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Moody v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

United States District Court, S.D. California

September 3, 2019

RONNIE L. MOODY, GARY T. DEANS, BILLY R. WILLIAMS, DONNEL E. JONES, Plaintiffs,
v.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION, DANIEL PARAMO, MCGEE, RODRIGUEZ, SALAZAR, RAMOS, ADAMS, GUERRERA, EDROZO, CRUZ, DURAN, AVILA, BRAVO, DOE 1-50, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Hon. William Q. Hayes, United States District Court Judge.

         The matters before the Court are the motion to dismiss filed by Defendants (ECF No. 18), the Report and Recommendation issued by the Magistrate Judge (ECF No. 40), the objections filed by Defendants (ECF No. 42), and the response to objections filed by Plaintiffs (ECF No. 43).

         I. BACKGROUND

         On May 31, 2018, Plaintiffs Moody, Deans, Williams, and Jones, incarcerated at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJDCF), initiated this action by filing a complaint against Defendants California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Daniel Paramo, McGee, Rodriguez, Salazar, Ramos, Adams, Guerrera, Edrozo, Cruz, Duran, Avila, and Bravo. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiffs allege that Defendants are involved in a “faction of CDCR officers that call themselves the ‘Green Wall, '” “a Mafia-like prison gang of correctional officers that engages in unlawful activity, including staff-on-prisoner violence, coordination of prisoner-on-prisoner violence, smuggling illegal contraband/items into CDCR facilities such as illegal drugs and cell phones which are sold to prisoners for cash, and the planting of illegal contraband/items on prisoners (and false reporting thereof).” Id. ¶ 19. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants used unreasonable force during an incident on July 17, 2017, interfered with Plaintiffs' ability to submit grievances and complaints regarding the July 17, 2017 incident, and arranged for prison transfers to retaliate against Plaintiffs for their grievances and complaints regarding the July 17, 2017 incident. Plaintiffs bring claims for discrimination based on disability pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, and the Rehabilitation Act (RA), 29 U.S.C. § 794, against Defendant CDCR. Plaintiffs bring claims for unreasonable force pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, conspiracy pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and § 1985, and declaratory judgment pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201(a) against Defendant Paramo. Plaintiffs bring claims for retaliation pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, conspiracy pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and § 1985, and state law claims against Defendant Rodriguez. Plaintiffs bring claims for retaliation pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants Salazar and Bravo. Plaintiffs bring claims for unreasonable force pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law, claims for conspiracy pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and § 1985, and state law claims against Defendants McGee, Salazar, Ramos, Adams, Guerrera, Edrozo, Cruz, Duran, Avila, and Bravo. Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief against Defendant Paramo and damages against the remaining defendants.

         On September 18, 2018, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that “(1) Defendant Paramo is entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity; (2) Plaintiffs fail to state a claim against Defendant Paramo in his official capacity; (3) Plaintiffs fail to state a claim against Defendant Duran; (4) Plaintiffs Moody, Deans, and Jones fail to state a claim for retaliation; (5) Plaintiffs fail to state a claim for conspiracy; (6) Plaintiffs claim for injunctive relief is moot because only one Plaintiff is still housed at the prison where the incident occurred; (7) Plaintiffs fail to state a claim for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act; and (8) Plaintiffs cannot recover money damages for unreasonable force under the California Constitution.”[1] (ECF No. 18 at 2).

         On October 9, 2018, Plaintiffs filed a response in opposition to the motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 22).

         On October 15, 2018, Defendants filed a reply in support of the motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 23).

         On June 28, 2019, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation recommending that the Court dismiss the claims against Defendant Duran, the § 1985(3) conspiracy claims by Plaintiffs Deans, Williams, and Jones, and the retaliation claims by Plaintiffs Moody, Deans, and Jones. (ECF No. 40 at 15). The Report and Recommendation recommends that the Court dismiss with prejudice the claims against Defendant Paramo by Plaintiffs Moody, Deans, and Williams; all conspiracy claims by Plaintiff Moody; the claims for declaratory and injunctive relief by Plaintiffs Moody, Deans, and Williams; and the claim pursuant to Article I, § 17 of the California Constitution. Id. The Report and Recommendation recommends that the Court otherwise deny the motion to dismiss.

         On July 12, 2019, Defendants filed objections to the Report and Recommendation challenging the recommendation to deny dismissal of the ADA and RA claims, and the claim for injunctive relief against Defendant Paramo. (ECF No. 42 at 8).

         On July 17, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a response to the objections to the Report and Recommendation. (ECF No. 43).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD ON REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

         The duties of the district court in connection with a report and recommendation issued by a magistrate judge are set forth in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b) and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). The district judge must “make a de novo determination of those portions of the report . . . to which objection is made, ” and “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). The district court need not review de novo those portions of a report and recommendation to which neither party objects. See Wang v. Masaitis, 416 F.3d 992, 1000 n.13 (9th Cir. 2005); United States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir. 2003) (en banc) (“Neither the Constitution nor the [Federal Magistrates Act] requires a district judge to review, de novo, findings and recommendations that the parties themselves accept as correct.”).

         III. DEFENDANT DURAN

         No party has filed an objection to the conclusion of the Report and Recommendation that the claims against Defendant Duran should be dismissed with leave to amend. The Court has reviewed the related portions of the Report and Recommendation and adopts the Report and Recommendation with respect the claims against Defendant Duran. (ECF No. 40 at 4:16-6:9). For the reasons ...


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