Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Stribling v. Lucero

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 7, 2017

AARON STRIBLING, Plaintiff,
v.
LUCERO, Defendant.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          EDMUND F. BRENNAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in this action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Defendant seeks summary judgment in his favor, arguing that the undisputed facts show that he did not subject plaintiff to excessive force, that plaintiff suffered no injury, and that he should be afforded qualified immunity. ECF No. 21. For the following reasons, the motion must be denied.

         I. The Facts Presented by the Parties

         This case arises from an altercation between plaintiff, a state prisoner, and defendant Lucero, a correctional officer, on a bus transporting inmates from one prison to another. The parties agree on many facts, but dispute each other with regard to their personal conduct before and during the altercation. Such disputes will be noted below.

         On June 23, 2014, plaintiff was being transported from California State Prison, Sacramento to Deuel Vocational Institute. ECF No. 21-1, Def.'s Facts ISO Mot. for Summ. J. (hereinafter “DUF”) No. 3; ECF No. 1, Pl.'s Compl., at 4.[1] Defendant was working as a transportation officer for that transport, along with Sergeant Gunderson (who plaintiff refers to as “Granderson”) and another officer. DUF No. 5; ECF No. 1 at 4-5. The transport made a scheduled stop at the California Medical Facility (“CMF”) in the afternoon. DUF No. 7; ECF No. 1 at 4. According to defendant, as the bus arrived at CMF, plaintiff rudely yelled to the officers that he wanted some water. DUF No. 7. Plaintiff claims that he politely requested water. ECF No. 1 at 4.

         When the bus stopped, Gunderson and the other officer left to unload some inmates and property. DUF No. 8. Defendant began to distribute water in Dixie cups to the remaining inmates. Id. Nos. 8-10; ECF No. 1 at 4. Plaintiff was sitting at the front of the bus and was the first to receive water. DUF No. 10. According to defendant, plaintiff then said, “I want another one.” Id. According to plaintiff, he was extremely thirsty and thus “asked politely if I could be provided with a little more because of the miniscule amount [defendant] gave me.” ECF No. 1 at 4. Defendant refused and told plaintiff to sit back down. DUF No. 10; ECF No. 1 at 4.

         Plaintiff claims that, when Lucero was done handing out water and was locking the gate that separates the inmate section of the bus from the place where the officers sit, plaintiff told him he was “fake.” ECF No. 1 at 4. Plaintiff alleges that Lucero then reopened the gate, “stormed” toward plaintiff and began aggressively shaking and pushing his upper body while his hands, waist, and ankles were shackled. Id. at 4-5. According to plaintiff, Lucero then left the bus to speak to Gunderson, who took plaintiff off the bus, gave him water “to his heart's content, ” and had the nurse at CMF examine him. Id. at 5.

         According to defendant, when plaintiff returned to his seat on the bus after receiving water, he glared at defendant. DUF No. 11. When defendant finished giving water to the inmates, plaintiff again asked for more and, again, defendant refused. Id. Defendant claims that plaintiff then called him a “motherfucker” and said, “bitch, it ain't your water.” Id. Plaintiff was “loud and disruptive, and his derogatory comments were continuous despite Officer Lucero's admonitions to stop swearing.” Id. Defendant claims that he then “stepped up” to plaintiff, informed him he had already received his water, and “used his right hand to hold the collar of Inmate Stribling's state-issued white cloth jumpsuit” and “placed my left hand behind his head for two to three seconds.” Id. No. 12. Defendant declares that he did not strike, hit, or shake plaintiff in any way and that he did not intend to harm plaintiff but rather to prevent him from becoming more disruptive and to restore order. DUF No. 27. Defendant was the only officer on the bus and he did not want the situation to escalate. Id.

         Sergeant Gunderson declares that plaintiff admitted to him that he had called defendant a “motherfucker” and a “bitch” and stated that it was “bullshit” that he did not get more water. DUF No. 18. According to Gunderson, plaintiff was not upset or animated, and he refused medical care, stating that nothing had happened. DUF Nos. 19-20.

         The parties do not dispute that plaintiff was left at a neighboring institution (California State Prison - Solano) to take a different transport to his ultimate destination later that night. DUF No. 21; ECF No. 1 at 5. According to Gunderson, when plaintiff found out that he would not complete the transport, he became loud and unruly and stated, “I'm going to tell them what really happened.” DUF No. 22. Gunderson understood this statement to be a threat that plaintiff would lie because he was not allowed to get back on the bus at Solano. Id.

         The parties do not dispute that plaintiff suffered no physical injuries whatsoever from the altercation. DUF Nos. 20, 24, 25, 31, 32, 33; ECF No. 21-2 at 45 (plaintiff admitting no physical injuries in response to discovery); ECF No. 21-2 at 15 (plaintiff testifying in deposition that he suffered no physical injuries).

         II. The Motion for Summary Judgment

         Defendant argues that the undisputed facts show that he did not subject plaintiff to excessive force, that plaintiff suffered no injury, and that he should be afforded qualified immunity. For the reasons that follow, the undersigned finds that summary judgment should be denied.

         A. Summary ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.