United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR STAY OF PROCEEDINGS WITHOUT
PREJUDICE (ECF NO. 29)
Madrid (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in
this civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
Court has before it Defendants' Motion for Stay. (ECF No.
29). Defendants seek a stay of the proceedings until
Plaintiff's pending criminal proceeding is resolved.
Defendants claim that because Plaintiff is being criminally
prosecuted in Kern County Superior Court for “the same
items he claims that Defendants De La Cruz and Lopez
improperly confiscated from him, ” the case should be
stayed. (Id. at 3).
reasons below, Defendants' request will be denied without
filed his complaint on July 16, 2018. (ECF No.1).
“Plaintiff's claims arise out of his treatment at a
medical facility following an altercation at a prison,
” on November 8 and 9, 2016. (ECF No. 18 at 3).
Defendants allegedly confiscated contraband from Plaintiff,
found during a CAT-scan. (Id. at 4). Plaintiff
alleged that Defendants refused to address or allow medical
staff to address his medical needs, used excessive restraints
on him, exposed and humiliated him in front of a female
nurse, and prevented medical staff from addressing his pain.
(Id. at 3-5). Plaintiff argues that Defendants'
actions were unnecessary, given that the CAT-scan already
revealed that contraband was present in his rectum. (ECF No.
1 at 5).
case is proceeding on Plaintiff's claims of (1)
deliberate indifference to serious medical needs, (2)
retaliation, (3) unreasonable search, and (4) excessive
force, occurring both before and after the Defendants
confiscated contraband from his person. (ECF No. 18 at 1).
5, 2017, the Kern County District Attorney's Office filed
a criminal complaint against Plaintiff, charging him with
possession of controlled substances while in prison based on
the contraband Defendants confiscated from Plaintiff on
November 9, 2016. (ECF No. 30). The criminal trial is set to
occur on July 15, 2019.
Constitution does not ordinarily require a stay of civil
proceedings pending the outcome of criminal
proceedings.” Keating v. Office of Thrift
Supervision, 45 F.3d 322, 324 (9th Cir. 1995). “In
the absence of substantial prejudice to the rights of the
parties involved, [simultaneous] parallel [civil and
criminal] proceedings are unobjectionable under our
jurisprudence.” Id. “Nevertheless, a
court may decide in its discretion to stay civil proceedings
. . . when the interests of justice seem to require such
action.” Id. “A court must decide
whether to stay civil proceedings in the face of parallel
criminal proceedings in light of the particular circumstances
and competing interests involved in the case.”
Federal Savings & Loan Ins. Corp. v. Molinaro,
889 F.2d 899, 902 (1989). In making its decision the court
should consider six factors:
(1) the extent that defendant's fifth amendment rights
are implicated; (2) the interest of the plaintiff in
proceeding with the litigation and the potential prejudice to
plaintiff of a delay (3) the burden on defendants; (4) the
convenience of the court and the efficient use of judicial
resources; (5) the interests of third parties; and (6) the
public interest in the pending civil and criminal litigation.
Id. at 902-903.
abstention applies when a plaintiff seeks damages,
injunctive, or declaratory relief in a civil case that runs
parallel to related state criminal proceedings.
Gilbertson v. Albright, 381 F.3d 965, 970 (9th Cir.
2004). A court may apply a stay under Younger when:
“(1) the state court proceedings are ongoing; (2) the
proceedings implicate important state interests; and (3) the
state proceedings provide an adequate opportunity to raise
the constitutional claims.” Escobar v. LASD Male
Doe, 2017 WL 7050642, at *2 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 30, 2017)
(citing Middlesex Cty. Ethics Comm. v. Garden State Bar
Ass'n, 457 U.S. 423 (1982)).