Samuels v. Ahlin et al
ORDER for Plaintiff to Notify the Court if it Wishes to Substitute Defendant(s) for the Fresno County Board of Supervisors Within Twenty-One (21) Days signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on 4/26/2017. (Jessen, A)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
PAM AHLIN, et al.,
ORDER FOR PLAINTIFF TO NOTIFY
THE COURT IF IT WISHES TO
SUBSTITUTE DEFENDANT(S) FOR
THE FRESNO COUNTY BOARD OF
(ECF. NO. 53)
TWENTY-ONE DAY DEADLINE
Dougal Samuels (“Plaintiff”) is a civil detainee proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis in this civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Following the Ninth
Circuit’s order holding in part that “Samuels is not barred from bringing suit against the
members of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors in their official capacity,” (ECF No, 22),
this case now proceeds on Plaintiff’s Third Amended Complaint, filed on July 15, 2016. (ECF
Supervisors” as a defendant, among others.
Plaintiff’s Third Amended Complaint names the “Fresno County Board of
On January 20, 2017, Fresno County filed a motion to quash service of process or to
dismiss Plaintiff’s action in the alternative (“Motion to Quash”). (ECF No. 53). Fresno County
argues that the “Fresno County Board of Supervisors” is not an appropriate defendant in this
case because it is neither an individual nor a city or county. (Id. at 2). Additionally, Fresno
County moves to quash service because Fresno County itself is not currently a defendant in this
case and so should not have been served with the complaint. (Id.).
On April 20, 2017, the Court held a hearing on the Motion to Quash. 1 During the
hearing, counsel for the County of Fresno argued that the Fresno County Board of Supervisors
was merely a subunit of the County of Fresno and thus was not a proper defendant. Counsel
Scott Hawkins personally appeared on behalf of Fresno County. Plaintiff telephonically
appeared on his own behalf.
for the County of Fresno said that the County of Fresno was the type of city that could be sued
under 1983. Moreover, counsel for the County of Fresno argued that any lawsuit against
individual members of the Board of Supervisors, even if those individuals were identified and
added to the lawsuit, would ultimately be a lawsuit against the County of Fresno itself because
the individuals could only be sued in their official capacity.
During the hearing, the Court asked Plaintiff if he wished to substitute the County of
Fresno (or any other defendants) for the Board of Supervisors. However, the phone connection
was not good and it was difficult to understand Plaintiff.
Accordingly, the Court orders Plaintiff to notify the Court if it wishes to substitute in
the County of Fresno, or any other defendants, for the “Fresno County Board of Supervisors.”
Fresno County may respond seven days following Plaintiff’s notification. The Court will issue
findings and recommendations on the County of Fresno’s pending motion to quash (ECF No.
53) after receiving this additional information.
Accordingly, based on the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1. Within thirty (21) days from the date of service of this order, Plaintiff shall
a. File a motion to substitute the County of Fresno, or any other defendants,
for the currently named Fresno County Board of Supervisors; or
b. File a notice that Plaintiff wants the Court to issue findings and
recommendations to the assigned district judge on the record as it stands.
2. If Plaintiff opts to file a motion to substitute defendants, within seven (7) after
the motion is filed in CM/ECF, Fresno County may file a response to the
IT IS SO ORDERED.
April 26, 2017
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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