Jacobs v. Sullivan et al
ORDER STAYING 1 Action as to Defendant Crotty Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 362(a); ORDER DENYING Plaintiff's 55 Motion to Preserve Evidence signed by Magistrate Judge Sandra M. Snyder on 6/22/2011. (Sant Agata, S)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
GEORGE E. JACOBS, IV,
W. J. SULLIVAN, et al.,
CASE NO. 1:05-cv-01625-LJO-SMS PC
ORDER STAYING ACTION AS TO
DEFENDANT CROTTY PURSUANT TO 11
U.S.C. § 362(a)
(ECF No. 56)
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION
TO PRESERVE EVIDENCE
/ (ECF No. 55)
Plaintiff George E. Jacobs, IV, is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis,
in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action is proceeding on the third
amended complaint, filed May 5, 2010, against Defendants Watson, Chan, McGregor, Blankenship,
Crotty, Granillo, Nelson, Carrasco, Johnson, Jobb, Adams, and Alexander for a violation of the
Eighth Amendment. On May 9, 2011, Plaintiff filed a motion to preserve evidence. (ECF No. 55.)
On June 15, 2011, a request was filed to stay the action as to Defendant Crotty pursuant to 11 U.S.C.
§ 362(a). (ECF No. 56.)
Motion to Preserve Evidence
Plaintiff has filed a motion seeking a court order prohibiting Defendants from destroying
videotapes and photographs pertaining to the incident of excessive force set forth in the complaint
and requesting sanctions of $25,000 for each videotape that is lost or destroyed.
“Litigants owe an uncompromising duty to preserve what they know or reasonably should
know will be relevant evidence in a pending lawsuit, or one in the offing . . . .” JUDGE WILLIAM W.
quotations and citations omitted); see also Leon v. Sys. Corp., 464 F.3d 951, 959 (9th Cir. 2006).
This obligation, backed by the court’s power to impose sanctions for the destruction of such
evidence, Chambers v. Nasco, Inc., 501 U.S. 32, 43-46 (1991), is sufficient in most cases to secure
the preservation of relevant evidence.
FEDERAL CIVIL PROCEDURE BEFORE TRIAL § 11:125 (2004) (internal
Before the court orders additional measures to preserve evidence, there must be some
showing that there is a reason to be concerned that potentially relevant evidence will not be
preserved and that the opposing party may be harmed as a result. Jardin v. Datallegro, Inc., No. 08-
cv-1462-IEG-RBB, 2008 WL 4104473, *1 (S.D.Cal. Sept. 3, 2008). Given the duty to preserve
evidence and the absence of any showing by Plaintiff that there is reason for the Court to be
concerned about the destruction of any evidence, Plaintiff’s motion shall be denied. The Court
declines to presume that Defendants will destroy evidence and Plaintiff has provided no evidence
that the videotapes or photographs are in danger of being destroyed.
Motion to Stay Proceeding
Defendant Crotty filed a bankruptcy petition on May 2, 2011. Pursuant to Section 362(a) all
actions against a defendant who has filed a bankruptcy petition are automatically stayed once the
petition is filed. Sternberg v. Johnston, 559 F.3d 937, 943 (9th Cir. 2010). Therefore, this action
has been stayed pending resolution of Defendant’s bankruptcy proceedings.
Accordingly, it is HEREBY ORDERED that:
This action is stayed as to Defendant Crotty pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(a); and
Plaintiff’s motion to preserve evidence, filed May 9, 2011, is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
June 22, 2011
/s/ Sandra M. Snyder
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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