Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Thomas v. Shaw

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Francisco Division

November 6, 2019

JOSEPH THOMAS, Plaintiff,
v.
RANDALL SHAW, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS AGAINST DEFENDANT JEFFREY SCARCELLO RE: ECF NO. 116, 117

          LAUREL BEELER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Joseph Thomas brings this suit against defendants Randall Shaw, Mwangi Mukami, Jeffrey Scarcello, and Tenderloin Housing Clinic Inc.[1] Mr. Thomas brings only one claim against Mr. Scarcello: a putative claim for violation of “the Civil Rights Act of 1968[, ] 18 USC §5245(b)(2), the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act[, ] 28 USC §994 note sec. 280003.”[2] Mr. Thomas alleges that Mr. Scarcello used “fighting words” and various epithets against him and got into an altercation with him.[3] (Mr. Scarcello, for his part, claims that Mr. Thomas was the one who assaulted him and that Mr. Thomas broke his nose.[4])

         There is no such statute as 18 U.S.C. § 5245, and 28 U.S.C. § 994 and Section 280003 do not create a private right of action. Because of this, on October 31, 2019, the court issued an order for Mr. Thomas to show cause why his claims against Mr. Scarcello should not be dismissed.[5] On November 5, 2019, Mr. Thomas filed a response to the court's order to show cause.[6] Having reviewed the response, the court finds that Mr. Thomas has not shown cause. The court dismisses Mr. Thomas's claims against Mr. Scarcello. The court grants Mr. Thomas leave to file an amended complaint to replead against Mr. Scarcello.

         STATEMENT[7]

         Mr. Thomas moved into the National Hotel Budget Inn (“Hotel”) in San Francisco, California, in November 2012.[8] The Hotel “was overrun with bedbugs, roaches, mice, and rats. Every toilet and shower leaked or was inoperable, the heat did not work properly, and windows were missing.”[9]

         In December 2016, the Tenderloin Housing Clinic (“THC”) took over the management of the Hotel and converted it into “supportive housing.”[10] Mr. Thomas alleges that the THC clients brought “needles, sexual liaisons, bedbugs, roaches, noise, dogs, and visitors” to the Hotel and turned it into a “safe-injection site.”[11] Mr. Thomas asked THC “about housing in a building that wasn't ‘supportive housing;' but THC never responded.”[12] Mr. Thomas alleges that THC “has a history of churning tenants in order to get higher rents” and that his “quiet enjoyment of the premises” lasted one month before the THC clients moved in.[13]

         On December 11, 2017, Mr. Thomas was awoken by “fighting words” at his door.[14] Mr. Thomas alleges that Jeffrey Scarcello, another resident of the Hotel, was uttering racial and homophobic slurs at him through his door.[15] According to Mr. Thomas, Mr. Scarcello “incited the other tenants in the building by telling them the reason the heat wasn't working properly is because ‘management was retaliating against the building' on account of [Mr. Thomas's] advisory to the tenants of their rights to safe and habitable living conditions.”[16] Mr. Thomas alleges that:

When I left my room to see what was going on, most of the mob disappeared back into their rooms. Only Scarcello continued the tirade, completely flushed and irrational. Scarcello repeatedly stood close enough so that spittle was sprayed into my face. This went on for what seemed forever. Half-asleep, and with my adrenaline surging, all I remember is chasing him away from my room.[17]

         ANALYSIS

         A court may dismiss a plaintiff's claims on its own initiative where the plaintiff does not state a valid, legally cognizable claim. Reed v. Lieurance, 863 F.3d 1196, 1207 (9th Cir. 2017). Before doing so, “the court must give notice of its intention to dismiss and afford plaintiff[] an opportunity to at least submit a written memorandum in opposition to such motion.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting cases). The court gave Mr. Thomas notice of its intention to dismiss his claims against Mr. Scarcello and gave him an opportunity to submit a written memorandum in opposition.[18]

         Mr. Thomas brings a claim against Mr. Scarcello for violations of “18 U.S.C. § 5245” and 28 U.S.C. § 994 and Section 280003. Mr. Thomas's claims against Mr. Scarcello are not cognizable and must be dismissed.

         First, there is no such statute as 18 U.S.C. § 5245.

         Second, 28 U.S.C. § 994 simply empowers the U.S. Sentencing Commission to establish sentencing guidelines, and Section 280003 is a direction to the Sentencing Commission regarding sentencing enhancements for hate crimes. Neither 28 U.S.C. § 994 nor Section 280003 creates a private right of action for a plaintiff like Mr. Thomas to bring a civil claim. Stevens v. Skolnik, No. 3:09-cv-00227-RCJ (RAM), 2010 WL 3081254, at *3 (D. Nev. May 19, 2010) (report ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.