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Houston v. Eldridge

United States District Court, E.D. California

February 22, 2018

L. ELDRIDGE, et al., Defendants.



         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff is a state prisoner, proceeding without counsel, with a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the court is plaintiff's motion to compel. For the reasons stated herein, plaintiff's motion to compel is denied in part and granted in part.

         II. Plaintiff's Claims

         To put the motion in context, the undersigned summarizes plaintiff's claims herein.

         This action proceeds on the original complaint against defendants Anderson, Barajas, Brewer, Eldridge, Huynh, Morales, Nyberg, Pacheco, Padilla, Rowe, Stanfield and Stuhr.

         Plaintiff alleges that on February 5, 2016, he returned to California State Prison-Sacramento (“CSP-Sac”) after being out to court. After plaintiff obtained a box of his property from receiving and release (“R & R”), defendants Brewer and Huynh took plaintiff to A Facility, Building 3, cell 107. Plaintiff noticed that cell 107 was extremely dirty. Plaintiff told defendants Brewer and Huynh that the cell was dirty and that it was supposed to be clean for new arrivals. Defendant Brewer then became angry and said, “O.K. We're going to do our job.”

         Defendants Brewer and Hyunh then put plaintiff in the B Section cage, still wearing handcuffs and leg irons. Defendants Brewer, Hyunh and Anderson then returned and said, “let's go.” Plaintiff had a gut feeling that the defendants were going to harm him. Plaintiff stated that he was not going anywhere until he saw the lieutenant. Defendant Brewer then opened the cage, snatched plaintiff by the shoulder and shoved plaintiff into the hallway of the A3 building rotunda blind area. At that point, defendant Brewer ordered defendant Stanfield to put a spit mask on plaintiff. After the spit mask was on plaintiff, defendant Brewer allegedly slammed plaintiff's face against the wall, grabbed the back of plaintiff's head and repeatedly bashed plaintiff's face into the wall. Plaintiff begged defendant Brewer to stop. Defendant Brewer took plaintiff to the floor and began punching and elbowing plaintiff in the face over and over again. Defendant Huynh allegedly started jumping up and down on plaintiff's lower back and rib area with his knees. Plaintiff alleges that defendants Stanfield and Anderson took part in this beating.

         Plaintiff was falsely charged with battery on a peace officer based on the February 5, 2016 incident.

         On February 16, 2016, plaintiff made an excessive force video. Defendants Brewer and Huynh retaliated against plaintiff, for plaintiff making the video and filing a complaint against them regarding the February 5, 2016 incident, by falsely charging plaintiff with delaying a peace officer of their duties.

         On or around July 2, 2016, defendant Eldridge decided to release plaintiff from administrative segregation (“ad seg”) to the A Facility EOP mainline, where defendants Brewer, Huynh and Anderson worked. Plaintiff alleges that defendant Eldridge knew there was a substantial risk of harm if plaintiff was released to the facility where those defendants worked.

         Plaintiff alleges that when defendants Brewer and Huynh saw him on the A Facility exercise yard on July 17, 2016, they immediately began harassing plaintiff. As plaintiff walked to his building defendant Brewer charged after plaintiff, twisted him around, and allegedly started punching plaintiff in the face. Defendants Padilla and Huynh then allegedly tackled plaintiff to the ground and had their knees in plaintiff's back. Defendant Brewer tried to poke out plaintiff's eyes with his fingers. Plaintiff alleges that the camera footage from the A Facility yard will show plaintiff being peaceful, and defendants attacking him.

         Later that day, i.e., July17, 2016, plaintiff was placed in ad seg, A Facility Building 5. As soon as plaintiff entered the blind area of the rotunda, the escorting officer (defendant Nyberg) said, “What happened earlier?” Defendant Nyberg then allegedly tripped plaintiff with his feet and slammed plaintiff to the ground. Defendants Nyberg, Morales and Barajas then began pounding on plaintiff. Defendants Stuhr, Rowe and Pacheco allegedly kneed plaintiff in the side and lower back area, and bent plaintiff's finger all the way back.

         III. Motion to Compel

         Defendants argue that plaintiff's motion to compel should be denied because he failed to provide the at-issue discovery requests and the responses to which he takes issue, as required by Local Rule 250.3(c). Defendants are correct that plaintiff failed to provide copies of his discovery requests and defendants' responses with the motion to compel. However, because both parties have addressed the merits of plaintiff's claims, and plaintiff attached the at-issue discovery requests and responses to his reply, plaintiff's failure to comply with Local Rule 250.3(c) is excused.

         A. Request for Records Regarding Inmate Johnson


         Plaintiff requested the CSP-Sac “logs and records of inmate Johnson, V-14425, housed on B Facility at the time of July 2016 to prove that CSP-Sac knew that inmate Johnson V-14425 was already house on B Facility for awhile and was on my enemy list when I was release to A Facility in July 2016.” (ECF No. 40 at 2.) In the motion to compel, plaintiff explains the relevance of information regarding inmate Johnson. Plaintiff states that defendants claim that after the committee released plaintiff from ad seg, an enemy situation developed with inmate Johnson. (ECF No. 39 at 1, 3.) Plaintiff argues that because defendants are using inmate Johnson as part of their defense, plaintiff has a right to the logs and records as evidence.[1] (Id.)

         In response defendants objected that information pertaining to persons who are not parties to this action is protected by the privacy rights of those persons, under state and federal law. (ECF No. 40 at 2.) Defendants also objected that the request sought information deemed confidential under California Code of Regulations, Title 15, § 3321, because the disclosure could endanger the safety of other inmates and staff and jeopardize the safety of the institution. (Id.) Defendants also objected that plaintiff did not specify a category of documents with reasonable particularity. (Id.) Without waiving those objections, defendants produced to plaintiff a copy of his most recent enemy list. (Id.)

         In the motion to compel, plaintiff clarified that he sought the “logs and records” for inmate Johnson while he was housed on B Facility at CSP-Sac from ...

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