United States District Court, E.D. California
JASPER F. WILSON, Plaintiff,
JEFFREY A. BEARD, et al., Defendants.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
DEBORAH BARNES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis
with a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff alleges use of the Guard One security check system
when he was incarcerated at the California Correctional
Institution (“CCI”) violated his Eighth Amendment
rights. Recently, this court asked the parties for their
positions on a stay pending resolution of the interlocutory
appeal in a related case. Both parties responded that a stay
is appropriate. For the reasons set forth below, this court
will recommend a stay of these proceedings pending the Ninth
Circuit's resolution of the defendants' interlocutory
appeal in Rico v. Beard, No. 2:17-cv-1402 KJM DB P.
is currently incarcerated at Calipatria State Prison. The
events complained of occurred when he was incarcerated at CCI
in 2014 and 2015.
alleges that starting in June 2014, defendants implemented
security checks in the Security Housing Unit at CCI using the
Guard One system. Plaintiff alleges that the hammering and
beeping noises created by use of the Guard One system caused
him loss of sleep, sensory deprivation, and migraine
headaches in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights.
Plaintiff identifies numerous defendants who can be divided
into two groups - the high-level supervisory defendants who
were involved in the initial implementation of Guard One at
CCI and the floor officer defendants who were involved in the
day-to-day use of the Guard One system there.
moved to dismiss the complaint alleging, among other things,
that they are protected from suit by the doctrine of
qualified immunity. In findings and recommendations issued
March 11, 2019, this court recommended defendants' motion
be granted in part and denied in part. (ECF No. 32.) This
court found the high level supervisory defendants are
entitled to qualified immunity. (Id. at 8.) This
court further found the floor officer defendants are not so
protected. Defendants filed objections to the findings and
recommendations. (ECF No. 32.)
2018, the court related the present case to several other
cases challenging the use of the Guard One security system in
the California prisons. (See ECF No. 31.) On March
5, 2019, in Rico, Judge Mueller held that qualified
immunity protected the high level supervisory defendants from
suit but that the remaining defendants, those who reviewed
the plaintiff's appeals and those who conducted the
security tests, were not so protected. See No.
2:17-cv-1402 KJM DB P (ECF No. 102). The defendants remaining
in that case then appealed. Id. (ECF No. 103). On
appeal, they argue that the district court erred in denying
them qualified immunity. See Appellants'
Mediation Questionnaire, Rico v. Ducart, et al., No.
19-15541 (9th Cir. Mar. 29, 2019). The Rico appeal
remains pending in the Ninth Circuit.
June, this court ordered the parties to state their positions
on a stay of these proceedings pending the Ninth
Circuit's resolution of qualified immunity issues before
it in Rico. (ECF No. 35.) Both parties responded
that a stay is appropriate. (ECF Nos. 36, 37.)
court agrees. The parties should not be prejudiced by a stay.
Further, a stay of these proceedings will save judicial
resources by avoiding duplicative litigation. See Adkins
v. J.B. Hunt Transp., Inc., 293 F.Supp.3d 1140, 1150
(E.D. Cal. 2018) (citations omitted); see also
Landis v. North Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936);
CMAX, Inc. v. Hall 300 F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir.
1962). The Ninth Circuit's ruling in Rico could
very well affect the issues herein. If the present action
proceeds at this time, the parties and this court may have
spent time and resources unnecessarily. This court finds the
equities weigh in favor of granting a stay.
foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that this action
be stayed pending the Ninth Circuit's resolution of the
interlocutory appeal in Rico v. Beard, No.
2:17-cv-1402 KJM DB P.
findings and recommendations will be submitted to the United
States District Judge assigned to the case, pursuant to the
provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Within fourteen
days after being served with these findings and
recommendations, either party may file written objections
with the court. The document should be captioned
“Objections to Magistrate Judge's Findings and
Recommendations.” The parties are advised that failure
to file objections within the ...