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Alston v. County of Sacramento

United States District Court, E.D. California

October 24, 2019

ERIC ANTHONY ALSTON, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER AND FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS

          CAROLYN K. DELANEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff is proceeding in this action pro se. This matter was referred to the undersigned in accordance with Local Rule 302(c)(21) and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Currently before the court is plaintiff's motion for leave to file a first amended complaint (“FAC”). (ECF Nos. 33, 34.) The court deemed this matter suitable for decision without oral argument under Local Rule 230(g). Having considered the motion, opposition, and reply papers, and the record in this matter, the court recommends denying the motion.

         II. Background

         On February 7, 2019, the undersigned entered findings and recommendations recommending dismissal of plaintiff's claims against all defendants except his § 1983, California Bane Act, and battery claims against defendant Ken Lloyd (Claims 5, 6, and 10, respectively) (“Lloyd Claims”). (ECF No. 20.) On May 31, 2019, District Judge Troy L. Nunley adopted the findings and recommendations and dismissed with prejudice the claims in this action as to all defendants except Claims 5, 6, and 10 against Lloyd. (ECF No. 23.) Lloyd was ordered to answer the remaining claims, id., which answer was filed on July 25, 2019. (ECF No. 29.) Plaintiff did not file a motion for reconsideration of the court's May 31, 2019 order. On August 12, 2019, plaintiff filed the instant motion for leave to file a first amended complaint. (ECF Nos. 33, 34.)

         III. Plaintiff's Motion and Proposed First Amended Complaint

         According to plaintiff, the FAC would add a new defendant, Jessie Espejo, in his official and individual capacities. (ECF No. 33 at 1-2.) Jessie Espejo would be “added” “to the claims of deliberate indifference, Negligence and Due Process.” (Id. at 2.) Plaintiff also vaguely claims that the proposed FAC “adds more detail as this court has stated the previous complaint was vague in some areas, and additional factual allegations relating to Plaintiffs [sic] previously asserted claims and Doe defendants.” (Id.) Further, plaintiff claims that “[t]he adding of Defendant Jessie Espejo in the claim is based on new information that Plaintiff has learned since the filing of its original complaint.” (Id.)

         As noted above, the court dismissed plaintiff's claims against all defendants with prejudice-except the Lloyd Claims. (ECF Nos. 20, 23.) Plaintiff acknowledges that the court dismissed all but one defendant but argues that “not once did the court state the complaint was futile to amend or any reason for not allowing of an amended complaint, thus Accordingly, Plaintiff seeks an order permitting Plaintiff to file the proposed Amended Complaint.” (ECF No. 33 at 2.)

         Plaintiff attempts to add far more to the FAC than purely adding defendant Jessie Espejo to three claims. In fact, the majority of plaintiff's proposed amendments focus on the claims that were previously dismissed with prejudice. In that regard, the following is a summary of the proposed changes plaintiff moves to include in a FAC:

- Paragraph 10 now includes, “Defendant Jones is being sued in his official and individual capacities.” (Compare ECF No. 1 at ¶ 10, with ECF No. 34 at ¶ 10.)
- Paragraph 15 of the proposed FAC adds information regarding new defendant Jessie Espejo. (See ECF No. 34 at ¶ 15.)
- Paragraph 20 now includes, “Defendant Iniguez has failed to look up previous domestic violence to stop it from happening further.” (Compare ECF No. 1 at ¶ 19, with ECF No. 34 at ¶ 20.)
- Paragraph 24 removed, “words and action . . . supplied by the defendants, ” and replaced it with, “but each time defendants refused to listen what [sic] I had to say, simply just the female.” (Compare ECF No. 1 at ¶ 23, with ECF No. 34 at ¶ 24.)
- Paragraph 25 removed, “At this point . . . of his employment.” (Compare ECF No. 1 at ¶ 24, with ECF No. 34 at ¶ 25.)
- Paragraph 27 was modified to remove and add allegations, including adding an allegation that Jessie Espejo denied plaintiff his “orthopedic Appliance after [plaintiff] told him of [plaintiff] needing it” and of plaintiff s alleged knee ailments. (Compare ECF No. 1 at ¶ 27, with ECF No. 34 at ¶ 27.)
- Paragraph 28 now includes “defendant Rivera along with Does” at line 7. (Compare ECF No. 1 at ¶ 28, with ECF No. 34 at ¶ 28.)
- Paragraph 29 in the original complaint is not included in the proposed FAC.
- Paragraph 32 now includes “caused constitutional injuries” at line 20. (Compare ECF No. 1 at ¶ 33, with ECF No. 34 at ¶ 32.)
- The following last sentence was removed from Paragraph 32: “Lastly, Defendant Iniguez is liable for all causes of actions because without his failure to protect, none of the damages suffered herein would have occurred.” (Compare ECF No. 1 at ¶ 33, with ECF No. 34 at ¶ 32.)
- The following was added to Paragraph 34: “The objective here was intent gender discrimination by the County and their employees to adversely disregard any statement I made as solely listen [sic] to the other gender being that of a female.” (Compare ECF No. 1 at ¶ 35, with ECF No. 34 at ¶ 34.)
- Defendants Jones, Iniguez, and Buehler were removed from the second claim, and Jess Espejo was added to the second claim. Plaintiff also made a number of substantive changes to claim two, including allegations that defendant Ball and Jessie Espejo did not allow plaintiff his Knee Brace against his liberty. (Compare ECF No. 1 at 16, with ECF No. 34 at 14-15.)
- Plaintiff modified the allegations in his third claim. (Compare ECF No. 1 at ¶ 43, with ECF No. 34 at ¶ 44.)
- Plaintiff appears to have combined his fourth and fifth claims into claim four in the proposed FAC, which includes further modifications to the allegations. (Compare ...

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