United States District Court, C.D. California
PRESENT: THE HONORABLE KENLY KIYA KATO, UNITED STATES
(In Chambers) Order Denying Defendants' Motion to Sever
Without Prejudice [Dkt. 44]
Tracye Benaid Washington ("Washington"), proceeding
pro se and in forma pauperis, has filed a
First Amended Complaint ("FAC") pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983") alleging
violations of his Eighth Amendment rights. Dkt. 12.
Defendants Hanks, Romo-Munoz, Lizama, Pressnell, Hernandez,
Rosales, and Wingfield ("Defendants") have filed a
Motion to Sever pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
21 ("Rule 21") seeking to sever the claims against
Defendants arising out of an incident on July 25, 2018 from
die claims arising out of an incident on November 14, 2018.
Dkt. 44. For the reasons set for the below, Defendants'
Motion to Sever is DENIED without prejudice.
March 20, 2019, Washington constmctively filed the instant FAC
alleging Defendants used excessive force against him on two
occasions, July 25, 2018 and November 14, 2018, while he was
housed in the Administrative Segregation Unit
(“ASU”) at California State Prison - Los Angeles
County (“CSP-LAC”). Dkt. 12 at 5.
alleged in the FAC, on July 25, 2018, Washington was pushed
into his cell as the cell door was closing, causing the door
to close on his left leg. Dkt. 12 at 5. When the door
reopened, Washington, who was in restraints at the time,
stood in the doorway regaining his balance. Id.
Defendants Hanks and Romo-Munoz then pulled Washington out of
the cell, defendant Lizama struck Washington on the left side
of the face, defendants Hanks and Romo-Munoz slammed
Washington head first to the “concrete pavement”,
and defendants Pressnell, Hernandez, Wingfield, and Lizama
began kicking Washington in his back and legs. Id.
As a result of the July 25, 2018 incident, Washington was
sent to an outside hospital and diagnosed with Acute Flaccid
Paralysis. Id. Washington was “discharged two
days later confined to a wheelchair partially parlaysed
also alleges on November 14, 2018, defendant Pressnell came
to Washington's cell to take him to see his case
counselor. Dkt. 12 at 5. Defendant Pressnell opened the food
port and Washington placed his hands through the food port to
be handcuffed. Id. Defendant Pressnell placed the
handcuffs on Washington's hands while still holding onto
the chains attached to the handcuffs. Id. Defendant
Pressnell told Washington to stand up, but Washington told
him he was wheelchair bound and unable to stand. Id.
Defendant Pressnell called defendant Sergeant Rosales to the
cell. Id. Defendant Rosales approached and was
followed by defendants Hernandez, Lizama, and Wingfield.
Id. Defendants Pressnell, Rosales, Hernandez,
Lizama, and Wingfield “grabbed a portion of the two
chains attached to the handcuffs secured around
[Washington's] wrist[s] and pulled [him] out of the
wheelchair into the celldoor.” Id.
further alleges at the time of both incidents, he was
“in a mental health [ASU]” and “classified
as mentally ill” and “mobility impaired.”
Dkt. 12 at 6. He alleges the Defendants involved in both
incidents were aware of the rules governing the housing and
escorting of mentally ill and mobility impaired prisoners,
but Defendants violated their own policies and failed to take
into consideration Washington's impairments during either
November 7, 2019, Defendants filed the instant Motion to
Sever seeking to sever the cause of action against defendants
Hanks, Romo-Munoz, Lizama, Pressnell, Hernandez, and
Wingfield arising out of the incident on July 25, 2018 from
the cause of action against defendants Pressnell, Rosales,
Hernandez, Lizama, and Wingfield arising out of the incident
on November 14, 2018. Dkt. 44.