defendant Morales filed a Motion to Dismiss. On November 17, 2016, Plaintiff filed an Opposition. On December 6, 2016, Morales filed a Reply.

         The Motions to Dismiss are now ready for decision. For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that the Complaint should be dismissed with leave to amend for failure to comply with Fed.R.Civ.P. 8.

         ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff has filed the instant suit against Defendants Baudino, Butler, and Morales, all of whom are Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (“LASD”) personnel. The Complaint is premised on a February 8, 2015 incident in which Plaintiff was sprayed with Oleoresin Capsicum spray (“OC spray” or “pepper spray”).

         Plaintiff alleges the following:

         On February 8, 2015, Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee at the Men's Central Jail. (Complaint at 9, .) He was escorted from the Law Library in the Men's Central Jail to an area taped off and told to “face the wall.” (Id.) Plaintiff complied, and he was handcuffed from behind. (Id.) Three minutes later, Morales and Butler arrived to Plaintiff's location and informed him that he would be moved to “Baker Row, ” where all pro per inmates were housed. (Id. at 10.) Plaintiff stated, “‘No, I'm not going back to that tier.'” (Id.) The inmates from that tier had told Plaintiff in front of Butler “that they were going to ‘f**k me up if I came back to that tier.'” (Id.) In response, Morales stated, “‘If you don't head over there now, I'm going to order my deputies to spray you with pepper spray.'” (Id. at 11.) Plaintiff refused to comply and asked to speak with a watch commander. (Id.) He turned around and faced the wall, ceasing further communication with Morales. (Id.) Morales again warned Plaintiff that he would be sprayed with pepper spray. (Id.)

         Morales left for a few minutes and returned with Baudino, who attempted to speak with Plaintiff about his refusal to go to Baker Row. (Id. at 12.) Plaintiff reiterated that he had been threatened by inmates on Baker Row and stated, “‘I'm not going anywhere with this defendant S[e]rgeant Morales.'” (Id.) Baudino explained that the inmates who had threatened Plaintiff had been moved, and if he refused to move he would be pepper sprayed. (Id. at 13.) Plaintiff again refused to go, reiterating that it was not safe for him. (Id.)

         Plaintiff then stopped speaking to Baudino. (Id.) He turned to face the wall and sat down cross legged with his hands cuffed behind him. (Id.) Baudino ordered Plaintiff to stand up and head to Baker Row or else he would be pepper sprayed. (Id. at 13-14.) Baudino told Morales to order his deputies to spray Plaintiff. (Id. at 14.) Morales told Butler and another deputy to have Plaintiff stand. (Id.) Plaintiff asked to go to G-Row (disciplinary segregation) instead of Baker Row, but Morales told Plaintiff he would go to Baker Row or be pepper sprayed. (Id.) Again, Plaintiff refused citing safety concerns. (Id.)

         Butler and the other deputy let go of Plaintiff, who then fell to the floor. (Id. at 15.) Plaintiff faced the wall. (Id.) Butler then pepper sprayed Plaintiff. (Id. at 15-16.) The pepper spray hit Plaintiff in the face, eyes, ears, mouth, scalp, and groin. (Id. at 16.) Plaintiff suffered extreme pain from the pepper spray. (Id. at 18.) Plaintiff was subdued and was not offering any resistance at the time he was sprayed. (Id.)

         Defendants sprayed Plaintiff in retaliation for his filing numerous grievances against Defendants in the past. (Id. at 22.) Morales ordered his deputies to spray Plaintiff in retaliation for his pursuit of grievances. (Id. at 23-25; Complaint Part 2 at 1.)

         Plaintiff seeks the following relief:

1. A declaratory judgment that the use of OC spray on a handcuffed, subdued pretrial detainee is unlawful.
2. Compensatory damages.
3. Punitive damages.
4. An order requiring all Los Angeles County jail inmates with asthma to wear a wristband or bracelet identifying the inmate as suffering from asthma.
5. Medical treatment consistent with long term, residual, or permanent damage resulting from ingestion or ...

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