United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT; DIRECTING DEFENDANTS TO PROVIDE NOTICE RE
MEDIATION RE: DKT. NO. 14
JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY United States Magistrate Judge.
currently a California prisoner, filed this pro se civil
rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the
Mendocino County Sheriff's Office (“MCSO”)
and four MCSO officials for using excessive force against him
and denying him adequate medical treatment while he was at
the Mendocino County Jail. Defendants filed a motion for summary
judgment. Plaintiff filed an opposition, and Defendants filed
a reply brief. For the reasons discussed below, the motion
for summary judgment is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART
and Defendants are directed to notify the Court whether they
wish to participate in mediation proceedings.
parties do not dispute the following facts.
altercation took place between Plaintiff and Defendants
Deputy S. Siderakis and Deputy J. Woida in Plaintiff's
isolation cell on January 1, 2016. At approximately 7:30
p.m., Woida and Siderakis came into his cell for an
inspection. (Pl. Opp. (ECF No. 31) at 2; Decl. Woida ¶ 2.)
Plaintiff was sleeping, and one of the deputies handed Plaintiff
some papers from the window sill where they were not
permitted. (Opp. at 2; Decl. Woida ¶ 4; Siderakis Decl.
¶ 3.) Plaintiff exchanged hostile words with the
deputies, who then left the cell and closed the door behind
them. (Opp. at 2; Siderakis Decl. ¶ 4.) Plaintiff stood
up out of his bed, looked at them through a window out into
the hallway, and asked them what the problem was. (Opp. at 2;
Siderakis Decl. ¶ 6; Woida Decl. ¶ 5.) Woida
reopened the door and stood in the doorway with Siderakis
next to him, and Plaintiff told them to stay out of his cell.
(Opp. at 2-3; Woida Decl. ¶¶ 5-6; Siderakis
¶¶ 6-7.) When Woida came in the cell, Plaintiff
punched him in the face once, and then Siderakis and Woida
each punched Plaintiff in the face. (Opp. at 3; Woida Decl.
¶ 9; Siderakis Decl. ¶¶ 9-10.) Plaintiff
continued to throw punches as Woida and Siderakis pushed him
against the rear wall of his cell and each punched Plaintiff
in the face again. (Opp. at 3; Woida Decl. ¶ 9;
Siderakis Decl. ¶ 10.) Woida grabbed Plaintiff around
the legs. (Opp. at 3-4; Siderakis Decl. ¶ 10.) Backup
officers were summoned and arrived at the cell. (Woida Decl.
¶ 10.) Siderakis then wrapped Plaintiff around the head
with his arm and took him to the ground away from the wall.
(Opp. at 4; Siderakis Decl. ¶ 10.) Once Plaintiff was on
the ground, Siderakis controlled Plaintiff's upper body,
Woida controlled Plaintiff's legs, and an unnamed deputy
handcuffed Plaintiff's wrists. (Opp. at 4; Woida Decl.
¶ 11.) Woida put Plaintiff in a “figure four leg
lock” and shackled his ankles. (Woida Decl. ¶ 11.)
was escorted to a “safety cell” where he was
examined by a nurse. (Opp. at 5; Woida Decl. ¶ 13;
Siderakis Decl. ¶ 14.) His face was swollen and bruised,
his nose was bleeding, and his ankle was swollen and caused
him to limp for several days. (Opp. at 5, Exh. G; Teske Decl.
Exhs. A, B; Woida Decl. ¶ 14; Siderakis Decl. ¶
14.) The nurse did not provide him with any medical
treatment. (Opp. at 5; Teske Decl. Exh. A.) That night he
could not sleep because of the pain. (Opp. at 5.) Three days
later he was examined again, and he was prescribed ibuprofen
for his swollen and painful ankle. (Teske Decl. Exh. B.)
subsequent disciplinary proceedings, jail officials found
assault charges against Plaintiff “unfounded.”
(Opp. Exh. A.)
B. Disputed Facts
evidence presented by the parties differs in the following
to Plaintiff, over the course of several months prior to the
altercation, Siderakis would stand outside Plaintiff's
cell door and insult and threaten to hurt him. (Opp. at 2.)
During this time period, Plaintiff had also seen Deputy Woida
attack other inmates and Woida had challenged Plaintiff to a
fight. (Id.) Plaintiff states that when Woida and
Siderakis came into his cell on January 1, 2016, Woida said,
“I'm in your cell, what are you gonna do
now?” and “We give the orders this is our house,
bitch.” (Id.) According to Plaintiff, when the
deputies left the cell, they closed the door completely.
(Id. at 3.) Plaintiff also states that he threw the
first punch only after Woida said, “What are you going
to do about it?” and “made his move towards me in
a spring.” (Id.) Plaintiff states that as he
backed up, he slipped on a small floor towel and
“covered up, ” but Woida and Siderakis
“repeatedly kept punching” him. (Id. at
3-4.) After Siderakis took Plaintiff to the ground, Siderakis
and Woida pinned his hands and feet, allowing Siderakis to
punch him in the face, forehead, side of the head, and
shoulders over 24 times while Plaintiff tried to move his
head and slip his arms out to protect himself. (Id.
at 4.) Woida twisted one of Plaintiff's ankles until
Plaintiff felt his muscles tear, and Plaintiff “jerked
back.” (Id.) After he was handcuffed, he was
punched two more times in the face, and Siderakis kneed him
in the head ten times. (Id.)
states that in addition to his ankle and face injuries, he
suffered from concussion symptoms including an inability to
focus. (Id. at 5.) According to Plaintiff, when he
was in the safety cell, the medical staff told him that
Sergeant Bohner had told them to refuse to treat him.
(Id.) Bohner arrived and gave him a paper towel and
exchanged Plaintiff's bloody shirt for a clean jumpsuit.
(Id.) Plaintiff's head started to hurt more, and
he could not focus. (Id. at 6.) He was returned to
his isolation cell, where a nurse told him that his ankle was
“bad” but on Bohner's orders he could not
provide ice, a wrap, or any medical treatment. (Id.)
account differs in that they state that the cell door was not
all the way closed when they left, and Woida reopened the
door because he and Siderakis could not hear what Plaintiff
said to them. (Woida Decl. ¶ 5; Siderakis Decl. ¶
6.) Defendants also state that Plaintiff then took an
“aggressive fighting stance towards” them,
threatened them, and did not heed their orders to sit back
down. (Woida Decl. ¶¶ 6-7; Siderakis Decl.
¶¶ 7-8.) Instead, Plaintiff put up his fists and
rocked back and forth, and again refused orders to get down.
(Woida Decl. ¶ 8; Siderakis ¶ 9.) Defendants state
that they each punched Plaintiff twice in the face while he
was standing and before he was restrained, and they do not
admit to punching Plaintiff any further, or to kicking him,
kneeing him or twisting his ankle. (Woida Decl. ¶¶
9-12; Siderakis Decl. ¶¶ 9-11.) After Plaintiff was
under control, he told the deputies that he knew where they
lived and would kill their families. (Woida Decl. ¶ 12;
Siderakis Decl. ¶ 11.) ...